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The Weekend It List: Jan. 25-27

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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revisit it.

From the rolling hills of Hobbiton to the
Photo Credit: The Tolkien Estate

From the rolling hills of Hobbiton to the fiery hellscape of Mordor, J.R.R. Tolkien created an entire world that has captured the imaginations of young and old for generations --  and the author's original drawings, maps and manuscripts are now on display.

The Morgan Library & Museum presents what it says is the largest collection of Tolkien material ever assembled in the United States, "Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth," on Friday with 117 items borrowed from the Tolkien Archive at the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford and other lenders.

"It's as if we are looking over his shoulder while he composes and illustrates his vision of Middle-earth," John McQuillen, the library's associate curator of the Printed Books and Bindings Department, says. "We get a glimpse into the moments in the creation of the narrative, such as when he changes the wizard's name to Gandalf or suddenly comes up with the idea of the One Ring."

For super fans interested in learning more, The Morgan is hosting several public programs, including a lecture about Tolkien's writings and art, and a fantasy watercolor class with artist Max Greis.

As Gandalf would say: "Fly, you fools!"

humor it.

Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn

"Insecure" actress Amanda Seales says her first-ever comedy special isn't for the racists, homophobes, xenophobes -- or people who take their shoes and socks off on planes. If this sounds like you, turn around now.

The comedian -- a former Sugar Hill resident -- breaks into the HBO stand-up scene with "I Be Knowin'," a special she hopes serves as a voice for black women who are tired of having to "explain their blackness."

She returned to her hometown to tape the special at the Edison Ballroom on 47th Street. "New York City is like my abusive ex-boyfriend, so it's basically like coming back and him being my butler. It feels very receptive."

Throughout the 60-minute set, airing Sunday, she stirs up the audience with her take on the "levels of blackness," the art of complimenting others without saying a word, and the differences between dating in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

eat it.

Photo Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

Felincia "Fefe" Anggono started a small food fair at a church community center in Queens with the goal of bringing the cuisine of her native Indonesia to a wider audience. Mission accomplished: Seven years and a larger venue later, her New York Indonesian Food Bazaar hosts 20 or so vendors doing their part to represent a country with a diverse cuisine born of 17,000-plus islands.

"The Indonesian community in New York has supported the bazaar since our first event, but over the years people from all different cultures have attended and enjoyed the bazaar," Anggono, who grew up in East Java, Indonesia, says.

Now occurring monthly -- with a second January installment set for Saturday, thanks to demand -- you'll find dozens of interpretations of the Southeast Asian country's notable dishes. Most of the vendors aren't restaurant chefs; instead, the roster skews toward home cooks and caterers, plating bakso (meatballs), nasi kuning (turmeric rice), gado-gado (salad with tofu, tempeh, egg and peanut sauce) and other favorites.

Many of the cooks return month after month; Jeanny Djunaidi, originally from Surabaya, travels regularly from Pennsylvania to oversee her Bakso Soup of Philly stand.

"It's a homestyle dish and one of the most popular in Indonesia," she says. "I'm proud to introduce bakso to people who never tried it, and every month I see new faces and a variety of customers at my booth."

Next up: Another borough?

"I'd like to find a space in Manhattan for a second monthly bazaar," Anggono says. "I also dream of opening a permanent Indonesian food court someday."

rock it.

With Top 50 charts clogged with high-beat hits
Photo Credit: Shark Party Media

With Top 50 charts clogged with high-beat hits by Maroon 5 and Cardi B, allow the Screamin' Rebel Angels to take you back in time.

The East Williamsburg-based band, fronted by Laura Palmer, prides itself on a rockabilly sound with a twist. Think: '50s vocals and Little Richard cries meet punk-rock bass and drums.

The Rebel Angels celebrate the release of sophomore album "Heel Grinder" with a Mercury Lounge show Friday night.

The album "has an arc of just being empowered in life and not to let other people's words or shame or just all these feelings that we have hold us back," Palmer says. "It's about embracing what you have and where you're at and doing the best that you can."

watch it.

Photo Credit: Aviron Pictures/Graham Bartholomew

"Interstellar" co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway team up again for a drama that swaps the space dust for the open waters. In "Serenity," out Friday, McConaughey plays a ship captain helping his ex-wife (Hathaway) escape from her abusive husband.

Working with Hathaway felt "comfortable," McConaughey says. "There's not a lazy bone in her when it comes to acting, and we have a nice, quiet, unsaid way of respecting and supporting each other."

The actor describes this latest gig as an "erotic thriller," as the movie leaves much to be uncovered.

"She always knows more than she lets on," Hathaway says of her character.


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