HAPPENING :: Events Feb. 7 - Feb. 13

theater

LA DISPUTE. See story on page 2. Through Feb. 22. Tickets $34-$68. American Repertory Theater, Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., (617) 547-8300.

LA CENERENTOLA. Cinderella makes an appearance in an unlikely spot—the Dunster House Dining Hall—in the Dunster Opera Society’s production of La Cenerentola. The retelling of the classic fairy tale features music by eighteenth-century Italian composer Luigi Rossini. With performances beginning at 8:30, glass slipper-wearing audience members can rest assured they’ll have plenty of time to return home before midnight, footwear and carriage still intact. Thursday, Feb. 13 through Saturday, Feb. 22 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets $8, $7 students, $6 Dunster House residents, $10 at the door, available at the Harvard Box Office or by phone (617) 496-2222. Dunster House Dining Hall. (NKB)

IT’S A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFE. Where would you like to visit after you die? The Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 155th spoof takes you through Heaven, Hell, and Limbo in a production of Divine Comedy proportions. Meet Rabbi Noah Fense, Nun Taken, and the Roman General Curtis Interruptus. Hilarious. Thursday, Feb. 13 through Wednesday, Mar. 19. Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. (except Saturday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.), Sundays at 3 p.m. Group discounts available. Hasty Pudding Theatre, 12 Holyoke St., (617) 495-5205. (TIH)

HASTY PUDDING MAN OF THE YEAR SHOW. The Hasty Pudding presents Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese with the Man of the Year honor, the Pudding Pot. Thursday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets $100. Hasty Pudding Theatre, 12 Holyoke St., (617) 495-5205. (TIH)

THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES. The Athena Company perform the much-talked-about Eve Ensler play in celebration of V-day—conveniently corresponding with Valentine’s Day—as a form of protest against violence directed at women. Proceeds will be donated to a yearly charity supported by the V-day fund Thursday, Feb. 13 through Saturday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets $8, $6 students/seniors, available at the Harvard Box Office or by phone (617) 496-2222. Agassiz Theatre, Radcliffe Yard. (SLS)

THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES. Dudley House Drama stages Eve Ensler’s collection of vagina-related musings. Friday, Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets $10, $8 students, available at the Harvard Box Office or by phone (617) 496-2222. Lehman Hall, Dudley House. (BJS)

readings

LIZABETH COHEN. Bancroft Prize winner, Pulitzer finalist and Harvard professor of history Lizabeth Cohen discusses her new book, A Consumer’s Republic: Mass Consumption in Postwar America, Friday, Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. at the Harvard Book Store. Cohen’s book re-examines how American consumption patterns after the World War II changed political campaigning and helped create the conditions for some of the most powerful forms of activism on behalf of civil rights. (NKB)

ZADIE SMITH AND CARYL PHILLIPS. Smith, whose 2000 debut novel White Teeth was a bestseller, and novelist/playwright Phillips will read from their works. The event is part of a series of events with black writers sponsored by the Du Bois Institute. Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 4 p.m. Free. Thompson Room, Barker Center, (NKB)

JOHN H. MCWHORTER. McWhorter, an Associate Professor of Linguistics at UC-Berkeley, is also author of the bestselling Losing the Race. He is promoting his newest work, Authentically Black: Essays for the Black Silent Majority, which examines the present status of the Black American. Tuesday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m. WordsWorth Books, 30 Brattle St., (617) 354-5201. (BJS)

dance

RICHARD MOVE. The Boston premiere of dancer/actor Richard Move’s acclaimed impersonation/spoof of master choreographer Martha Graham. During the evening, Move performs monologues and dances some of Graham’s most famous pieces. Saturday, Feb. 8, 8 p.m. Tickets $30/$22/$10, available at the Harvard Box Office or by phone (617) 496-2222. Sanders Theatre. (BJS)

DANCING BABIES. Expressions, Harvard Ballet Company and other members of the dance community are coming together for this benefit event, sponsored by Harvard Students for Healthy Babies. The evening’s comic relief will be provided by the Immediate Gratification Players. Saturday, Feb. 8, 8 p.m. Tickets $7, $5 students/seniors, available at the Harvard Box Office or by phone (617) 496-2222. Lowell Lecture Hall. (BJS)

visuals

COMMON GROUND. An exhibition of works by seven local Portuguese American artists, bringing diverse individual approaches under a common cultural framework. The exhibition is supported by the Portuguese-American Artists Association. Wednesday, Feb. 12 to Friday, Mar. 28. Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second St., (617) 577-1400. (RJK)

VISUAL ARTS AT MIT. Computer-based video, photographic, and sculptural works by Paul Pfeiffer. Selected video works by William Wegman at the Media Test Wall, and “Rapid Eye Movement,” a short film by Runa Islam, at the Bakalar Gallery. Opening reception Friday, Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Hours: Tuesdays through Thursdays, 12 to 6 p.m.; Fridays, 12 to 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 12 to 6 p.m. MIT List Visual Arts Center, Wiesner Building, 20 Ames St., (617) 253-4680. (TIH)

EXHIBIT BY NEW VES FACULTY. The Carpenter Center is displaying work by new VES faculty members: printmaker Gail Deery, photographers Jim Dow and Mark Steinmetz, sculptor Mel Kendrick and painter John Obuck. Through Feb. 16. Hours: Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Sundays, 12 to 11:30 p.m. Free. Carpenter Center, 24 Quincy St., (617) 495-9400. (SLS)

THOMAS STRUTH and NAYLAND BLAKE. German photographer Struth, renowned for his “Museum Pictures,” gives a guest VES lecture at the Harvard Film Archive on Thursday Feb. 13 at 6 pm. Conceptual artist Blake and his characteristic bunny rabbits will be at the Carpenter Center on Monday February 10 at 5 pm. Both events are open to the public. (TIH)

IMAGE AND EMPIRE: PICTURING INDIA DURING THE COLONIAL ERA. See inset story. Through May 25. Hours: Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. $6.50, $5 students/seniors, free to Harvard ID holders, Cambridge Public Library card holders and to people under 18. Group rates available. Sackler Museum, 485 Broadway, (617) 495-9400.

music

MIHNUET BLACK TIE RECITAL. Music In Hospitals and Nursing Homes Using Entertainment as Therapy presents their annual black tie recital. Features classical music, chamber groups, jazz, and the Crimson Crooners. Black tie attire encouraged! Saturday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets $8, $6 students/seniors, available at the Harvard Box Office or by phone (617) 496-2222. Junior Common Room, Kirkland House. (TIH)

ANTIBALAS AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA. This 14-musician musical group performs ethnic fare rife with boisterous horns and polyrhythmic beats. The ethnically diverse group includes Latinos, whites, Afro-Americans, Africans and Asian-Americans; they perform songs in Spanish, Yoruba and English. Saturday, Feb. 14 at 10:30 p.m. Tickets $12/15 day of show, 21+. The Original House of Blues, 96 Winthrop St., (617) 491-2100. (SLS)

BOSTON CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY. The musical group will perform Debussy’s Sonata No. 3 for flute, viola, and harp; Zwilich’s Passages (1981); and Brahms’ Piano Trio in B Major. Sunday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $25-$42, available at the Harvard Box Office or by phone (617) 496-2222. Student rush $5, begins at 6:30 on the day of concert. Sanders Theater. (TIH)

SUICIDE. Legendary synth-pop pioneers headline a show also featuring experimental bands Calla and The Cignal. A must-see for discerning indie kids and longtime music fans alike. Friday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets $15. The Middle East, 472-480 Massachusetts Ave., (617) 864-EAST. (RJK)

APPLES IN STEREO. A night of indie-pop with the favorite lo-fi trio. Opening bands are Oranger and Dragstrip Courage. Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets $10. The Middle East, 472-480 Massachusetts Ave., (617) 864-EAST. (RJK)

THE RAPTURE. Hotly tipped New York City post-punk newcomers share the stage with hotly tipped New York City avant-funk band Out Hud. Go if you need to be a hipster, or just to experience some of the most exciting sounds in contemporary rock. Thursday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets $10 advance, $12 door. The Middle East, 472-480 Massachusetts Ave., (617) 864-EAST. (RJK)

MC PAUL BARMAN. Geek rapper extraordinaire drops knowledge and irony on Cambridge with multisyllabic nerdplay. Thursday, Feb. 13 at 11:15 p.m. Tickets $10. T.T. the Bear’s Place, 10 Brookline St., (617) 492-0082. (RJK)

ELEMENTS. Dance to raucous drum & bass in close quarters, courtesy of guest DJs sCi and Aria. Optionally, mingle with the confused restaurant patrons as a bonus. Thursday, Feb. 13 at 10 p.m. Tickets $3-$5; free before 10 p.m. The Phoenix Landing, 512 Massachusetts Ave., (617) 576-6260.

film

I AM CURIOUS (YELLOW) and I AM CURIOUS (BLUE). Olof Palme, the former Prime Minister of Sweden, appears in the highly controversial and celebrated 1967 film I Am Curious (Yellow). The 1968 counterpart is just as erotic and just as blunt in its portrayal of contemporary youth. Directed by Vilgot Sjˆman. Screenings Saturday Feb. 8. 7 pm and 9:30 pm, respectively. Tickets $7/students $5. No one under 18 admitted. Harvard Film Archive, Carpenter Center. (TIH)

BOSTON FAITH AND FILM FESTIVAL. This weekend, Brattle hosts the 2003 Boston Faith and Film Festival, a two-day, seven-film extravaganza. Revered classics from Bunuel and Dreyer will share space with such recent works as Malcolm X, Amelie and The Apostle. Friday, Feb. 7 and Saturday, Feb. 8. Tickets $8.50, $7.50 matinees, $5.50 seniors/children under 12. Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., (617) 876-6837. (BJS)

HARVARD SQUARE LOEWS

10 CHURCH ST., (617) 864-4580

ABOUT SCHMIDT. About Schmidt, in a bizarrely somber, comedic fashion, is possibly the most depressing film of Jack Nicholson’s long career. His performance as a retired insurance executive is a deeply complex and hilariously tragic portrayal of the most banal aspects of one man’s post-mid-life crisis. Director Alexander Payne, famous for his digressions on suburban angst in films such as Election and Citizen Ruth, keeps the tone light and the characters archetypally and delicously bizarre. About Schmidt screens at 12:15, 3:15, 7 and 10 p.m. (CJF)

ADAPTATION. At its core, Adaptation is an analysis of the intellectual diseases that plague every writer, from editorial pressure to sibling rivalry to unrequited love. But its narrative edges make it a unique experience. Nicolas Cage plays writer Charlie Kaufman (the real-life writer of the film), who becomes consumed by his assignment to adapt Susan Orlean’s meditative nonfiction novel The Orchid Thief and his own personal eccentricities. Like Kaufman and director Spike Jonze’s previous film Being John Malkovich, several plots overlap and intertwine with surprising dramatic twists, creating a frustrating, complex film that is infinitely insightful and weirdly moving. Adaptation screens at 12:30, 3:30, 6:15 and 9:15 p.m. (CJF)

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. Steven Spielberg takes a breather from sci-fi/adventure romps and historical morality plays to dust off his moribund ‘lost boy’ conceit, reigniting it to power this breezy, rambling 1960s-set caper. Leonardo DiCaprio spends the movie perpetrating a richly entertaining string of identity cons and check fraud that Spielberg tempers with rather obvious meditations on the state of the nuclear family. Amidst the mischief and philosophizing, Tom Hanks, as the dry, wry FBI man tailing DiCaprio, ends up stealing the movie by internalizing his ‘decent everyman’ persona. Hanks begins the film with a lid on his personality, but gradually relaxes enough to reveal a remarkable warmth. Catch Me If You Can screens at 12, 3, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. (BJS)

CHICAGO. The potential revival of the Hollywood musical is upon us with Chicago—for better or worse. Ignoring its politicized ramifications as a genre revival, Chicago on its own is a pretty wild ride, showcasing once and for all that the new school of glitzy film stars can sing better than Jennifer Lopez. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, and especially John C. Reilly are surprisingly watchable in this furiously edited, expensive adaptation of the murderous Broadway classic. Die-hard Bob Fosse fans may leave screaming in disgust, but fortunately for the rest of us director Rob Marshall knows the difference between film and theater, and milks it with remarkable excess. Chicago screens at 1, 4, 7:30 and 10:10 p.m. (CJF)

THE HOURS. This adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer-winning novel is unapologetically Oscar bait, a solemn, century-spanning “what is life?” treatise backed by a triumvirate of A-list actresses (Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore) and directed by Billy Elliot vet Stephen Daldry. Yet for a film of its ostensible weight, The Hours certainly takes easy shots at its lead trio – three colossally boring straw women who rediscover their lost vitality in drearily obvious ways as the picture progresses. Perhaps The Hours’ greatest value rests in its side-by-side comparison of Moore, the greatest actress of

her generation, and Streep, the most acclaimed actress of hers; when judged head-to-head, Moore ends up easily topping Streep, if for no other reason than that Streep persists in being an actress onscreen while Moore is content to be a person. The Hours screens at 12:45, 3:45, 6:45 and 9:45 p.m. (BJS)

KENDALL SQUARE CINEMA

ONE KENDALL SQ., (617) 494-9800

25TH HOUR. Spike Lee’s latest film isn’t much of a narrative departure from his previous efforts. Money and shattered dreams rule this story of drug dealer Monty Brogan’s (Edward Norton) last day of freedom before his seven-year jail sentence begins. The final act packs a phenomonal punch, but its dealer-with-a-heart-of-gold premise is predictable and derivative, typical of Lee’s long-time filmic obsession with the soft side of seemingly reprehensible humanity. 25th Hour screens at 2:45, 6:25 and 9:25 p.m. (CJF)

BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE. Michael Moore’s quintessential documentary on red-neck Americana and its political basis has turned more heads in curiosity than a gun show in Harvard Square would. Criticized for its self-indulgence and questionable objectivity, Bowling for Columbine is nonetheless a dazzling example of the power of politically charged cinema. Probably the most talked-about film of the year, Columbine effectively condenses nearly a decade of American history into a digestible, moving meditation on the sources of American gun violence. That’s no small feat. Bowling for Columbine screens at 1:35, 4:15, 7:10 and 9:50 p.m. (CJF)

CITY OF GOD. Brazilian Fernando Meirelles’ high-energy depiction of gang warfare in the titular Rio de Janeiro slum has been met with critical raves and comparisons to the mob pictures of Martin Scorsese. The protagonist, a young photographer named Rocket, succeeds in evading the gang lifestyle; his childhood friend fails to follow suit, instead succumbing to the temptations of crime and power. Dynamic, darkly funny and spitting electricity, City of God presents a strife-ridden world lurching towards destruction. City of God screens at 1, 3:50, 6:40 and 9:30 p.m. (BJS)

FAR FROM HEAVEN. The most versatile actress currently making movies, Julianne Moore’s performance in Far from Heaven ranks among her very best. Her poised, compassionate ’50s housewife, Cathy Whitaker, makes Donna Reed look like Medea—until she finds her husband making out with another man and herself falling in love with the African American gardener. As her reputation and family life shatter, Moore’s prim mother strains admirably and pathetically to keep herself going. Her character’s pristine married life behind her, the concluding expression on Moore’s face is as poignant and devastating as that of Meryl Streep’s suicide victim in Sophie’s Choice. Far from Heaven screens at 1:40, 4:05 and 6:30 p.m. (NKB)

GANGS OF NEW YORK. In Gangs of New York, Leonardo Dicaprio solidifies his reputation as the savior of super-long historical epics that go tens of millions of dollars over-budget. In his first decent film since Titanic, Dicaprio plays Amsterdam Vallon, another troubled but determined young man struggling against deep social divisions. Last time he was trying to give Kate Winslet a reason to live; this time he wants to kill a guy nicknamed Bill the Butcher. Gangs of New York is as loaded with scenes of bloodshed as Titanic’s had cliches. Like his last memorable effort, and more than with most movies, Dicaprio’s new film is one whose extreme style is subject to personal taste. Gangs of New York screens at 9:00 p.m. (NKB)

THE PIANIST. Adrien Brody’s magnetic, largely silent performance in Roman Polanski’s Holocaust drama almost compensates for The Pianist’s inconsistent tone and distasteful political sensibilities. Brody’s Wladek Szpilman, who could hardly have picked a worse time and place to be Jewish, transforms from cocky concert pianist to starving phantom hunted by Nazis after escaping death in the bombed-out ghetto. The film soars briefly as it reflects on the redemptive power of music and the Szpilman’s commitment to survival; it stumbles badly in its misleading depiction of universally heroic Poles and in its sympathy for an officer of Hitler’s vicious army to the east. The Pianist screens at 2:35, 6 and 9:10 p.m. (NKB)

THE QUIET AMERICAN. Michael Caine is garnering some of the best reviews of his career for his role as a hardened journalist in this adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel. The film, set in 1950s Vietnam, pits Caine against Brendan Fraser’s undercover American spy as Fraser vies for the affections of Caine’s Vietnamese mistress (Do Thi Hai Yen). Fraser’s intervention in the romance is intended to parallel the film’s other plot—a commentary on the early American efforts to eradicate communism in Vietnam. Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) and Robert Schenkkan adapt Greene’s book, while Phillip Noyce (Rabbit-Proof Fence) directs. The Quiet American screens at 2:15, 4:35, 7 and 9:40 p.m. (BJS)

RABBIT-PROOF FENCE. Those expecting an idyllic romp through the countryside had best look elswehere. This heart-jerker is based on the true story of three Australian aboriginal girls abducted from their homes in 1931 due to a government policy aiming to educate native children in white Australian culture. Portraying their escape from the training camp, the film follows the girls as they avoid professional trackers and attempt to find their way home using the country’s long rabbit fence. Director Phillip Noyce avoids painting the bureaucrat in charge of the program (Kenneth Branagh) as a one-dimensional villain, opting for a more sophisticated view of the racial superiority that is still found in Australia. Rabbit-Proof Fence screens at 2:05, 4:25, 6:50 and 9:15 p.m. (RJK)

RIVERS AND TIDES. A documentary about erosion may sound as appetizing as a plate piled high with General Wong’s Chicken, but filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer has apparently met the challenge and created an erosion movie worth seeing. Rivers and Tides tracks artist Andy Goldsworthy, a Scottish sculptor of what he dubs “earthworks,” organic creations positioned in a fashion and location that leaves them vulnerable to the elements. Works of stone, ice and wood are placed on land or in the sea in such a way that they are beaten into uselessness or oblivion. Sounds like an Ingmar Bergman PBS documentary. Rivers and Tides screens at 2:25, 4:55, 7:35 and 10:05 p.m. (BJS)

TALK TO HER. With Golden Globes and the Oscars just around the corner, the only recognition that Pedro Almodovar’s pretentious Talk to Her deserves is as the year’s most overrated film. Though beautifully shot and populated with a set of unusually complicated characters, Talk to Her shamelessly and outrageously asks its audience to sympathize with a rapist. The film manages, paradoxically, to be both sloppily edited and deadeningly self-conscious. As it progresses, the audience is slowly but surely ushered into a stupor very closely resembling that of the coma victim at the story’s inane center. Talk to Her screens at 2:15, 4:45, 7:20 and 9:55 p.m. (NKB)

—Compiled by Nathan K. Burstein ’04, Clint J. Froehlich ’05, Tiffany I. Hsieh ’04, Ryan J. Kuo ’04, Sarah L. Solorzano ’05, and Benjamin J. Soskin ’04.