Misnomer Dance Theater puts its dancers into partnering positions that’ll make you scratch your head and ask, “How do they do that?” (In one piece, five dancers look as if they share a single head.) No wonder the New York Times named theirs one of its “Top Ten” dance performances in 2006. They’ve worked with other creative innovators like Björk (on her “Wanderlust” video) and the Sundance Channel, and now they’re bringing their oddball sense of dance to the Emelin Theatre on January 23.
In addition to hits like “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica” with his most famous project, the Allman Brothers Band, singer/songwriter and keyboardist Gregg Allman has also had successes on his own as a solo artist. Who could forget his mega-hit, “I’m No Angel?” And though he hasn’t made a solo album since 1997’s Searching for Simplicity, Allman continues to tour fronting Gregg Allman and Friends. Hear them play songs from Allman’s decades-long music career when they stop by the Ridgefield Playhouse on January 12 and 13.
Since bursting onto the British music scene in the mid-’60s with a cover of “As Tears Go By,” written by Keith Richards and her one-time love Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull has had an eclectic career. She’s acted in movies, performed Shakespeare on the stage, released a country album, put on sold-out concerts, and recorded duets with Beck, Billy Corgan, and Jarvis Cocker. Her most recent album, Easy Come, Easy Go, is no exception to her diverse tastes. The release finds her interpreting the songs of other artists, a varied mix of musicians that include Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Brian Eno, and the Decemberists. To hear her perform these songs in person, head to the Tarrytown Music Hall on January 12.
Most people know comedian Jim Gaffigan from his Comedy Central special, Beyond the Pale. But even if you didn’t catch the special, you’re sure to have seen him, either in movies like Away We Go, on TV shows like My Boys, in web series like Pale Force, or in one of his many appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He even wrings comedy out of those weird, dry Sierra Mist commercials. No matter where Gaffigan turns up, he always manages to be hilarious, which is why it’s a good idea to see him do his stand-up routine at the Paramount Center for the Arts on January 9.
The 40th anniversary of Woodstock may be over, but the spirit of the era lives on at the Rye Arts Center’s Off the Record: Rock, a Social Revolution exhibition. There, you can find photos, paintings, ephemera, rare album covers, and more representing iconic music and musicians from the 1960s and 1970s. But, of course, the exhibition would be nothing without the music. Head to the free opening reception on January 10 to hear a live set by Back to the Garden, which will perform the songs of Woodstock. Afterwards, journalist Anthony Mason will interview two great artists who worked in that period: Henry Diltz, the official photographer for Woodstock, and Peter Blachley, producer for Capitol Records, MTV, and more. (The interview is $5 and requires reservations ahead of time.) The exhibition will be on view through February 26.
Speaking of Woodstock, legendary member of The Band, multi-instrumentalist, Woodstock resident, and Midnight Rambler Levon Helm returns to the county for a one-night-only performance at the Tarrytown Music Hall on January 8. Skip the previous night’s gig at New York City’s gigantic, multi-tiered Terminal 5 for a shot to see Helm play songs from his Grammy-nominated most recent album, Electric Dirt, in a much smaller, more intimate space.
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The Simpsons: The Complete 20th Season
DVD Release Date: January 12, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
It’s hard to believe that The Simpsons pre-dates grunge music and Google, but here it is celebrating its second decade—and it’s still improving. The 20th season is the first to feature episodes in HD. Also look for guest appearances by such stars as Emily Blunt, Fall Out Boy, Jodie Foster, and Westchester’s Will Shortz.
DVD Release Date: January 12, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Who says sci-fi films have to include CGI aliens and warring starships? In Moon, directed by Duncan Jones (David Bowie’s son), one lonely astronaut is left to man a broken-down lunar space station, with nothing but his friendly computer system (with a voice by Kevin Spacey) to keep him company. Turns out, extended isolation and employment under a crooked corporation could be more disturbing and disastrous than CGI aliens.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
DVD Release Date: January 5, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
In this computer-animated movie, based on the much quieter children’s book, a machine that turns water into food runs amok and creates food-related weather disasters to rival the setpieces in 2012. But, with a voice cast that includes Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Neil Patrick Harris, and even Mr. T, spaghetti tornadoes and marauding gummy bears are more hilarious than harrowing. Kids can get into the action and “throw” food at the TV screen with the DVD’s interactive “splat” button.
DVD Release Date: January 26
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Even if you haven’t gone to see any of the Suburbia Roller Derby’s home bouts, you still can enjoy this tale of a teenage rebel trying to buck the pageant lifestyle for something a little bit more adrenaline-filled. Directed by Drew Barrymore—her first feature—the film is great for those seeking female-driven entertainment where the protagonists do more than just pine boys and nurse their heartbreaks. (Sorry, Twilight.)
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Props to our own Queen City on the Sound for the special supporting role it plays in the powerful new revival of the Broadway musical Ragtime. New Rochelle, where author E.L. Doctorow who wrote Ragtime used to live, is featured prominently as the hometown of the well-heeled Protestant family around whom much of the story revolves. Indeed, the first line uttered in the play—“In 1902, Father built a house at the crest of the Broadview Avenue hill in New Rochelle, New York”—gives a nice big shout out to the city. But this four-time Tony Award winner (from its run in 1998) has plenty to recommend it in addition to lots of local flavor, including a stunning Stephen Flaherty score. Catch it at the Neil Simon Theatre.
// Laurie Yarnell