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Robin Williams, Punchdrunk, Lucinda’s ‘Blessed’: N.Y. Weekend

From left,
From left, "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" director Moises Kaufman, Robin Williams and playwright Rajiv Joseph. The play is in previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and will open on March 31. Photographer: Peter Zielinski/Sam Rudy Media Relations via Bloomberg

March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Uday Hussein wanders onstage with his brother Qusay’s head in a bag.

He’s one of the ghosts haunting Americans and Iraqis in Rajiv Joseph’s “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.”

Robin Williams makes his dramatic Broadway debut in the title role.

Set in the first days of the U.S. invasion, the play invokes the violence, brutality and ignorance of combat with mordant wit.

As the smart, surly big cat, Williams gets to comment on the hopeless mess in front of him.

In previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St., opening March 31. Information: +1-877-250-2929; http://www.bengaltigeronbroadway.com.

Saturday

After 9/11, Maira Kalman created a cartoon map for the cover of the New Yorker dividing the city into such warring districts as Irate, Pashmina and Fattushis.

“New Yorkistan” is part of the Jewish Museum’s retrospective of the artist’s witty work, with paintings, drawings, photographs, textiles and embroidery from a career spanning 30 years.

There’s even a glass case enclosing her onion ring collection.

“Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World)” runs through July 31 at the Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd Street. Information: +1-212-423-3200; http://www.thejewishmuseum.org.

Stroll over to Café D’Alsace for homemade boudin blanc with sauerkraut and tangy mustard.

Ask the beer sommelier to pick the perfect brew.

1695 2nd Ave. Information: +1-212-722-5133.

Saturday Afternoon

Spend the afternoon in old Russia with a crazy czar. That would be Boris Godunov, who rose to the top by killing the rightful heir.

Rene Pape is magnificent as he rages, suffers and finally breaks down in a mighty death scene. Pape is simply one of the best basses on any stage right now.

All along, hordes of peasants, pilgrims, priests, police, and an occasional aristocrat crowd the stage, bringing Mussorgsky’s opera to vivid life.

At Lincoln Center until March 17. Information: +1-212-362-6000; http://www.metoperafamily.org.

Saturday Night

Dusky-voiced folk singer-performer extraordinaire Lucinda Williams plays the second of two nights at Webster Hall in support of her new album “Blessed.”

A veteran of more than 30 years, she can sing the heartbreak off a note.

Williams has toured with Bob Dylan, and invites guests like Emmylou Harris, Yo La Tengo and Steve Earle to perform one-off shows with her, so expect a few surprises.

125 E. 11th St. Information: +1-212-353-1600; http://event.websterhall.com.

Late Saturday Night

You enter through an unmarked door and make your way down a totally dark corridor. (Luckily, the risk-averse patron ahead of me lit the way with his iPhone.)

You are handed a white, bird-beaked mask, instructed to be silent and then told to roam at will around the immersive theatrical experience “Sleep No More.”

A riff on “Macbeth” produced by British group Punchdrunk, and set to music largely from Hitchcock films, the action takes place in various parts of the derelict hotel.

I saw Banquo’s ghost freak out the feasters, a bloody bathtub, Duncan in bed, and Birnam Wood mysteriously moving.

Every experience of the installation is unique. You can stay for three hours, and then meet your friends in the bar to compare notes.

There are late-night performances on Fridays and Saturdays between 11-12 p.m.

The McKittrick Hotel, 530 W. 27th St. Information: http://www.sleepnomorenyc.com.

Sunday Matinee

If you think growing up is over-rated, there’s “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a speedy joyride with lost boys, pirates, ticking crocs and zany cannibals.

A dozen talented actors take on 50 roles, including an amusing transvestite mermaid chorus. Standouts are Adam Chanler-Berat as Peter, Celia Keenan-Bolger as the sole female, Molly, and Christian Borle, whose villainous Black Stache recalls the young Eric Idle.

Rick Elice, co-writer of “Jersey Boys” and “The Addams Family,” based his Peter Pan prequel on a novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

You don’t need a kid to go and see this good-natured romp.

At New York Theatre Workshop, 79 E. 4th St. through April 3. Information: +1-212-460-5475; http://www.nytw.org.

Sunday Afternoon

For some masterful Schubert, head to Alice Tully Hall to hear baritone Simon Keenlyside and Emanuel Ax.

The pianist will perform Schubert’s Sonata in A-minor, but the majority of the program will be devoted of the great art songs, among them “Death and the Maiden,” “Song of Orpheus” and “On the Danube.”

It’s part of the first Tully Scope Festival, featuring an eclectic range of music from around the world.

Lincoln Center, 1941 Broadway at 65th St. Information: +1-212-671-4050; http://new.lincolncenter.org/live.

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Zinta Lundborg at zlundborg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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