Denzel, ‘Tosca,’ Lunatics, Charlotte Gainsbourg: N.Y. Weekend

Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington on Broadway as a trash collector who once dreamed of playing pro baseball, in "Fences." The revival of the August Wilson drama, at the Cort Theatre, is staged by Kenny Leon. Photographer: Joan Marcus/Boneau/Bryan-Brown via Bloomberg

Denzel Washington, last seen on Broadway as Shakespeare’s Brutus, plays Troy Maxson, the domineering patriarch of a slum-dwelling family in a revival of August Wilson’s great 1987 drama, “Fences.’

Troy, whose dream of playing baseball in the major leagues died just before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, now collects garbage on the streets of Pittsburgh.

When his son, a high-school football star, is courted by colleges, Troy’s conflicted emotions lead to a rattling father-son showdown.

After such family angst, get a drink at Morrell Wine Bar & Cafe, which offers 50 wines by the glass brought by servers who know them all yet remain upright even so. The eclectic menu includes ricotta dumplings and barbecued duck wrap

“Fences” is at the Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St. Information: +1-212-239-6200;

Morrell Wine Bar & Cafe is at 1 Rockefeller Plaza; +1-212-262-7700.

Saturday Afternoon

Tune in to the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast of “Tosca” and be grateful that you don’t have to watch the depressing new staging by Europeans who hate the piece and think you are stupid to like such loud, low-brow kitsch.

Instead, you’ll have the pleasure of listening to Jonas Kaufmann, Patricia Racette and Bryn Terfel, who far outclass the threesome that appeared on opening night, when the production was first booed. The tenor especially has no rivals in this role, which he sings with exciting high notes and stirring lyricism.

Wear your earphones to Chelsea to catch the last day of Marlene Dumas’s show at the David Zwirner gallery. Dumas, who’s painted Osama bin Laden, dead people and giant infants, uses walls to illustrate the Israeli-Palestinian nightmare.

We won’t wake up from it soon. Have some mussels at the Cookshop, the art world hangout by the High Line.

In New York, the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast airs on WQXR-FM at 105.9 and WNYC-HD2 at 93.9.

David Zwirner gallery is at 533 W. 19th St.; +1-212-727-2070;

The Cookshop is at 156 Tenth Ave.; +1-212-924-4440.

Saturday Night

Storyteller James Braly follows his autobiographical “Life in a Marital Institution” (originally subtitled, “I Should Be Committed”) with a new comedy, “Asylum,” which recalls the time he checked into a psychiatric hospital as an unhappy pot head and found the place rather more congenial than the family homestead. Notes the ad: “The doors are locked, the windows are sealed. It’s still better than living at home.”

Dixon Place is at 161a Chrystie St. Information: +1-212-219-0736;

Sunday Night

“IRM” may be the best album yet by brain-surgery survivor Charlotte Gainsbourg. The daughter of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg worked on it for over a year with Beck, whose production touches are evident throughout. Sunday night Charlotte and her band -- minus Beck -- will be at Webster Hall bringing “IRM” to life.

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

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