Monday, January 5: The dreaded post-holiday Monday has finally arrived and its going to be a rough one. Not that we would ever encourage extending your time off, but if you do, we recommend checking out the recently re-opened Academy of Sciences in San Franciscos historic Golden Gate Park. Its main attractions -- including a planetarium, bird sanctuary, aquarium, and natural history museum -- were recently revamped as part of an overhaul necessitated by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Theres even a four-story rainforest. Since its relaunch, the academy (now earthquake-resistant) has become one of the hottest tickets among locals and visitors alike, who queued up for more than a mile on opening day. For information and tickets, visit the Academys website.
Tuesday, January 6: If you havent snatched up your tickets for tonights sold-out performance of Puccinis La Bohme at The Metropolitan Opera, one of the most frequently performed works in the world, you can listen in to the event live through Sirius Satellite radio (details here). The famed libretto tells the story of four struggling Parisians in the early 1800s who, despite being nearly destitute, are focused on the simple pursuit of art, love, and laughter. When a seamstress, Mimi, is forced to ask her neighbor and struggling poet Rodolfo for a light for her candle, a flame of a different variety ignites and a tender (tragic) 19thcentury romance is born. See this clip as Mimi introduces herself to Rodolfo in the aria Si, mi chiamano Mimi (Yes, they call me Mimi). Then head to The Mets website to secure tickets for upcoming performances, including Don Giovanni (Mozart) and Madama Butterfly (another Puccini classic).
Wednesday, January 7: The second season of the adrenaline-fueled drama Damages, starring Glenn Close and Rose Byrne, premieres tonight on FX. Last season (for which Close snagged both an Emmy and a Golden Globe), the show introduced the story of freshman attorney Ellen Parsons (Byrne) as she joined the prestigious and cutthroat Manhattan law firm of Hewes and Associates. In her first assignment, Parsons was assigned to a billion-dollar civil suit against an Enron-esque company (and its CEO, played by Ted Danson). The plot thickened with the brutal murder of Parsons fianc and the attempted offing of the recent graduate herself. Discovering that her boss, the notorious ball-busting litigant Patty Hewes (Close), was behind the attempt to snuff her out, Parsons teamed up with the Feds and their ongoing investigation into Hewes. Academy Award winners William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden join the cast this season, which promises to be even more thrilling (watch the trailer). Damages airs tonight at 10:00 PM EST/PST.
Thursday, January 8: Anyone familiar with Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, knows there's much more to the prolific and imaginative writer than childrens stories. The retrospective exhibit Theres a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak, currently at Philadelphias Rosenbach Museum & Library, examines the gay author's skill at weaving complex childhood emotions with haunting personal memories, all through brilliant wordplay and gripping visuals. The interactive show features more than 300 original water colors, sketches, manuscripts, and books from the past 50 years. Visit the exhibit website for more information and tickets. And take a peek at this interview with the author himself.
Friday, January 9: Movie goers and history buffs in Los Angeles and New York can catch the first installment of the Steven Soderbergh biopic Che, starring Benicio del Toro as the legendary Marxist revolutionary. The film, originally screened as a limited-run, four-hours-plus edition in late 2008 to qualify for Oscar contention, has now been divided into two parts (The Argentine, released today, and The Guerilla, to be released next month). This is Del Toros first major motion picture performance in Spanish (with English subtitles, of course), and the Puerto Rican actor has termed it one of his most challenging to date. The Argentine (catch the trailer) will be released nationwide January 24.
Saturday, January 10: Honestly, what the hell would the 1970s be without disco? And when we think disco, we think The Village People. (Well, theyre at least one of the acts that come to mind -- and certainly the campiest.) The group enjoyed a quick rise to fame when their iconic costumes, moustaches, and suggestive lyrics (all designed to play to a gay audience) resonated with the mainstream crowd of the time. Take a gander at the music video for their 1985 song Sex Over the Phone, which may be the acts campiest tune of all. They bring it all back tonight at The Star of the Desert Arena at Primm Valley Resort in Primm, Nev., at 8:00 PM PST. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, macho man.
Sunday, January 11: Tonight stars of the small and big screens come together to celebrate the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles. In addition to dishing on the celebs' outfits, pay close attention to important nominations for us this year, including Sean Penns nod for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his dazzling portrayal of slain gay politician Harvey Milk. Out cover boy James Franco also scored a nomination (not for his role in Milk, but for Best actor in a Musical or Comedy for Pineapple Express.) Australia was completely shut out (yep, even Nicole Kidman was shunned), but keep a keen eye on Doubt and Slumdog Millionaire, which we expect to take home statues. Hosted by Jake Gyllenhaal, Glenn Close, and Ricky Gervais, the show officially runs from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM EST, with additional details available straight from the horses mouth.