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4 Things to Do This Weekend

by YAR

Updated Dec. 20: The Alvin Ailey Dance Company’s weekend performances at the City Center were canceled because of the recent increase in coronavirus infections. The Living History series program at the New-York Historical Society on Sunday was also canceled for that reason.


Along with ice cream trucks and trips to the beach, amusement park fun tends to vanish when the weather turns cold. But Manhattan now offers one place where children can still enjoy some of the splendor of Ferris wheels, roller coasters, carousels and more: the New-York Historical Society.

For the first time, its annual winter show, “Holiday Express: Toys and Trains From the Jerni Collection,” includes vintage 19th- and 20th-century carnival playthings. On view through Feb. 27, the exhibition includes such highlights as the collection’s largest toy Ferris wheel (1906-20), made in France with six gondolas, a music box and 17 tiny occupants; a miniature German roller coaster (1886-1917); and blimp rides from the early 1900s with little zeppelin-like compartments.

Young visitors, who can pick up a guide to go on a scavenger hunt through the show, will also see the collection’s signature trains — some are chugging merrily — along with model stations.

Classical Music

Thanks to “Jenufa,” “Kat’a Kabanova” and “The Makropulos Case,” the music of the Czech composer Leos Janacek is a core part of the 20th-century repertoire in opera. However, another effort — “Osud” (“Destiny”) — is something of a problem piece. As a result, it has proved to be of interest mainly to scholars and hard-core fans.

A new production overseen by Robert Carsen — one of the most consistent directors working — aids the dramatic arc, and thus allows viewers another encounter with Janacek’s masterly musical style. (The opera’s tricky narrative timeline is presented cleanly, but with two singers playing the central role of Zivny, the composer.) Carsen’s approach to this tale of snuffed-out love and throttled creativity was produced for the National Theater Brno, and is available to stream free on Operavision’s platform and its YouTube channel through May.

The Hall at Elsewhere is a more conventional concert space than Pinc Louds have recently been accustomed to. During the pandemic, the band — headed up by Claudi, a Puerto Rico-born singer and guitarist who writes punkish, jazzy songs inspired by love and city life — took up residence at Tompkins Square Park, where they played for fans and passers-by twice a week. Before that, Claudi, an avid busker, was a fixture at the Delancey Street subway station on the Lower East Side.

A Pinc Louds show is anything but conventional, though. The audience at their “Christmas Tentacular,” which comes to Elsewhere’s main space on Friday, can expect a colorful, whimsical affair, complete with covers of holiday tunes, puppets and festive sets. Doors are at 6 p.m., and Tall Juan, whose music spans rock, cumbia and reggae, will start his opening set at 6:30. Tickets are $20 and available at elsewherebrooklyn.com.


If the expertly produced audio dramas that have flourished since the start of the pandemic have led you to ask, “How did the artists accomplish this?,” now you have the opportunity to solve that mystery with the Keen Company’s “Hear/Now: LIVE!”

The 90-minute performance will feature two world premieres commissioned to be performed in what the company calls “an exciting live format,” showcasing original music and foley effects executed in front of the audience. In “The Telegram” by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, two cowboys encounter the strange realities of the Wild West as they pay homage to a genre that captivated American listeners during the 1920s. In Deb Margolin’s comedy “That Old Perplexity,” two women develop a connection triggered by the turmoil and grief of a post-9/11 New York City.

Tickets are $31.50 and available at bfany.org. Performances will take place at Theater Row on Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 8, Saturday at 2 and 8, and Sunday at 3.

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