arts 01.27.05


You risk contradiction when you call your rock and roll band Bellyfire, but no worries: these guys've got it. Bill Mann (singer, guitarist, songwriter), along with Dave Yantorno on guitar, Ben Zwerin on bass, and Patrick Carmichael on drums, have their first album out ("Feed," which you can hear samples of on iTunes) and they're performing this Saturday, 10pm, at The Hook, 18 Commerce [Columbia/Richards] Red Hook 718.797.3007.

"The Iditarod is the famous long-distance race in which yelping dogs tow a sled across Alaska. Our Idiotarod is pretty much the same thing, except that instead of dogs, it's people, instead of sleds, it's shopping carts, and instead of Alaska it's New York City." That's the irresistible pitch for joining the Idiotarod, this Saturday at 2pm. It starts at Fulton Ferry Pier and ends at Tompkins Square Park. More info. There's no fee, but they'd it appreciate if you'd register ahead of time by emailing or calling 718.855.8910. Really, how could you live anywhere in the world but here?

Great Fortune
If shopping carts and all that exertion are too much for you, you can't do better than to curl up with Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center (Penguin, $16). Written with great insouciance by Times ombudsman Daniel Okrent, this is an endlessly fascinating story, filled with one of the all-time, all-star casts: the high-kicking lineup includes Junior Rockefeller, Nelson Rockefeller, Roxy, Diego Rivera, Raymond Hood, Donald Deskey, Mussolini, Georgia O'Keeffe, the Metropolitan Opera, and Columbia University.

Get your foodie teams together for next month's Duckathlon (Saturday, February 26, noon-4:00pm, $20 per person). Twenty teams of four visit various restaurants and businesses in the Meatpacking District and Chelsea Market, answer a question or perform a task, before moving on to the next stop (points are awarded along the way). A prize for the team with the most points.

Pop Secret
In "Pop Secret," Louis Cameron's first solo exhibition at I-20, 529 W. 20th [10th/11th] 212.645.1100, the artist deconstructs such products as Mountain Dew, Newports, and Reynolds Wrap, re-using their colors in fascinating ways (and, good consumers that we are, the products still remain identifiable).

We're always happy when Shakespeare's around: There's Peter Hall's As You Like It at BAM (Brantley called it "exhilarating"), Shylock, which is Welsh actor Gareth Armstrong's one-man show — a re-telling of The Merchant of Venice from the point of view of Shylock's friend Tubal. On screen, The Merchant of Venice with Pacino, and there's Stephen Greenblatt's terrific Shakespeare "biography" Will in the World.
One more to add to yesterday's roundup of websites (with thanks to the reader who sent us the link): Zoomquilt.

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