5 Things to Do This Weekend

5 Things to Do This Weekend


Our critics and writers have selected noteworthy cultural events to experience virtually.


Films to Feast On

If your children have had their fill of turkey and tradition, you can offer them more exotic fare — the cinematic kind — from nations far away. From Saturday through Dec. 6, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is presenting a cultural tasting menu in the form of the Best of BAMkids Film Festival 2020, an hourlong video-on-demand program of short animated works from 10 countries. For families who couldn’t go to the full festival in February, this virtual event presents 12 highlights to sample at home.

Sumptuous food appears here, too: tempting desserts in “Pen & Magic” (Japan), a towering birthday cake adorned with fish in “Little Grey Wolfy — Summer Party” (Norway) and vibrant vegetable soup in “The Rainbow Giant” (Taiwan). Geared toward ages 3 to 6, the shorts also feature a musical squirrel, artistic snails and an aeronautically minded mouse.

The pay-what-you-wish program (the minimum is $5) can be savored for 48 hours after purchasers first click on a link they’ll receive from the streaming platform Eventive.


Delights of Varying Lengths

The renowned Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite has a knack for finding the propulsive poetry of large ensembles. In 2017’s “Flight Pattern,” a meditation on the refugee crisis that has been haunting Europe, she conjures both chaos and a precarious calm in a swirling mass of 36 dancers. A 2019 performance of the short work, which was commissioned by England’s Royal Ballet, is now available to stream until Dec. 5 on the company’s website (tickets are $3.25).

Through Dec. 13, for $10.95, the Royal Ballet also offers access to last month’s two-hour gala-like medley of excerpts from several new and classic ballets danced by company stars such as Francesca Hayward, Natalia Osipova and Marianela Nuñez. The evening culminates in a full performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s sumptuous and richly textured “Within the Golden Hour.” Online screenings of Frederick Ashton’s “Enigma Variations” and, of course, “The Nutcracker” will arrive in early December.


Live From … Ridgewood

As conditions — meteorological and epidemiological — become frightful, can a live comedy show still sound delightful? Perhaps, but only if you can view it from the safety of your own home. So thank John Farnsworth for opening up his backyard and bringing a vaudeville called “The Great Outdoors” to an electronic device of your choice this weekend.

Farnsworth plays host from his own patch of pavement in Ridgewood, Queens, broadcasting comedy and musical performances with a multicam setup, with stars on the ground and lights in the trees. The lineup includes stand-up from Jay Jurden, Arti Gollapudi and Solange Azor, musical comedy from Marcia Belsky, and music from Slight Of. The livestream is available at fiveohm.tv and starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday. Tickets are on a sliding scale, from $5 to $50, with all proceeds going to the Ridgewood Tenants Union, a mutual aid network for neighborhood residents in need during the pandemic.


Reshaping Classic Calamities

Tragic error isn’t limited to a particular time or location. Since 2003, the MacArthur-winning playwright and performance artist Luis Alfaro has taken the plays of Euripides and Sophocles and transposed them to his native Los Angeles.

Repopulated with Latino characters, unstrung by fates like the Greeks before them, Alfaro’s works explore themes of violence, liberation and belonging. Linguistically vibrant and emotionally opulent, the dramas retain their force even as they acquire new vocabulary and characters. “Electricidad” updates “Electra” to a Los Angeles barrio. “Oedipus El Rey” includes a chorus clad in prison jumpsuits. “Mojada,” a version of “Medea,” recalibrates the play as a tragedy of an undocumented immigrant.

Now Los Angeles’s Center Theater Group and the Getty Museum have brought his Greek trilogy online, streaming readings of “Electricidad,” directed by Laurie Woolery; “Oedipus El Rey,” directed by Chay Yew; and “Mojada,” directed by Juliette Carrillo. All are available — in English, with optional Spanish captioning — free at the Center Theater Group’s website through Jan. 20.


Elevating the Art of Boleros

As an interpreter of Puerto Rican folk songs and popular fare, the alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón has made a case for the richness of that island’s musical traditions, without fundamentally upending his own personal compass and style on the way. The biggest selling point for his dozen albums as a leader has remained the slithery, energy-spilling saxophone playing, and the ease with which Zenón invents new routes through his quartet’s constantly evolving rearrangements of these tunes.

On his most recent release, “Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera,” Zenón, a MacArthur “genius” fellow, celebrated one of Puerto Rico’s great salsa crooners and composers. On Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern time, he will play a program of boleros, or slow dance numbers, alongside Luis Perdomo, the pianist in his quartet. The performance can be streamed at Zenón’s Facebook page; a $10 donation to the artists is suggested.

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