Our critics and writers have selected noteworthy cultural events to experience virtually and in person in New York City.
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Art & Museums
A highlight of the art world’s gradual return to business as usual is the reintroduction of the Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturdays. The institution offered First Saturday Lite events last summer, but on Saturday the treasured monthly tradition returns in full for the first time since March 2020.
This weekend’s programming, which starts at 5 p.m., includes a performance by the musician Isa Reyes; an hour of 10-minute talks about the history and future of Black representation within the museum’s American Art galleries, led by its Teen Apprentices; and a town hall with the museum’s director, Anne Pasternak, and a group of City Council members. A complete list of activities is available at brooklynmuseum.org.
First Saturday is free to the public. Because of Covid-related restrictions on capacity, advance registration for the indoor events is required, but no R.S.V.P. is needed for Fundred Project’s “Viva Brooklyn! With Mel Chin,” a celebration taking place on the museum’s plaza in honor of Chin’s initiative to eradicate lead poisoning in children.
“Sidney Poitier & His Trailblazing Contemporaries,” a monthlong series starting on Friday at Film Forum, was originally set for 2020, well before Poitier’s death in January. The retrospective, programmed by the film historian Donald Bogle, is dedicated not only to Poitier, but also to other African American screen actors from the time of his peak as a matinee idol.
Alongside essential Poitier performances, including as a doctor trying to get through to a racist patient in “No Way Out” (showing on Friday, Saturday and Wednesday) and as a student in “Blackboard Jungle” (on Friday, Saturday, Monday and April 15), the lineup will also highlight turns by Ivan Dixon, Canada Lee, Juano Hernandez, James Edwards and others. On opening weekend, Edwards can be seen in the World War II drama “Home of the Brave” (on Friday and Tuesday) as a soldier facing bigotry while on a mission, and in the Stanley Kubrick heist picture “The Killing” (on Sunday, Tuesday and April 16), which features him as a parking attendant who unwittingly assists a gunman (Timothy Carey).
Zach Zucker is a real clown.
Zucker, who is currently based in Los Angeles and London, studied theater and clowning at Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Étampes, France, outside of Paris. When he’s not performing as Jack Tucker, he puts everything he has learned into “Stamptown,” a variety show he hosts that brings fringe theater, avant-garde performers and comedy acts to cities around the world. It will make two stops in New York this weekend.
On Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at Asylum NYC, Zucker’s lineup will include Ike Ufomadu, Ashton Womack, Nina Tarr, Jamie Watson and Gavin Matts. Tickets for Saturday’s show are $20. On Sunday at 8 p.m. at Union Hall in Brooklyn, his program will feature the Australian purple puppet comedian Randy Feltface, Alex Edelman (who is enjoying an Off Broadway run), Martin Urbano, Caitlin Cook and selections from the Found Footage Festival. Advance tickets for Sunday’s performance have sold out, but there will be a standby line at the door before the show.
SEAN L. McCARTHY
When the coronavirus hit in early 2020, the hard-swinging, constantly touring pianist Emmet Cohen acted fast to keep the music going. With his trio, he started streaming weekly performances from his home in Harlem, under the title “Live From Emmet’s Place,” joined by different guest musicians each week — sometimes fellow rising stars, other times esteemed elders. The streams quickly became a hit, and thousands of viewers still tune in each week via Facebook and YouTube.
At Birdland through Saturday, Cohen is taking the sizzling energy and cozy vibe of those livestream sessions onstage. Performing with his trio mates, the bassist Yasushi Nakamura and the drummer Kyle Poole, Cohen will welcome a different guest each night: the saxophonist George Coleman, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, on Thursday; the saxophonist Houston Person on Friday; and the vibraphonist Joel Ross on Saturday. They’ll play two sets each night — at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, and at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday — with ticket prices ranging from $30 to $40. And yes, there’s a streaming option: Thursday’s second set can be viewed on the Birdland website for $10.
It’s easy to think that only adults can change the world. Children, however, have helped transform society, too.
For the title character of “Jabari Dreams of Freedom,” a play by Nambi E. Kelley, this subject is personal: Jabari’s best friend, Emmett, is in the hospital after being injured by the police during an incident in which these two Black fifth graders were mistaken for criminals.
Presented by the company First Woman at the New Victory Theater, the production transports Jabari (Verdale Stinson Jr.) into the past. (Leo Lei designed the show’s projections and media.) He encounters Claudette Colvin, who, at 15, refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus nine months before Rosa Parks did. He also meets 6-year-old Ruby Bridges, who helped integrate New Orleans’s public schools, and a young, idealistic Barack Obama.
Directed by Daniel Carlton, this inspiring, interactive play will have its final live performances on Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 5 p.m.; it is also streaming on demand on the New Victory’s website through April 17. (Tickets start at $20; streaming is $25.) Featuring spirituals, call-and-response chants and protest signs for theatergoers, “Jabari” encourages young audiences to champion their own rights.