Since winning a Tony Award for his remarkable autobiographical show “Passing Strange,” the Southern California-bred rocker Stew has put down roots in Brooklyn. The result is “Brooklyn Omnibus,’ a song cycle written with his partner, Heidi Rodewald, about life in Kings County.
Commissioned for the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, the 75-minute show features their band, the Negro Problem. The cycle gets its world premiere this weekend.
At the BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St., Brooklyn. Information: +1-718-636-4100; http://www.bam.org
John Guare, a master of poetic realism, won an Oscar nomination for his “Atlantic City” screenplay. With his latest play, he focuses his attention on turn-of-the-19th century New Orleans.
“A Free Man of Color” follows the unexpected twists and turns of an American Don Juan in what already was the young nation’s most risque city. The designs are by the inventive David Rockwell; Jeffrey Wright stars and George C. Wolfe directs.
In previews at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lincoln Center. Information: +1-212-239-6200; http://www.telecharge.com
When dance fans vote for their favorite contemporary choreographer/performers, Ivy Baldwin is invariably at the top of the list. Her latest work, “Here Rests Peggy,” pays homage to Peggy Guggenheim, who used her fortune to support artists and bedmates in Paris and, later, Venice. Accompanied by three other dancers, Baldwin evokes a sensuous world inspired by elements as disparate as the Ligurian Sea and German Expressionism.
At the Chocolate Factory, 5-49 49th Ave., Long Island City. Information: +1-718-482-7069; http://www.chocolatefactorytheater.org
As if “Boris Godunov” weren’t giving him enough of a workout, indefatigable conductor Valery Gergiev brings his Mariinsky Orchestra for a Mahler-thon at Carnegie Hall this weekend. Today’s matinee program includes the ever-catchy Symphony No. 1 and No. 4.
At Seventh Avenue and 57th Street. Information: +1-212-247-7800; http://www.carnegiehall.org
Stay up late tonight for laughs and a good cause when Alan Cumming (who plays the irresistibly slippery, charming political strategist on “The Good Wife”) hosts a benefit for Fight Back New York, which goes after homophobic candidates in the coming elections. Expect chaos, odd guests.
Midnight at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St. Information: +1-212-539-8778; http://www.publictheater.org.
And Don’t Miss...
Stop by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and say goodbye to twin brothers Doug and Mike Starn, and their fabulous rooftop jungle, “Big Bambu.” Over the last few months their whimsical palace in the sky, made of 5,000 interlocking bamboo poles, lashed together with 50 miles of nylon rope, has been rising some 50 feet over the museum’s roof.
Arrive at cocktail hour and have a drink at the bar as the sun begins to set and leaves change color in Central Park. Closes next weekend.
At the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street. Information: +1-212-535-7710; http://www.metmuseum.org
Mark Rylance has quickly achieved legend status for his toothy, scenery-chewing, laugh-inducing performance in the title role of “La Bete.” But he’s not the only reason to see David Hirson’s comedy of art-versus-commerce written entirely in firecracker rhyming couplets. There’s Joanna Lumley as the exasperated countess and the wonderful set by Mark Thompson.
At the Music Box Theatre, 239 W. 45th St. Information: +1-212-239-6200; http://www.telecharge.com
(With assistance from Manuela Hoelterhoff. Jeremy Gerard is an editor and critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)