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Enron’s Raptors, Monsters, God’s Pizzeria: Great N.Y. Weekend

Norbert Leo Butz
Norbert Leo Butz, center, as Jeffrey Skilling in the play "Enron" in New York. The production, written by by Lucy Prebble, was at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre. Photographer: Joan Marcus/Jeffrey Richards Ass. via Bloomberg

April 17 (Bloomberg) -- Three blind mice sit on the company’s board as red-eyed raptors devour paper debt spilling out of filing cabinets in Lucy Prebble’s clever “Enron,” which also features that lovable duo the Lehman Brothers (stuck in one pinstriped suit).

A hit in London, “Enron” is previewing on Broadway with Norbert Leo Butz as Jeffrey Skilling, under whose creative leadership the company became the darling of Wall Street.

“Trading is primal,” rap the workers, who also sometimes break into song and dance, “like hunting and sex.”

Neon lights, fast-moving tickers and video projections play up Enron’s allure during the go-go 1990s, when analysts and politicians cheered the stock price ever higher until the company tanked and Skilling went to jail.

He comes out at the end dressed in orange prison garb proclaiming the mantra of so many more recent criminals: “Isn’t it better to fight on the side of the smart, greedy guys than be one of the inept pathetic losers?”

After the show, have a cocktail at Bar Centrale, an updated Times Square speakeasy. There’s no sign; just climb the stairway between Joe Allen and Orso; a reservation helps if your name doesn’t appear regularly on Page Six.

“Enron” is at the Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W. 44th St. Information: +1-212-239-6200; http://www.telecharge.com

Bar Centrale is at 324 W. 46th St.; +1-212-581-3130.

Saturday

At the Japan Society, “Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters” offers an eye-popping exhibition of the ukiyo-e prints of Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), a Japanese William Blake. He had an eye for the macabre, a liking for warrior heroes sporting tattoos, and a taste for brothels (check out the whorehouse inhabited by sparrows).

The Japan Society is at 333 E. 47th St. Information: +1-212-832-1155; http://www.japansociety.org

Saturday Night

Beth Henley, best remembered by baby boomers for her Pulitzer-winning, Southern gothic comedy “Crimes of the Heart” has a new play at the Lucille Lortel Theater in Greenwich Village: “Family Week,” about a woman who enters a recovery program after the death of her son. The star is Tony Kushner regular Kathleen Chalfant.

Cheer up at The Little Owl with meatball sliders and the eclectic wine list.

The Lortel is at 121 Christopher St. Information: +1-212-279-4200; http://mcctheater.org

The Little Owl is at 90 Bedford St.; +1-212-741-4695.

Sunday

Permanently moored under the Brooklyn Bridge, Bargemusic resumes its weekly chamber-music recitals aboard legendary Olga Bloom’s wood-paneled, floating concert hall with its views of lower Manhattan. On Sunday afternoon, the youthful Biava Quartet is joined by pianist Soheil Nasseri for two piano quintets: the ultra-romantic F Minor by Cesar Franck and Robert Schumann’s E-Flat Major, Op.44, which is perfection times five.

Nearby is that temple of thin-crust, coal-fired pizza, Grimaldi’s, which has been blackening fingers for almost 70 years. Order the large margarita -- no slices here -- with a beer or a glass of red. Bring your own dough; it’s cash only.

Bargemusic is at Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn. Information: +1-718-624-2083; http://www.bargemusic.org

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is at 19 Old Fulton St.; +1-718-858-4300.

(Manuela Hoelterhoff is executive editor of Muse, Bloomberg’s arts and culture section. The opinions expressed are her own.)

-- With assistance from Jeremy Gerard, Zinta Lundborg and Daniel Billy. Editors: Daniel Billy, Jim Ruane.

To contact the writer of this column: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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