In a series of paintings that goes on display this week at the Yale Art Center (1001 Yale SE), Joy Davidson has created an entire petting zoo of disturbing creatures. Titled Everything's Fine, Davidson's one-woman show presents a blissfully kitschy selection of work that might make you smile but might also leave you feeling slightly unsettled. The exhibit opens this Friday with a reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m. For details, call 242-1669.
Ace is the Place
Love for the Street at Ace Barbershop
The name suggests the sort of place where you might drop in for a quick bowl cut and pick up a pound of nails on the way out, but don't be fooled. Ace Barbershop, which recently opened Downtown on Fourth Street, dodges all expectations.
Soy Sauce Maharaj and Riti Sachdeva tell the stories of East Indian indentured laborers slaving away on sugar cane plantations in Trinidad in a new play called Plantation Alaap, opening this weekend at Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW). Filled with live music and intricate costumes, this play should be as popular as the pair's highly successful Kalapani: The Crossing. The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. through March 12. To order tickets, call 480-5581, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by Alphaville Video at 3408 Central SE.
Edna Casman isn't the kind of artist who holds anything back. Her bright and bouncy abstract paintings are as unrestrained as they come. They seem to revel in the sheer limitless possibilities of color and shape. A new exhibit of Casman's paintings opens this Friday, March 4, at Unseen Gallery (108 Morningside NE) with a reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. during which the artist will make a rare public appearance. Casman's show runs through March 26. For details, call 232-2161.
Josie and Jack
Hey, Tipper Gore! You've been slacking on the job. You managed to get adult warning labels plastered on every potentially offensive CD from here to Bangladesh, but you totally missed the boat on all the thousands of volumes of smutty contemporary literature produced every year. What if this stuff fell into the hands of innocent children? Huh, Tipper? What then?
Coney Island Baby
Sarah Hall has an affinity for dying places. Her first novel, Haweswater, conjured a Northern England farm town teetering toward oblivion. Her latest leapfrogs to American shores and takes up action in the scabrous former seaside resort of Coney Island. Today the island is a welter of creaky Ferris Wheels and greasy hot-dog stands, but at the time of Hall's novel Coney Island is a thriving blue-collar retreat. Factory workers and immigrants fresh off the boat relish its beaches the way the rich once flocked to Newport, R.I. Their humble appreciation gives this novel a poignant ardency.