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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 19, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

    If you only do one thing this weekend, enter the dragon

    Laurence Mackin

    Film: Huzzah! One of the downpoints of last year was the closure of the LightHouse cinema in Dublin, so we’re delighted to see it is re-opening its doors on Friday night, after Element Pictures was announced as its new operator earlier this week. Expect it to become the cultural centre it always had the potential to become and bring some life to the area. Plus it’s a damn fine excuse for a pint in the Dice Bar or dinner in L Mulligan grocer. The perfect night out?

    Karate chops: It’s the year of the dragon, according to the Chinese, and there’s 1.3 billion of them so they can’t all be wrong. This is the perfect excuse to take up kung-fu, eat food that perhaps you shouldn’t, and dress like Bruce Lee for 12 months while delivering pearls of his wisdom from his book on philosophy (oh yes, it exists). Or you could just take part in Dublin’s Chinese New Year Festival. There’s a film festival, lots of opera, a lantern-making workshop and plenty more – no word yet on the nunchaku workshop we had been hoping for. It kicks off tomorrow and runs until February 3rd.

    Me. Earlier today

    Theatre: You can still catch at least three of the performers nominated in this year’s Irish Times Theatre Awards in action (and you can hear the judges justify their choices in this podcast), as Big Maggie is still doing the rounds. This excellent production from Druid has an all-star cast, including Keith Duffy, Charlie Murphy, Sarah Greene, John Olohan and Aisling O’Sullivan (the latter pair were nominated for their roles in this play, while Charlie Murphy got a nod for her role in Pygmalion). The production is at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo until Saturday, and then heads to the Town Hall Theatre from January 24th to 28th.

    Jazz: If you manage to keep your powder dry over the weekend and save some energy for early next week, the NCH has a special treat in store. Virtuoso pianist Tigran Hamasyan is playing a solo concert in the John Field Room on Tuesday night. I saw him at this year’s Nattjazz festival in Bergen, Norway. Technically, he is astonishing; when Herbie Hancock is singing your praises you know you’ve got chops. But he’s also got a singular, lyrical sound that is brought to bear on his latest album A Fable. I interviewed him last week – keep an eye out for the piece in next week’s Irish Times – and he should be bringing his A game on Tuesday night, so take the chance to see him in a small setting while you still can. Here is a taster for the weekend. You’re welcome.

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