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NYC weekend picks: Our best bets
Don't have any weekend plans?
From concerts to festivals to relaxing in the city, we've got you covered.
Here are our picks for what to see and do in NYC this weekend.
Organized by the Swedish History Museum, this ambitious show includes hundreds of artifacts (including the Viking helmet pictured) and full-scale model ships. Visitors can explore a virtual excavation, learn about Norse mythology and play an early Scandinavian board game. Info: Through Sept. 5; $27.50, Discovery Times Square, 226 W. 44th St., 866-987-9692, discoverytsx.com (Credit: Swedish History Museum)
What was the conversation about race at Harvard when Obama was first elected? Lydia R. Diamond takes a deep look, with direction by Tony-winner Kenny Leon and a cast that includes Joshua Jackson (Showtime's "The Affair") and "Creed's" Tessa Thompson, pictured. Info: Through March 6; $60-$75, Tony Kiser Theatre, 305 W. 43rd St., 212-246-4422, 2st.com (Credit: Second Stage Theatre/ Emily Berl)
They may wear old hats, but Bill Irwin and David Shiner, pictured, are still new-vaudeville clown superstars. They are back with their 2013 success. Info: Through April 3; $45-$95, Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St., 212-244-7529, signaturetheatre.org (Credit: Joan Marcus)
HEAT & VICE: THE FILMS OF MICHAEL MANN
The director who defined 1980s neo-noir gets a complete retrospective of his film career. It begins with the gritty-cool thriller "Thief" (1981, starring James Caan) and includes the muy-macho "Heat" (1995, with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, pictured) and lesser-seen titles such as the 1983 horror film "The Keep." Mann will appear for a live discussion Feb. 11. Info: Friday, Feb. 5-Feb. 16; screenings $14, Mann's appearance $30; BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave., Fort Greene; 718-636-4100, bam.org (Credit: Warner Brothers / Photofest)
THE ILLUSIVE EYE
Let your perception play tricks on you at this exhibit focused on optical art and geometric abstraction. The show identifies roots for this kind of work in Egyptian and Eastern mysticism and includes pieces by artists from Venezuela, Cuba, Chile, Uruguay, the United States and elsewhere. Pictured: a 1961 painting by Brazilian artist Hermelindo Fiaminghi. Info: Wednesday, Feb. 3 through May 21; El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave., $9, 212-831-7272, elmuseo.org (Credit: Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collecti/ Peter Harholdt)
NYC OFF-BROADWAY WEEK
Two-for-one tickets are on sale now for more than 30 eligible shows. These include such new revivals as Sam Shepard "Buried Child" starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan; and the long-running "Avenue," pictured. A full list of shows (and ticket purchase) is online. INFO: Through Feb. 14 at theaters throughout Manhattan. nycgo.com/offbroadwayweek (Credit: Carol Rosegg)
Godfrey Reggio's meditation on the state of the world --- the film's title means 'life out of balance'; in the Hopi language --- was a wordless, impressionistic travelogue that nevertheless became a mainstream hit in 1982. It's the first in a three-week series titled "See it Big! Documentary"; that includes screenings of the concert film "Woodstock"; (Feb. 5); Les Blank's study of Werner Herzog, "Burden of Dreams"; (Feb. 14); Wim Wenders'; 3-D portrait of choreographer Pina Bausch, "Pina"; (Feb. 19); and many others. INFO: "Koyaanisqatsi"; screens Friday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Museum of the Moving Image, 36-10 35th Ave. in Astoria, Queens. Series runs through Feb. 21. $12 or free with museum admission, 718-777-6888, movingimage.us (Credit: Park Circus)
AUDUBON WINTER ECO-CRUISE
See harbor seals, ducks, geese, loons and sandpipers on this tour with NYC Audubon, a non-profit that runs conservation campaigns to protect birds and habitats in New York City. You'll also be able to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis and Governors islands and drink complimentary hot tea and cocoa in the heated cabin. Dress warmly and bring binoculars. INFO: Noon-2 p.m. on Sundays through March 13 (except Feb. 7), departing from South Street Seaport's Pier 16, Manhattan. $35, 212-742-1969, nywatertaxi.com/audubon-winter (Credit: Steve Nanz)
‘MONKEY BUSINESS: CELEBRATING THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY’
The Met rings in the Asian New Year with this small exhibit featuring depictions of monkeys in painting, ceramics, metalwork, jade carving and more, such as this Quing Dynasty porcelain saucer. INFO: Through July 24 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., Manhattan. $25, 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org (Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Robert Sean Leonard, pictured, costars in this world premiere by Pulitzer-winner John Patrick Shanley -- about an inner-city boy at a private school. INFO: Through March 20 at Manhattan Theatre Club, Stage 1, 131 W. 55th St., Manhattan. $90, 212-581-1212, nycitycenter.org (Credit: Manhattan Theatre Club)
'BERNDT TOAST GANG' EXHIBIT
The 'Berndt Toast Gang' is a nickname for the Long Island chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. The late Walter Berndt, who lived in Port Jefferson, created the newspaper comic Smitty. The chapter celebrates its 50th anniversary with this exhibition of members' work, including Sandy Kossin's "The Open Window"; pictured. INFO: Through Feb. 27 at the MoCCA Gallery, Society of Illustrators, 128 E. 63rd St. $10, 212-838-2560, societyillustrators.org (Credit: Sandy Kossin)
'STAR WARS AND THE POWER OF COSTUME'
Learn about the creative processes that went into creating memorable characters and their iconic garb for the first six "Star Wars" films. This exhibit features more than 70 costumes, including those of Jedi masters Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and Yoda; the gowns of Queen Amidala, Queen Jamillia and their handmaidens; and Darth Vader's suit and breathing apparatus. Info: Through September 5; $27.50, Discovery Times Square, 226 W. 44th St., 866-987-9692, discoverytsx.com. (Credit: Discovery Times Square/Paul Martinka)
'SENSE & SENSIBILITY'
Bedlam's adaptation of the Jane Austen classic returns after an acclaimed 2014 run. Info: Sunday, Jan. 24-March 6; $69, The Gym at Judson, 243 Thompson St., 866-811-4111, bedlam.org. (Credit: Elizabeth Nicholas)
'GREATER NEW YORK'
Take a look at what's being done by emerging NYC artists in the fourth installment of this exhibition (last seen in 2010) at MoMA's Queens offshoot. The show takes over the entire museum (a former New York City public school) with more than 400 works by 157 artists. Pictured: Collier Schorr's "The Painted Chair (Jordan)," from 2015. Info: Through March 7 (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays); $10, MoMa PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, 718-784-2084, momaps1.org. (Credit: Collier Schorr)
Tyrannosaurus rex and the big blue whale are about to get some company at the Natural History museum --- this 122-foot-long, plant-eating creature who roamed the earth 100 to 95 million years ago. The fossilized remains, pictured, were unearthed in Argentina's Patagonia region in 2014. Info: $22, 212-769-5100, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St., amnh.org. (Credit: Alejandro Otero)
The distinctive British actress, who at 69 is receiving the reviews of a lifetime in the new drama "45 Years," is the subject of a retrospective spanning some 50 years of her career. This weekend's screening is Woody Allen's rueful 1980 comedy "Stardust Memories," pictured. Info: 11 a.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, through March 6; $14, IFC Center, 323 Avenue of the Americas, 212-924-7771; ifccenter.com. (Credit: United Artists)
'THE BURIAL AT THEBES'
The Irish Repertory Theatre continues its mission to expand Irish dramatic literature with Seamus Heaney's adaptation of Sophocles' "Antigone," starring Paul O'Brien, pictured. Info: Through March 6; $71, DR2 Theatre, 103 E. 15th St., 212-352-3101, irishrep.org. (Credit: Carol Rosegg)
Andrea Martin, Megan Hilty, Campbell Scott and many others costar in this latest revival of Michael Frayn's classic backstage farce. American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St. Info: Through March 6; $67-$137, 212-719-1300, roundabouttheatre.org (Credit: roundabouttheatre.org/Jenny Anderson)
'JACOB A. RIIS: REVEALING NEW YORK'S OTHER HALF'
The first large-scale retrospective of work by the reporter and social activist illustrates how, at the turn of the 20th century, he used photography to shed light on the city's less fortunate, and how it affected change. The exhibit showcases 50 photographs and recreates Riis' famous slide lecture, "How the Other Half Lives." Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. Info: Through March 20; $14, 212-534-1672, mcny.org. (Credit: Jacob A. Riis)
'OUR MOTHER'S BRIEF AFFAIR'
(Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., Manhattan): Linda Lavin, pictured, is the mother in question in Tony-winner Richard Greenberg's serious comedy - his 11th play for Manhattan Theatre Club. Info: Through March 6; $60-$140, 212-239-6200, manhattantheatreclub.com (Credit: manhattantheatreclub.com)
(24 E. 39th St.): Midtown British restaurant The Peacock just relaunched brunch and have a comfy and fun patio perfect for the summer months. The prix fixe "Endless Punch Brunch" includes any 2 items from the menu and endless boozy punches for up to 90 minutes for $45. Menu items include: Scotch eggs (pictured), cod and caper cakes with minted mushy peas, chive-scrambled eggs with buttered crumpets and "Toad in the Hole:" chipolata sausage, Yorkshire pudding and caramelized onion. Info: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; thepeacocknyc.com (Credit: The Peacock)
'ARTISTIC FURNITURE OF THE GILDED AGE'
(Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., Manhattan): Travel back in time to New York City of the late 19th century to see the furniture and interior designs of some of the city's most luxurious mansions, such as the William H. Vanderbilt house and the Worsham-Rockefeller house, pictured. Info: Through May 1; $25, 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art)
(New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, Manhattan): Silicon Valley isn't the only setting for the rise of computer technology. "Silicon City: Computer History Made in New York" tells the city's tech story from the 1800s through the 1980s, including Samuel Morse's electric telegraph and the IBM Pavilion at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, pictured. Info: Through April 17, 2016; $20, 212-873-3400, nyhistoryy.org. (Credit: IBM Corporation Archives)
'FIDDLER ON THE ROOF'
(1681 Broadway, Manhattan): The 50th anniversary revival of the beloved musical stars Danny Burstein (pictured) as Tevye, the shtetl milkman, and is directed by Bartlett Sher, who staged the masterly revivals of "South Pacific" and "The King and I." Info: Through July 3; $35-$167; 212-239-6200; fiddlermusical.com. (Credit: Jessica Gordon)
'THE COLOR PURPLE'
(Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W. 45th St., Manhattan): Director John Doyle's production is a scaled-down reimagining of the 2004 musical adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer-winning novel, this time starring, from left, Jennifer Hudson, Brit actress Cynthia Erivo and Danielle Brooks (Taystee on "Orange is the New Black"). Info: Through March 27; $75-$145, 212-239-6200, colorpurple.com. (Credit: Polk and Co.)
EXHIBIT THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT
(Premier Exhibitions 5th Avenue, 417 5th Ave., Manhattan): This exhibition whisks visitors to Egypt in the 1920s, when Howard Carter and his team excavated Tutankhamun's tomb. Replicas recreate the scene, and an audio tour draws from Carter's diaries and other documents. A handful of experts give "Tut Talks," and a special gallery is devoted to New York's obsession with Tut over the years. Info: Through May 1; $29, 646-979-4120, tutnyc.com. (Credit: Premier Exhibitions)
'SCHOOL OF ROCK'
(Winter Garden Theatre, 1634 Broadway, Manhattan): Andrew Lloyd Webber takes on the popular movie about a wannabe rock star (Alex Brightman, pictured) who subs at a prep school. Info: Through June 12; $79-$250, 212-239-6200, schoolofrockthemusical.com. (Credit: Timmy Blupe)
(American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, Manhattan): "Dark Universe" is back on a brand new 360-degree screen. The American Museum of Natural History's newly renovated Hayden Planetarium reopened at the end of November, and the space show narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson is once again playing. Based on real data from NASA missions and ground telescopes, it tells the story of important scientific discoveries and of new mysteries like dark matter and dark energy. Info: $27, 212-769-5200, amnh.org. (Credit: AMNH / C. Chesek)
'JACQUELINE DE RIBES: THE ART OF STYLE'
(Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., Manhattan): The French countess Jacqueline de Ribes, pictured, was a consumer of haute couture, the creator of her own clothing line and a fashion icon. The Met's Costume Institute devotes its fall exhibit to the elegant dark-haired beauty, with dozens of ensembles as well as photographs and ephemera. Info: Through February 21, 2016; $25, 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Credit: Rolof Beny)
(Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn): The Brooklyn Museum embraces one of the borough's most vibrant landmarks in "Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008." The exhibit features paintings, posters, artifacts and photographs such as Harvey Stein's 1982 "The Hug," pictured. An installation by artist Stephen Powers and select photos from the museum's collection complement the show. Info: Through March 13, 2016; $16, 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org. (Credit: Harvey Stein)
THE SECRET WORLD INSIDE YOU
(American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, Manhattan): Roughly 100 trillion bacteria live in and on each human body, according to the American Museum of Natural History, and play a fundamental role in the digestive system, immune system, brain and more. "The Secret World Inside You" examines the human "microbiome" through models, computer interactives, videos, art installations and live theater. Info: Through Aug. 14, 2016; $22 (suggested), 212-769-5100, amnh.org. (Credit: Denis Finnin)
'ALLEGIANCE: A NEW AMERICAN MUSICAL'
(Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St., Manhattan): George Takei, who played Sulu on the original "Star Trek," stars in a show based on his own family’s experiences as Japanese-Americans during World War II. Lea Salonga, pictured, also stars. Info: Open-ended run; $45-$149, 212-239-6200, allegiancemusical.com. (Credit: O and M Co./ ISAAC)
PEOPLING OF AMERICAN CENTER
(Ellis Island): Ellis Island has long been a hub to learn about the history of immigration to the United States. The new Peopling of America Center expands the site's scope by delving into the story of immigration before Ellis Island opened as a processing center in 1892 and after it closed in 1954. The new World Migration Globe illustrates migration patterns throughout history and the American Flag of Faces, an interactive video display, is comprised of photos submitted by the public. Info: Open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; ferries depart from Battery Park; free, 212-561-4588, nwsdy.li/peoplingamerica. (Credit: Craig Ruttle)
'LIVING ON LOVE'
(Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St.): Renee Fleming, genuine opera superstar, plays an opera diva with operatic marital problems in this newcomedy by Joe DiPietro, directed by Kathleen Marshall. Info: In previews before an April 20 opening; $25-$145; 212-239-6200; livingonlovebroadway.com. -- Linda Winer (Credit: Andrew Eccles)
'DADDY LONG LEGS'
(Davenport Theatre, 354 W. 45th St., Manhattan): Musical adaptation with score and book by Paul Gordon ("Jane Eyre") and John Caird ("Les Misérables") retells the Cinderella story of an orphan (Megan McGinnis, pictured) and her mysterious benefactor (Paul Alexander Nolan). Info: Open-ended run; $59-$99, 212-239-6200, daddylonglegsmusical.com. (Credit: Jeremy Daniel)
RUSS and DAUGHTERS CAFE
RUSS AND DAUGHTERS CAFE (127 Orchard St.): Give dad what he really wants for Father's Day - all the chopped liver, smoked fish and caviar that he can eat from the famed Lower East Side joint's just-opened cafe. INFO: Open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner daily (except Tuesdays). No reservations. 212-475-4881, russanddaughterscafe.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Kelli Anderson/Jen Snow)
'ON YOUR FEET!'
(Marquis Theatre, 46th Street, between Broadway and Eight Avenue, inside the Marriott Marquis Hotel): Emilio Estefan (Josh Segarra) and Gloria Estefan (Ana Villafañe) tell their story through hit songs, along with some new music. Jerry Mitchell ("Kinky Boots") directs. Info: Open-ended run; $55-$149, 877-250-2929 or 212-382-0100 (box office), onyourfeetmusical.com. (Credit: Matthew Murphy)
(National Museum of Mathematics, 11 E. 26th St.): Visitors wearing color-coded SensorPacks can interact with two dozen small, colorful robots, which will move around under a glass floor, in a new permanent exhibition at the kid-friendly Museum of Mathematics. Info: Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $15, 212-542-0566, momath.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Filip Wolak)
(Location TBA): Part walking tour, part whodunit, "Accomplice: The Village" is an original two-hour interactive theater experience that tasks participants with helping a kidnapped girl. Info: Saturdays between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. and Sundays between 1:30 and 3 p.m.; $65 per person (includes two drinks; ages 12+), 212-242-1524, accomplicetheshow.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Noel Woodford)
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)
(M. Wells Steakhouse, 43-15 Crescent St., Long Island City, Queens): Transport yourself to the south of France at the start of the 20th century without leaving New York City. M. Wells steakhouse in Long Island City sets up friendly petanque tournaments every Sunday, a game that is the Gallic variation on boccie. Players and spectators can snack on tacos, cider, wine and beer on the sidelines. Sign up individually or in teams of three by emailing email@example.com. Info: 3 p.m. Sundays (sign up at 2 p.m. or via phone/email); free, 718-786-9060, magasinwells.com. (Credit: Jesse Winter)
PIXAR: THE DESIGN OF STORY
(Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, 2 E. 91st St., Manhattan): Immerse yourself in some of Pixar's most famous films with concept art (sketches, paintings and sculptures) from movies including "Toy Story," "WALL-E," "Up," "Brave" and "Cars." Info: Through August 7; $18 ($16 in advance), 212-849-8400, cooperhewitt.org. (Credit: Disney/Pixar)
ONE WORLD OBSERVATORY
(One World Trade Center, 285 Fulton St., Manhattan): At One World Observatory, its ground level to the 102nd floor in less than 60 seconds in a SkyPod elevator, which surrounds visitors with a time-lapse of centuries of the New York City skyline. The new observatory opens to the public Friday, May 29 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Its three floors include an immersive video presentation, 360-degree views from 1,250 feet, a Sky Portal with high-definition footage of the city streets below, three different dining options, and more. Info: Daily 9 a.m. to midnight, Friday, May 29 through Sept. 7 (when winter hours begin); $26-$90, 844-696-1776, oneworldobservatory.com. (Credit: Craig Ruttle)
‘BROOKLYN AMERICANS: HOCKEY’S FORGOTTEN PROMISE’
(Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn): When the Islanders moved from the Coliseum to Barclays Center, Brooklyn got a professional hockey team -- again. This exhibit looks at the borough’s first professional team. Visitors will see NHL programs from the 1920s and 30s, team photos, scrapbooks, goalie sticks, skates and more. Info: Through March 27; $10, 718-222-4111, brooklynhistory.org. (Credit: Scott Rudd)
MEET BETTY AND VERONICA
(Central Park Zoo, Fifth Avenue and 64th Street): Central Park Zoo recently added a new exhibit with two adult female grizzly bears, Betty and Veronica. Meet them now and learn about how humans can better coexist with grizzlies in the wild. Info: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily; $12 adults, $7 children 3-12; 212-439-6500; centralparkzoo.com. -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: WCS)
(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)
"ESCAPE THE ROOM" (25 W. 31st St., 11th floor): You're locked in a room with minimal clues and only 60 minutes to get out. Can you do it? Thousands have tried since this interactive game opened in February, but only 20 percent have succeeded. Gather together a group of six to 10 friends - or join a team of strangers - to see if you have what it takes to solve the puzzle. Info: Various times daily, $28 (tickets must be purchased in advance), 347-954-9160, escapetheroomnyc.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Rita Orlov)
CHINESE TEXTILES AND LACQUER
(Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., Manhattan): A pair of exhibitions opening this weekend at the Met explores the use of lacquer and textiles such as silk through several centuries of Chinese history. The textiles exhibit features tapestries, embroidery, theatrical garments and court costumes. The companion exhibit showcases lacquer screens, boxes and trays, such as this 14th century Ming Dynasty dish depicting birds and hollyhock. Info: Saturday, Aug. 15-Sunday, June 19, 2016; $25, 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art)
THE GORBALS (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.)
(Smithsonian Design Museum, 2 East 91st St.): After undergoing a major renovation, the Carnegie Mansion, which houses this historic and contemporary design museum, is reopening with new exhibits, including "Maira Kalman Selects" and "Beautiful Users: Designing for People." Info: Opening Dec. 12; $18, 212-849-8400, cooperhewitt.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Matt Flynn)