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The Weekend It List: Dec. 14-16

Your time off is precious.

We happen to spend our on-the-clock hours combing through the many options NYC has to offer, so let us help you maximize those days off. Every week, we distill the very best the weekend has to offer.

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eat it.

For two years, Sunset Park residents have been
Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

For two years, Sunset Park residents have been watching the sign: "coming soon." And, with little fanfare, just before Thanksgiving, soon was now. Japan Village had opened.

Still in the soft launch phase -- i.e., there's much more on the horizon -- the latest addition to Industry City was worth the wait. Across 20,000 square feet, it's part Japanese grocery store (Sunrise Mart, specifically), and part food hall, with close to 10 options (and growing).

For Japanese cuisine lovers, there is, simply, nothing like it in the city. The market has the space to offer numerous varieties of imports, in addition to separate meat, seafood and tofu sections. We'll take that green tea Kit-Kat along with our sashimi-grade fish, thanks; it may take us a while to choose from all of the matcha powders, but we absolutely have our eyes on that wagyu beef.

And while you're dreaming of the delicious dinner you'll create from the fresh octopus legs, take your pick from the food stalls housed within JV. Among your choices are Café Japon, a coffee shop and bakery; Moriya, serving donburi (rice bowls); Gohei, focused on udon and soba noodles; street food stand Hachi, with takoyaki and okonomiyaki (octopus balls and savory pancakes, respectively); and ramen-centric Setagaya.

About that horizon: In January, a sit-down restaurant and cocktail bar is slated to open. Next summer, look for the reveal of a second floor, with nonfood items sourced directly from small and midsize Japanese retailers. 

believe it.

Do you believe in Cher, after Cher, after
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Do you believe in Cher, after Cher, after Cher?

Broadway's newest jukebox musical tells the life story of a singer with a persona so extreme, it takes three actresses to get the job done.

"The Cher Show" embodies the highs and lows of the Goddess of Pop's decades-long career in the spotlight, taking viewers on a journey that turns back time to "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour," infomercial flops and "Believe" redemption.

"Cher always refers to her legions of fans and what she does onstage as a ministry, and I've felt that," actress Stephanie J. Block (current Cher) says, explaining that fans are using the show as an opportunity to call out directly to Cher -- even when she's technically not there. "It truly is like a fellowship. It's wild; not like anything else I've experienced."

"The Cher Show" is playing an open run at the Neil Simon Theatre.

x it.

What's in a rating? Well, politics, often. Just
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

What's in a rating? Well, politics, often. Just look at the history of the Motion Picture Association of America's film rating system, which began 50 years ago as a spinoff of the morality-based Production Code. It's voluntary, or "voluntary," as you won't see many NR movies at your local monsterplex. You also won't see many saddled with the undesirable X.

Still, plenty of great films in the past half century have been X'ed out, and the Quad Cinema is celebrating them with its "Rated X" retrospective, which starts Friday. Some of the films listed -- including Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" from 1971 -- seem more deserving of a lighter brand, but, well, politics, and the NC-17 option didn't come into play until 1990.

The list is long -- the series goes into January -- and includes a healthy dose of John Waters ("Desperate Living," "Female Trouble"), horror ("The Evil Dead," "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer") and plenty of film school staples ("Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song," "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!"). It's one-stop shopping for an array of cinematic pioneers.

drink it.

Tall, soy, half-caff, extra shot, no foam --
Photo Credit: Matthew Glac Photography

Tall, soy, half-caff, extra shot, no foam -- if you didn't already have enough decisions to make with your Starbucks order, there are more coming.

On Friday, the massive Starbucks Reserve Roastery opens in the Meatpacking District and even includes a bar bar for cocktails.

The coffee giant's 23,000-square-foot space, which Starbucks says is the largest fully operational coffee roasting plant in Manhattan, will sell 14 rotating coffees at a scoop bar, growlers from a cold brew bar, coffee- and tea-infused cocktails and bites from Princi, a Milan bakery with one location in midtown.

The roastery is the fourth of its kind worldwide, following Seattle, Shanghai and Milan -- all of which serve "Reserve," the company's premium line of coffee. And unlike other New York City Starbucks outposts, customers are encouraged to stay awhile and peruse the brewing options -- pour over, Chemex, coffee press, siphon, Clover and more.

"If there's a customer that wants an experience where all five senses are utilized, this is where they might want to come," said Arlene De La Cruz, an assistant director at the Roastery. "If they want to come and get something quick, they might want to use that neighborhood store."

see it.

Madison Square Garden's Hulu-ville Theater is the place
Photo Credit: Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden's Hulu-ville Theater is the place to be this month if you hate Christmas, the whole Christmas season.

"The Grinch" is coming to the big stage for a particularly grouchy interpretation of the holiday by none other than the green guy himself. It pulls directly from the 1966 TV movie, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," but you should still expect a one-of-a-kind performance targeted toward grumpy New Yorkers.

"There are a lot of places for the Grinch to almost break the fourth wall and turn to the audience to make comments about the show," actor Gavin Lee (formerly Squidward on Broadway) says.


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