Critics' guide to going out: 19/03/2010
Josephine Foster, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin 2
Listening to an American folk singer putting her own twist on the poems of Emily Dickinson in the setting of an art gallery may not be your typical way to spend a Friday night. But when the singer in question is the rather beautiful Josephine Foster, it's time to cancel your regular stool at the after-work pub. As a young teenager, Colorado-born Foster was already making her living from singing, though at first this was at weddings and funerals. Her earlier albums have ranged from blues and Americana to psychedelic rock and German Lieder. But her latest album is the most unorthodox to date, as it puts Miss Dickinson to song. This promises to be something a little bit special.
SATURDAY, MARCH 20
MGMT, Academy, Dublin, Saturday (€27.50)
Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden ratchet up the publicity campaign for their much-awaited second LP, Congratulations, with an intimate club date. Graduates of the agonisingly hip Brooklyn indie scene, the MGMT duo were, by all accounts, quietly appalled by the blockbuster success of debut Oracular Spectacular. Recorded in Los Angeles with former Spacemen 3 man Pete Kember, the sequel, we are promised, will see them pursuing a more experimental direction. Happily, they have also vowed never to wear bandanas in public again.
SUNDAY, MARCH 21
I Love You Phillip Morris, General Release
A film about homosexual jailbirds might not sound like the stuff of romantic comedy, but I Love You Phillip Morris is the most winning and touching romcom we've seen in a long time. Based on the true story of amiable conman Steven Jay Russell, the film stars Jim Carrey as Russell, a flamboyantly gay man in 80s America who merrily cons and embezzles left, right and centre in order to fund his lavish lifestyle. When all of this lands him in prison, he falls madly in love with a mild-mannered inmate called Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). And thereafter, Russell goes to impressive extremes to be with the love of his life. It's very funny and strangely moving, and Carrey has never been better.
MONDAY, MARCH 22
West Side Story, Cork Opera House
For a theatrical dream team, it would be difficult to beat William Shakespeare, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. West Side Story, a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet set in Harlem, burst onto Broadway just over 50 years ago and fast became a staple of popular culture. Many of the songs in the score are now standards -- including Tonight, America, Maria, I Feel Pretty and Somewhere -- and the Tony Award-winning choreography was revolutionary. Cork Opera House is one of the few commercial theatres in Ireland to have a track record in full-scale productions of musicals, and West Side Story follows last year's ambitious homegrown musical, Michael Collins.
TUESDAY, MARCH 23
Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, Science Gallery, Dublin 2
"Everything has been created out of sea mucus for love arises from the foam". Discover the underwater Garden of Eden that has actually been created out of this mucus of the sea by diving into the latest exhibition at Trinity College's Science Gallery. In an interesting/truly bizarre mix of mathematics, environmental science and the often overlooked art of crochet, this revelatory exhibition explores the fragility of our underwater ecosystem through a mathematical odyssey into climate change. Created by Christine and Margaret Wertheim, this reef has been seen all over the world and it grows in every new location as local craftworkers and artists add their own section, with this display featuring a dramatic piece of Irish reef. Who knew crocheting could be so fascinating?
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24
Wallis Bird, Academy, Dublin 1
There's much to like about the quirky bird that is Wallis Bird. Standing 5ft 2in in her stockinged feet, this bundle of impossible energy is quite the act to catch, throwing herself into every corner of the stage and virtually bouncing off the walls as she belts out her tunes. The winner of the Best Irish Female award at the recent Meteors, Ms Bird is on the road to celebrate the release of her second album, New Boots, the follow-up to 2007's Spoons. Actually, Bird hasn't really been off the road, as she spent the past two years touring with artists as diverse as Billy Bragg and Gabrielle, as well as playing lots of her own headlining gigs. She's a little bit of a cracker, who always makes a live gig her very own.
THURSDAY, MARCH 25
Girls Girls Girls, Crawdaddy, Dublin 2
Jay-Z's 2001 hit Girls, Girls, Girls should be the official anthem of this spanking new Thursday night venture featuring exclusively female DJs. Laura Lovejoy, Libby, Katie, Niamh Amy, Rebecca, Fran, De Vere and Sarah will mix up Blondie, La Roux, Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Neon Neon and a whole lot more. A cheap door tax and even cheaper booze sweetens the deal further. Girls Girls Girls launches this Thursday. And boys are allowed in too!