arts 12.14.06

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Daily Candy on the new wine bar/restaurant Varietal, 138 W. 25th [6th/7th] 212.633.1800: puff, fawn, ooze. MUG on Varietal: ugly, bad lighting, noisy, unfriendly.

indie rock… Friday: If you missed their sold out show this week, catch We Are Scientists at the sure-to-be-packed Ruff Club party at The Annex. Saturday: Chavez taunts us again, reuniting for a sure-to-be-awesome show at Warsaw. Just announced…1/26: M. Ward. 3/6: Grizzly Bear. 3/20: Explosions in the Sky.

classical… This Sunday, December 17, 3pm, Anima Music performs the joyous sounds of the season: Bach's Christmas Oratorios, Parts I-III, at St. Bart's, Park and 51st. Tickets are $25 and $35.

good deedStockings With Care needs more last-minute Santas. This is the nonprofit organization that gathers up Christmas wish lists from kids in shelters and at-risk environments and then assigns Santas to take care of one or all of their three wishes. For most of the 3,000 kids involved, the presents from volunteer Santas are the only ones they'll get. They just got a batch of new wish lists and they don't have enough Santas to go around. If you can help, email them ASAP at

kids… William Wegman signs the DVD of Alphabet Soup, in which weimaraners coach viewers through all 26 letters of the alphabet. December 19th, 7pm, at Barnes & Noble, 675 6th [21st] 212.727.1227.

moviesReminiscing in Tempo is a documentary about Duke Ellington and the reminiscing, in this case, takes place largely at the birthday party his sister Ruth gave for him every year, even after he died in 1974. Among the talking heads, Bobby Short, Al Hibbler, and Billy Taylor. Starts tomorrow at the Quad.

art… Sculpture and jewelry from Dutch ceramic artist Pauline Wiertz makes up a Wunderkammer (chamber of wonders) at Frederieke Taylor Gallery, 535 W. 22nd [10th/11th] 646.230.0992. You'll find out how chicken legs figure into her work.

documentaries… Two documentaries, both about Africa. War Dance isn't currently playing, but the seven-and-a-half minute preview is well worth the time. In Uganda, 20,000 school compete in the national music competition. In the north, though, there is a horrible, brutal war taking place (some have called it one of the "worst five places in the world in which to wake up.") The film is about a group of kids from the north, living in internment camps, who enter the competition. See the trailer here.

This Sunday, 4pm, there will be a screening of the short film Topsy about a clown theater group called the Glass Contraption and their trip to South Africa's Topsy Center for Children Living with HIV. Also screened will be a short version of the full-length documentary i-Themba, about the South African Sinikithemba Choir and one of its leading members, a 26-year-old AIDS counselor. It takes place at i-Shebeen Madiba, 195 DeKalb [Carlton/Adelphi] Bklyn 718.855.9190. Free, but a $25 donation is suggested.

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