NYC weekend picks: Our best bets
Our picks for what to see and do in the city.
(1000 Surf Ave., Brooklyn): The Coney Island attraction is open with thrill rides (like the new Luna 360), kiddie rides, a revamped arcade full of games and more. Go for the 87-year-old world-famous Cyclone roller coaster or 2014's new vertical lift steel roller coaster, The Thunderbolt. Luna Park's Halloween Harvest includes pick and paint pumpkins, costumed characters, candy apples and a celebration on the final day of the season with Food Network star Marc Maniac carving a giant gourd into a Halloween masterpiece. Info: Through Oct. 26, free entry, wristband deals $20-$42, 718-373-5862, lunaparknyc.com. --ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Luna Park NYC)
BIG APPLE CIRCUS: METAMORPHOSIS
The much-loved circus presents their trapeze artists, contortionists, clowns and animal acts such as Jenny Vidbel's , above, in an all-new show for their 37th season. WHEN|WHERE Oct. 17-Jan. 11 at Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center Plaza (West 62nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues). INFO From $25, 888-541-3750, bigapplecircus.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Big Apple Circus / Bertrand Guay)
(Saturday: East River State Park, 90 Kent Ave., Brooklyn; Sunday: Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park): Eat your way around the Brooklyn food scene at this outdoor market offering porchetta sandwiches, People's Pops and Ramen Burgers. Info: Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 29, free, smorgasburg.com — ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Keizo Shimamoto)
UBUNTU: MUSIC AND ARTS OF SOUTH AFRICA FESTIVAL
(Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, 881 Seventh Ave., at 57th St.): South Africa is the focus of this month-long citywide fest, which begins tonight with a performance by South African musical legends Hugh Masekela (pictured) and Vusi Mahlasela (plus guests) to celebrate 20 years of democracy. Info: Kickoff concert is Oct. 10 at 8 p.m., runs through Nov. 5, prices vary by event, 212-247-7800, carnegiehall.org/SouthAfrica -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Brett Rubin)
HENRI MATISSE: THE CUT-OUTS
(The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd St.): About 100 of Matisse's colorful and abstract cut paper works, which vary greatly in terms of shape and size, make up what is arguably the most anticipated exhibition of the fall season. Info: Opens Oct. 12 and runs through Feb. 8, $25 (timed tickets are required), 212-708-9400, moma.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Museum of Modern Art)
MARIO BATALI TOUR
(Various locations): Eat and drink your way through Greenwich Village as famed chef/restaurateur Mario Batali would in this three-hour culinary tour, which makes stops at two Batali-owned restaurants, Otto and Lupa, plus historic neighborhood sights and local food shops specializing in pasta and olive oil. Info: Weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; $64, 888-683-8671, walksofnewyork.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Mario Batali)
"LENNON THROUGH A GLASS ONION"
(Union Square Theatre, 100 E. 17th St.): Australian author/performer John R. Waters (pictured at right, with Stewart D'Arrietta) reimagines John Lennon through songs and monologues. Info: In previews for an Oct. 15 opening, $39.50-$71.40, 877-250-2929, lennononstage.com -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Joan Marcus)
"BILLY AND RAY"
(Vineyard Theatre, 108 E. 15th St.): Vincent Kartheiser (ambitious Pete Campbell on "Mad Men") and Larry Pine (at left in photo with Kartheiser) play Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler in Mike Bencivenga's comedy about the making of the film noir "Double Indemnity." Veteran Hollywood luminary Garry Marshall directs. Info: In previews for Oct. 20 opening, $79, 212-352-3101, vineyardtheatre.org -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Carol Rosegg)
THE HAUNTED PUMPKIN GARDEN
(The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx): Bring the kids for a day of pumpkin-themed fun, including costume parades, scavenger hunts, puppet theater play, spooky story times and more. You'll gape at the largest pumpkins around -- last year, the biggest topped 2,000 pounds. Info: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (excluding Monday), through Oct. 31; $25, $10 children 2-12, 718-817-8700, nybg.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Victor Chu)
(The Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53 St.): That's a pretty good title for a movie, especially a frothy adventure-comedy from 1940 starring Ann Sheridan (pictured with James Cagney), known in fan magazines as "The Oomph Girl." The film screens as part of an ongoing Sheridan retrospective. Info: Oct. 3 at 1:30 p.m.; series runs through Nov. 21; $12, 212-708-9400, moma.org -- RAFER GUZMAN (Credit: The Museum of Modern Art)
"THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME"
(Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St.): This unlikely adaptation of Mark Haddon's fascinating novel, narrated by a boy with autism, won seven Olivier Awards in London. (Pictured are Alex Sharp and Ian Barford.) Now we get to decide for ourselves. Info: In previews before the Oct. 5 opening; $27-$129, 212-239-6200, curiousbroadway.com -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Joan Marcus)
HIGH LINE AT THE RAIL YARDS
The High Line, the public park on a formerly abandoned elevated rail line on Manhattan's far West Side, opened its first section in the Meatpacking District in 2009. As of late September, it now extends the full length - 1.45 miles - from Gansevoort to West 34th Street, with the newest area, called High Line at the Rail Yards, snaking north from 30th Street. This stretch has largely untouched appearance, with areas where self-seeded wildflowers and native grasses have been left intact. Parts of the former rail line remain, and there's also a new silicon-coated section where kids can safely explore. Info: Daily from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. (the interim walkway section closes at 6 p.m.); Free, 212-206-9922, thehighline.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Iwan Baan)
NIGHTMARE: NEW YORK
(The Clemente, 107 Suffolk St.): It's Halloween season again, and this haunted house, now in its 11th season, includes frights that invoke horrific urban legends of New York City (think post-Sandy super rats, alligators in the sewers and mole people in the Subway tunnels). Info: Through Nov. 1; $30 online, $35 at door, 347-577-9999, hauntedhousenyc.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Michael Blase)
WOOLWORTH BUILDING LOBBY TOURS
(233 Broadway): When it was completed it 1913, lower Manhattan's Woolworth building -- at 792 feet high -- was the tallest in the world. Today, this historic landmark is dwarfed by skyscrapers near and far, but its stunning lobby, which features stained glass, Byzantine mosaics and other architectural flourishes, is still top of the class. Tours are now being offered in five languages. Custom tours available for groups of 10-35. Info: Sept. 26 at 1 p.m., Sept. 27 at 1 and 3 p.m., and Tuesdays through Sundays at various times; $15-$45, depending on length of tour (offered for 30, 60 or 90 minutes), 203-966-9663, woolworthtours.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Thomas McGovern)
(Lynn Redgrave Theater, 45 Bleecker St.): Rachel Dratch (pictured, with Sean Dugan), best known from "Saturday Night Live," explores the raunchy secret lives of scandalized politicians in Mario Correa's satire based exclusively on their own words in interviews, e-mails, texts and tweets. Info: In previews for an Oct. 1 opening; $25-$75, 866-811-4111, tailspinshow.com - - LINDA WINER (Credit: Carol Rosegg)
(Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St.): Playwright Ayad Akhtar earned a 2013 Pulitzer Prize for this dazzling play about a hotshot Muslim-American lawyer and a dinner party that rips open his ambivalence about his life and career. Gretchen Mol ("Boardwalk Empire") and Josh Radnor ("How I Met Your Mother") are in the five-person ensemble. Info: Previews begin Sept. 27 for an Oct. 23 opening; $37.50-$138, 212-239-6200, disgraceonbroadway.com -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Andrew Eccles)
"SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE"
(New York Theatre Workshop, 79 E. Fourth St.): Belgian avant-garde director Ivo van Hove - sometimes dazzling, sometimes just outrageous - takes on Ingmar Bergman's 1974 film, an intense close-up of a married couple (Tina Benko and Arliss Howard, pictured). Info: In previews before the Sept. 22 opening; $55; 212-279-4200; nytw.org -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Jan Versweyveld)
MAC CONNER: A NEW YORK LIFE
(Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. at 103rd St.): The work of one of New York City's original "Mad Men" — or ad men — is the focus of this new exhibition, which features 70 of Conner's original hand-painted illustrations from the 1940s through '60s. (Pictured is a Conner illustration from about 1950 that appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine.) Info: Daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Jan. 19; $10, 212-534-1672, mcny.org — ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Mac Conner)
"THE COUNTRY HOUSE"
(Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St.): Blythe Danner plays the matriarch in Donald Margulies' new Chekhovian comedy-drama about a family of artists in a weekend in the Berkshires. (Danner is pictured with Sarah Steele and Eric Lange.) Info: In previews before an Oct. 2 opening; $67-$125; 212-239-6200; manhattantheatreclub.org -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Michael Lamont)
NAM JUNE PAIK: BECOMING ROBOT
(Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Ave.): The Korean-American video artist, who died in 2006, is the focus of this retrospective, which looks at his process, his philosophy of technology and the intersection of technology and culture as experienced through his work. Info: Through Jan. 4, 2015; $12, free Fridays 6-9 p.m., 212-288-6400, asiasociety.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: John Bigelow Taylor Photography)
"THIS IS OUR YOUTH"
(Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St.): The Broadway season begins in earnest with Kieran Culkin, Michael Cera and Tavi Gevinson in the Steppenwolf Theatre revival of Kenneth Lonergan's 1996 coming-of-age comedy/drama about three New York roommates in 1990. Info: In previews for a Sept. 11 opening. (Credit: Brigitte Lacombe)
(98 N. Sixth St., Williamsburg): “Top Chef” Season 2 winner, Ilan Hall, who hails from Long Island, is not afraid of serving eclectic cuisine. Need proof? Look no further than the menu at his hip, new Brooklyn outpost of the Los Angeles original, which includes bacon-wrapped matzo balls, a whole roasted pig’s head and a dish called the “Jewish lunchbox.” Info: Open daily from 5:30 p.m.-midnight; the bar and roof have separate, extended hours; 718-387-0195, thegorbalsbk.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Driely S.)
(Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St., near Fifth Avenue): This Old Master, a 16th-century Spanish painter of Greek descent, is known for his startling and expressive portraiture. To mark the 400th anniversary of his death, The Frick spotlights his celebrated portrait, "Vincenzo Anastagi," above, presented face-to-face with "Jacopo Boncompagni," a work by El Greco's Roman contemporary Scipione Pulzone. Info: Aug. 8-Oct. 26; $20, pay what you wish Sundays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; 212-288-0700, frick.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Frick Collection)
(Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St.): Linda Simpson, who's been called "the thinking woman's drag queen," is your host for a fun-filled night of bingo, burlesque, laughs, food and drink. If your number comes up, you could win exciting prizes, from discount-store delights to a bucket of cash. Info: Saturdays at 7; free admission, $2 for each bingo card; 212-505-3474, lepoissonrouge.com -- DANIEL BUBBEO (Credit: Feral Cat Photography)
AMPLE HILLS CREAMERY
(305 Nevins St., Brooklyn): This new Gowanus spot, a spinoff of the original Prospect Heights location, offers a rotating roster of 24 ice cream and sorbet flavors like Sharktato (potato chip infused ice cream with mix-ins like pretzels and baby M&Ms), Mexican hot chocolate and the much-loved Salted Cracked Caramel. Info: Friday and Saturday, noon to midnight; Sunday-Thursday, noon to 11 p.m.; $4.35 for a scoop, 347-725-4061, amplehills.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Evan Barbour)