These are our top picks for the weekend of January 11th-13th. For more event listings and reviews, check out Goings On About Town.
The mid-career American painter Cameron Martin is having serious fun in the tantalizing abstract pictures in “New Congress,” his first show at the James Fuentes gallery (through Sunday). Each one is a Rubik’s Cube for the eyeballs, a reminder that painting itself is an ongoing game, toggling flat planes of pattern and color—a trick of logic, skill, and intuition.—Andrea Scott
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For the past fifteen years, the colder months have been synonymous with Winter Jazzfest. The event has since ballooned into a “marathon” that stretches across the city, with rising stars and legends coming together in the same room. On a stacked Friday night at Bowery Ballroom, the inimitable Meshell Ndegeocello performs alongside Jeff Parker; there will also be sets from the experimental drummer Makaya McCraven and the Afro-Caribbean electronic band ÌFÉ. On Saturday, Bilal joins James Poyser, of the Roots, onstage, and Justin Brown performs his album “NYEUSI” along with the soul experimentalist Georgia Anne Muldrow; Chris Dave & the Drumhedz are on late-night duty with an as yet unannounced special guest.—Paula Mejía
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Food & Drink: Tables for Two
Ask a grumpy baby boomer just what it is he thinks the kids are up to out there in those abandoned warehouses of Brooklyn, and his worst fears might paint a picture of the new Mission Chinese Food, in Bushwick. On a visit in December, I felt, at first, like a baby boomer myself, despite having recently turned thirty-two. I was annoyed at how quickly the light show gave me a headache and at how difficult it was to make conversation, and vaguely scandalized by a relaxed-looking tattooed young mother holding her infant in the crook of one arm, bouncing him along to Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next,” as she ate noodles with chopsticks. And then: our food arrived.—Hannah Goldfield
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“My first impression was that she looked more alive than anyone I’d ever seen,” Calvin Trillin wrote in a 2006 New Yorker essay about his late wife, Alice. The piece grew into a memoir, “About Alice,” which traced their relationship from that first meeting, at a 1963 party for a short-lived satirical magazine, to Alice’s death, of complications from cancer, in 2001. Trillin’s readers had already formed a bond with Alice, as seen through his comical accounts of family life, but his widower’s remembrance cast her in a new, lovely light. A play inspired by the memoir, directed by Leonard Foglia for Theatre for a New Audience and featuring Carrie Paff and Jeffrey Bean, is now in previews, at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center.—Michael Schulman
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Orson Welles’s last dramatic feature, “The Other Side of the Wind,”a daring metafiction about a Welles-like filmmaker (played by John Huston) who’s forced to abandon a film in the middle of production, was shot between 1970 and 1976 and, ironically, was left unfinished at the time of Welles’s death, in 1985. It was completed only this year, with financing from Netflix, which has released it on their Web site; theatrical screenings have been scarce, but it’s playing at Metrograph through Sunday.—Richard Brody
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With its capricious solo part and witty orchestration, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 eschews sentimentality, but that’s not to say it’s without feeling. The Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski, alongside the New York Philharmonic, showcases the piece’s fearsome exuberance and laughing despair in performances framed by two orchestral fairy tales. Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” gives dignity and grace to the legendary raconteur, who takes the form of a solo violin. Janáček’s “Cunning Little Vixen” Suite, in Charles Mackerras’s arrangement, presents an earthier heroine, whose sylvan existence is nonetheless full of wonder. At David Geffen Hall, Jakub Hrůša conducts the three performances and a bonus Saturday children’s matinée, in which he’ll evoke the natural world with help from Janáček’s swarming insects and mischievous foxes.—Fergus McIntosh
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Relations between the governments of the United States and Cuba have swung wildly in recent years, but the Joyce Theatre’s commitment to Cuban dance has stayed steady. This year’s two-week Cuba Festival (through Jan. 20) features the U.S. début of Los Hijos del Director, but first, Malpaso Dance Company returns for its sixth consecutive year. Fledgling efforts by company members share the stage with works by two very different titans, which stretch the skilled and passionate dancers in nearly opposite directions: Ohad Naharin’s early piece “Tabula Rasa” (1986) and Merce Cunningham’s “Fielding Sixes” (1980).—Brian Seibert
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