JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT THE HOLIDAYS WERE OVER: Italian lore olds that La Befana, an old witchy woman enlisted by the Three Kings to help them find Bethlehem, delivers gifts to children on Epiphany Eve, January 5. What this means for you: At Nolita’s Roman trattoria Emporio tonight, they re-up the tradition by distributing stockings stuffed with treats, gift certificates and more to lucky patrons on hand at midnight.
DEBUT: 50 very funny working comedians (you never know who’ll be in this lineup) crowd 92YTribeca for the Fifth Annual 50 First Jokes, with each one performing their very first joke of 2011 for you, the lucky audience. The whole thing goes down in a spirit of friendly competition – or as friendly as 50 people who crave the laughter of strangers can get – at 8PM.
RING SIDE: Plenty of washed-up actors get a second chance at proving their mettle, but few have done it with the riveting gravitas of Mickey Rourke in Oscar-winning film The Wrestler, directed by Black Swan’s Darren Aronofsky. (Also, most haven’t taken a T-50 staple gun to the chest to do it.) The Film Society of Lincoln Center screens the 2008 film as part of the mini-retrospective Darren Aronofsky’s Dreams and Nightmares at the Walter Reade at 6:15PM, followed by an in-depth conversation with Aronofsky in person.