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5.24.10 My Top Ten RIGHT NOW

1. DANCE Momix at the Joyce

Rarely have I seen props used to such enjoyable ends as in this dance troupe’s effervescent and seductive series of numbers set to synth-y world music. There was a beaded hat that spun making incredible shapes and light patterns, a pair of skis that allowed physics defying movement and some yoga balls that proved lighthearted and slightly ridiculous. But the best was a piece without any prop at all, in which two humans bodies continued to entwine until they were hardly recognizable as anything remotely human. Some truly beautiful work being presented on that stage… A

2. ALBUM ArchAndroid Janelle Monae

This album spans so many different genres that I cannot even begin to classify what a unique and welcome talent this artist truly is. The standouts, and clearest bids for pop success are the fantastic and bouncy “Tightrope” and “Cold War.” But you cannot stop there and must delve deeper into the fantasy opus about a robot finding her groove as it moves through cabaret, jazz, soul, funk, symphonic, psychedelic and every other type of music you’ve ever heard. Despite not being equally talented in all realms, the scope and goal is too strong for it to fail… A

3. CONCERT Diana Ross at Radio City

Well, you can’t say much more than this was sheer ridiculousness of the most enjoyable kind. Ms. Ross’ voice is still in fine form, ripping her way through the great catalog of the Supremes as well as her own robust works. She could have truly used a director to hone in on her skills and keep her from looking lost, which she often seemed to be through over six costume changes (including a feathery lime green number that even Jim Henson couldn’t have dreamed of). But at the end of the day, listening to a living legend sing “Stop, in the Name of Love” and “I’m Coming Out” is rather priceless… B+

4. BOOK The Ask by Sam Lypsite

This book has a fantastic narrative voice, witty and sardonic. Too bad the plot does absolutely nothing to hold the reader’s attention, moving through a series of sad tales of trying to hold onto a job then losing it only to sort of get it again to lose it, blah, blah blah. Hopefully the next outing will have a narrative that lives up to the writing style… C

5. TV Dead Like Me – Season 2

I’m absolutely fascinated by this show and so sad that it didn’t make it past the second season. The darkly comic tone struck by this group of grim reapers is at once enjoyable and hugely thought provoking, asking questions about the hereafter that are just as enlightening, if not more so, for the living. The second season really pushed the family plotlines with a fantastic heartbreaking turn by Barbara Barrie and finally some explanation for the deep sadness of Mandy Patinkin’s Rube… A

6. TV Family Guy – Season Finale

Why did we need another Star Wars parody episode? There is absolutely nothing particularly revolutionary or funny about this condensed re-telling of Empire Strikes Back. Aside from a few site gags and Peter asserting that there’s no way the ship’s crew can die because 5 of the main characters are on board got a little chuckle, but the laughs were few and far between, and that’s no way to end a season… B-

7. MOVIE Easy Virtue

This West meets further West comedy of etiquette and morals could have been a fun and witty adaptation of Noel Coward, but instead got clouded by gimmicks. There’s a huge emphasis on trick shots of characters appearing in reflective surfaces and a heavy use of modern music transposed for a post-war era big band (“Carwash” should never sound like it was written by Cole Porter). Both of these things, I suppose, could have been clever and a method of modernizing something that seems tired and drab, but Noel Coward is far from tired. So let the man speak through some decent actors and not try to turn it into something it’s not… B

8. MUSIC VIDEO “Why Don’t You Love Me”

I have no clue what Beyonce is thinking with this video, but as always, it’s supremely enjoyable on a level of ridiculousness that only she can get away with. She sports a Betty Page hairstyle amazingly well, traipsing around a ‘50s style house for no clear reason. I’d say more, but it’s just better if you watch for yourself… A

FOOD Uncle Nick’s

There is no doubt in my mind that this restaurant has the best classic Greek food in Manhattan. Sure, there are more fancy places one could go, but for a true and hearty Greek meal, this is it. I strongly suggest the appetizer platter to give a fantastic taste of pretty much everything on the menu. A little saganaki is always a good addition as well. From there, the lamb kabob is a meaty delight, but the swordfish is really the way to go… A

TV The End of Lost

Never watched it. Never regretted not watching it. And now I’m just a bit happy that it is finally over and that my Entertainment Weekly can stop devoting entire issues to a show that I never watched. (You’re going to find a similar entry next week with the end of 24)… F

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