Published On: Thu, Apr 21st, 2022

5 Things to Do This Weekend


While living in Tel Aviv as a member of Israel’s renowned Batsheva Dance Company, the mesmerizing performer Shamel Pitts began making his own work, including a solo called “Black Box — Little Black Book of RED.” The first part of what would become Pitts’s three-part “Black Series,” the piece examined his personal journey and Black identity through his signature strong, silky movement and powerful poetry.

When Pitts returned to his native Brooklyn in 2016, he continued his exploration of beauty and Blackness in an electric work called “Black Velvet — Architectures and Archetypes,” created with collaborators he assembled for his multidisciplinary company, Tribe. The third work in the series, “Black Hole — Trilogy and Triathlon,” will make its New York premiere at New York Live Arts, where it will be performed from Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. “Black Hole” draws from the aesthetics, philosophy, technology and politics of Afrofuturism and features Marcella Lewis and Tushrik Fredericks dancing alongside Pitts to an original soundscape while surrounded by a striking visual design. Tickets are $25 and available at newyorklivearts.org.
BRIAN SCHAEFER

Pop & Rock

It’s no secret that vinyl albums are back: Sales reached a 30-year high in 2021, after trending upward for more than a decade. Record Store Day, which is now a global initiative by independent sellers to boost revenue through special releases and artist appearances, has happily ridden (and reinforced) this trend since its first edition in 2008.

Record Store Day returns on Saturday. This year’s exclusives include an album of unreleased material by the folk singer Karen Dalton, who died in 1993 and was the subject of a critically acclaimed documentary last year; a remastered and expanded version of Stevie Nicks’s “Bella Donna”; a Patti Smith compilation curated by record store employees from across the country; and an unreleased live album by Charles Mingus. Taylor Swift, designated as the event’s global ambassador, is offering a special seven inch of “The Lakes,” a bonus track from her 2020 album “Folklore.” Information about participating record stores — including dozens in and around New York — and the complete list of releases are available at recordstoreday.com.
OLIVIA HORN

Theater

When he turned 18, Tony Valdovinos wanted nothing more than to join the Marine Corps and serve the United States, only to discover that he was undocumented and would need to find other ways to inspire the change he wanted to see. “¡Americano!,” directed by Michael Barnard, follows Valdovinos (played by Sean Ewing) as he recovers from this heartbreak to become a voice for Dreamers seeking representation in government.

With an eclectic score by the composer Carrie Rodriguez, who combines indie rock with Latino music genres to delicious effect, the vibrant biographical musical features a wondrous ensemble comprising mostly Latino actors, who tell a story as urgent as it is entertaining. Originally set to premiere in 2020, “¡Americano!” is finally running at New World Stages through June 19. Tickets start at $49 and are available at americanothemusical.com.
JOSE SOLÍS

As one of the most venerable (and visible) American chamber groups of the last half-century, the Kronos Quartet could definitely get away with playing only its hits. But it’s clear that the current lineup has no desire to do that. Over two concerts during a single weekend in North Adams, Mass., last summer, the ensemble paired new items by the likes of Jlin and Jacob Garchik along with premieres from veteran collaborators like Terry Riley.

For Kronos’s next New York date — at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. — you can see that same hunger for repertoire expansion. (Tickets start at $65.) Here, the quartet will give the world premiere of a work by Aleksandra Vrebalov, “ilektrikés rímes,” and the New York premiere of “music by yourself,” from the composer inti figgis-vizueta. And because there’s nothing wrong with the occasional look back, Kronos will also perform George Crumb’s “Black Angels” — a highlight from its deep discography. Crumb’s work, a famous American avant-garde response to Vietnam, is paired on this program with the more recent “My Lai” Suite by Jonathan Berger and Harriet Scott Chessman.
SETH COLTER WALLS

KIDs

This weekend, children will learn about the birds and the bees. The instruction, however, has nothing to do with sex education and everything to do with Earth Day, which falls on Friday this year and heralds a host of environmentally themed festivals.

Rockefeller Center will present its free Spring Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. outdoors on its plaza. (Online registration is required.) David Mizejewski, a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation, will lead a walk through the Channel Gardens, demonstrating how to create habitats for bees and hummingbirds and offering an entertaining quiz, Everything You Think You Know About Bees Is Wrong. GreenThumb of NYC Parks will help young participants plant small, take-home gardens. They can also design an ecological bookmark; meet Roxy the Owl, a costumed human; and create illustrated notes with the Climate Museum to urge Congress to protect our planet. The Rock and Roll Playhouse will provide live music about nature.

Further festivities include the New York Botanical Garden’s Earth Day Weekend Celebration and two Saturday events: BAMkids SpringFest at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the B’Earth Day Bash at the Audubon Center in Prospect Park. (Information is online.) For more possibilities, visit nycgovparks.org.
LAUREL GRAEBER



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