These are our top picks for the weekend of Jan. 19–21. For more event listings and reviews, check out Goings On About Town.
Photograph by Scott Rudd. Courtesy New MuseumArt | Downtown
“Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon”
This is the last weekend to see “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” at the New Museum. The works, by forty-two mostly L.G.B.T.Q.-identifying artists, tend to be elegant and ingratiating, temperate, or even a little boring—though not unpleasantly so. (A little boredom may come as welcome relief to our lately adrenaline-overdosed body politic.) In general, the younger the artist in the show, the more well-behaved. For weaponized weirdness, consider the accomplished and influential elder Nayland Blake, who is fifty-seven and whose work has often reflected a fondness for a form of kink that involves dressing as an animal. The show features one such costume—a bear.—Peter Schjeldahl
Read more about “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” here.
Night Life | Newark
Lana Del Rey
In Lana Del Rey’s billowing chamber-pop, the sweet and the sour enjoy close proximity. She’s a tween icon, cooler than cool for her wistful detachment, nursing a career where music and image coalesce into, simply, presence. Rey is present this week, on her first arena tour, with a stop at Prudential Center on Friday, Jan. 19, accompanied by Kali Uchis, a budding brooder in her own right.—Matthew Trammell
Read more about Lana Del Rey here.
Restaurants | Prospect Park South
To uninformed first-timers, Werkstatt might seem like just a particularly nice corner local, which is part of its appeal. In fact, the owner and operator, Thomas Ferlesch, has been a leading chef in New York since he emigrated from Austria, nearly four decades ago, to run the kitchen at Vienna 79, on the Upper East Side. In his first year there, at twenty-four, he was awarded a four-star review by the Times. Werkstatt is his “workshop,” he says, where he can cook whatever he wants—specials have included red coconut chicken curry and Tokyo ramen—in a neighborhood near where he lives.—Carolyn Kormann
Read a full review of Werkstatt here.
Theatre | Midtown
“Miles for Mary”
Passive aggression reaches new comedic heights in “Miles for Mary,” which tracks the efforts of earnest high-school teachers to organize a fund-raising telethon in Ohio in 1988. Devised and performed by the Mad Ones, it takes place in the teachers’ lounge, and swiftly reveals the frustrations bubbling under a veneer of ingratiating politeness. By the end of the play—which premièred at the Bushwick Starr, in 2016, and is enjoying an encore run at Playwrights Horizons—your dread of meetings may swell exponentially.—Elisabeth Vincentelli
Courtesy Film ForumMovies | West Village
The opening-night offering in Film Forum’s superb series “60s Verité” (starting this Friday, Jan. 19, and running through Feb. 6), Frank Simon’s rarely screened 1968 documentary “The Queen,” goes behind the scenes and onto the stage of a drag pageant in New York to reveal the complicated state of gay life—and of gender identity—at the time. It’s only one of the many extraordinary films in the series, which gathers a wide range of dramas and documentaries to show that the energies that sparked the new cinema of that decade were performance-centric, and to prove that the very concept of cinéma vérité isn’t passive observation but immersive engagement.—Richard Brody
Read more about “The Queen” here.
Photograph by Jay Blakesberg. Courtesy Carnegie HallClassical Music | Midtown
The Kronos Quartet, a group that has redefined the string quartet as an ensemble that is popular, experimental, and classical all at once, has something to say about American musical heritage. It gets another opportunity on Friday night, Jan. 19, at Zankel Hall, in one of the first programs launching Carnegie’s festival centered on the music, culture, and politics of the nineteen-sixties. In addition to classics by Gershwin and Steve Reich (“Pendulum Music”), there are new compositions by Stacy Garrop (“Glorious Mahalia”) and Zachary J. Watkins (“Peace Be Till,” a work in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.).—Russell Platt
Dance | Chelsea
Malpaso Dance Company
Since its founding, in 2012, the warm-spirited Cuban troupe Malpaso Dance Company has been addressing the imbalance between high-level dance talent and comparatively underdeveloped choreographic excellence on its island by hiring major North American choreographers. For its annual visit to the Joyce (through Sunday, Jan. 21), which sponsors the company, Malpaso brings two premières in that vein. Sonya Tayeh’s “Face the Torrent” is dark and twitchy. “The Indomitable Waltz,” by Aszure Barton, is more subtly complex and idiosyncratically elegant.—Brian Seibert
Bars | Bushwick
Across from a glass-goods warehouse on an unassuming, windswept Bushwick block, the Narrows has glossy rewards for the determined seeker of a good drink. Standard-issue pub food and a modest beer-and-wine selection are complemented by sixteen cocktails divided into “house” and “classic” categories. Of the classics, the hot toddy is strong and flavored with piquant orange peel; the Penicillin is as bracing as a crushed pill.—Talia Lavin
Read the full review of the Narrows here.
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