Levon Helm, Mad Geoffrey Rush, Supermodel Icons: N.Y. Weekend

Levon Helm
Levon Helm at the Ryman auditorium in Nashville. Helm plays the Wellmont Theatre on Friday night. Photographer: Paul Goguen/Bloomberg

Levon Helm, renowned member of The Band, plays the Wellmont Theatre on Friday night.

With a career spanning five decades, Helm is a master of stage presence and musicianship and has picked up multiple Grammys for his solo albums, including one just this past year.

Helm will be joined by youthful aspirant Hayes Carll, a Texan singer-songwriter whose songs spookily recall the broken honesty of Townes Van Zandt.

Wellmont Theatre, 5 Seymour St., Montclair, New Jersey. Information: +1-973-783-9500; http://www.wellmonttheatre.com.


There are plenty of Madonnas in shiny gilt frames at Francesco Vezzoli’s new show at Gagosian, but they are actually portraits of contemporary objects of worship -- supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer.

All shed the artist’s signature embroidered tears from heavily made-up eyes.

Christ is here, too, on a 13-foot-tall light box, and he has Vezzoli’s face. Not for nothing is the show called “Sacrilegio.”

Take an icon to venerate at home for $250,000.

Through March 12 at Gagosian Gallery, 522 W. 21st St. Information: +1-212-741-1717; http://www.gagosian.com.

Walk south to Del Posto for a drink at the classy bar, a place where people don’t have to gesture and yell to be heard.

85 Tenth Ave. Information: +1-212-497-8090.

A recently discovered portrait of William Shakespeare, shown in the U.S. for the first time, suggests the bard was a natty dresser with nice eyes. Look at that lace collar.

This picture and one of Shakespeare’s patron Henry Wriothesley gathered dust for centuries in an Irish country house.

Scholars are arguing about whether it’s an authentic portrait, but then some of them are still fighting about whether Shakespeare actually wrote the plays.

At the Morgan Library, 29 E. 36th St. Information: +1-212-685-0008; http://www.themorgan.org.

Consider a leisurely brunch at Ai Fiori, chef Michael White’s paean to Italian and French Riviera cuisine.

Try the wild king salmon pave, or Cornish hen with lemon-thyme jus. Save room for the dark chocolate tart with grapefruit, anise and hazelnut gelato.

Ai Fiori is at 400 Fifth Ave. Information: +1-212-613-8660.

Saturday Night

Listen to Chris Chalk as he quietly reads a letter to his sister, written long ago from prison. In Nathan Louis Jackson’s unnerving drama, “When I Come to Die,” the gifted young actor plays Damon Robinson, a cop killer who mysteriously cheats death by surviving his execution by injection.

Chalk’s musical, rich voice lifts the play from the bleakness of its death row setting.

In all, Damon has six shoeboxes of letters, every one returned unopened by his family. He handles each one as if it were a leaf from the Book of Kells.

Lincoln Center Theater’s development arm, LCT3, presents this new work through Feb. 26 at the Duke on 42nd St. Theater, 229 W. 42nd St. Information: +1-212-239-6200; http://www.telecharge.com.


Check out “Found in Translation” at the Guggenheim Museum. Eleven young international artists, ranging from Patty Chang to Omer Fast and Steve McQueen, are represented by video, film and new media.

The time-based works explore the new meanings that can arise when switching from one language to another or changing context. Class, sexuality and race are obviously issues that make trouble.

Part of the Deutsche Bank Series, the show runs through May 1 at the Guggenheim, 1071 Fifth Ave. Information: +1-212-423-3500; http://www.guggenheim.org.

Sunday Afternoon

Even as he’s onscreen as George VI’s brash therapist in “The King’s Speech,” Geoffrey Rush is onstage in Brooklyn, falling spectacularly apart.

The Australian actor is playing Poprischin, a bitter, minor-league bureaucrat who is losing his mind, finally coming to believe he’s the king of Spain.

Adapted from Gogol’s short story, “The Diary of a Madman,” the work displays in grimly comic detail the soul-destroying aspects of isolation and menial work.

Runs through March 12 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn. Information: +1-718-636-4100; http://www.bam.org.

(With assistance from Katya Kazakina, Jeremy Gerard and Lili Rosboch. Zinta Lundborg is an editor for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

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