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Andrew Bird, Top Pitmasters, Brian Wilson, Bard: N.Y. Weekend

Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson will be re-imagining Gershwin and performing Beach Boys hits at the Highline Ballroom. Source: Blue Note Jazz Festival via Bloomberg

A free performance by Andrew Bird is the highlight of Celebrate Brooklyn’s opening night gala on Friday. The hand-clapping, whistling violin virtuoso sold out Carnegie Hall on his last major tour.

Onstage, Bird is mesmerizing as he constructs a song by recording a variety of short plucks and pulls along his strings. Once all the loops play together and he sings his catchy lyrics over the resulting tune, you’ll be transported.

Afterwards, party with CHERYL, a Brooklyn cat-masked artist collective.

At the Prospect Park Band Shell; enter at 9th St. and Prospect Park West. Information: +1-718-683-5633;

Also Friday Night

For something different, go back to the era of zoot suits, the jitterbug and big bands. And the big war with its big tunes like “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!”

William Bolcom, singers Joan Morris and Robert White, with narrator Hazen Schumacher, present a witty program of songs and memories from the 1940s in “Someone Talked!”

Maybe White will tell his story about getting a gold watch from Frank Sinatra.

At 7:00 p.m., Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue at 82nd St. Information: +1-212-570-3949;


Explore your own creative powers on Governors Island, where the fifth annual Figment is now in full swing.

Become a choreographer, choosing dancers, props and costumes. Star in a play, morph into a graffiti artist, or join the improv open music circle.

See yourself as you really are in the True Mirror Palace, where your image is not reflected backwards, and wait for the ElectricBubbleBus to throw an impromptu party.

Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Take the free ferry service from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South St. Information:

Saturday Afternoon

Head over to the High Line’s new swath stretching from W. 18th St. to W. 30th St. where there are lots of viewing platforms, a wildflower field and a luscious green lawn for relaxing and people-watching.

Go to the southern end, near the 14th St. passage, at 5 p.m., when the Trisha Brown Dance Company recreates “Roof Piece” on the buildings surrounding the High Line.

You’ll see dancers on rooftops mimic one another in a series of improvised movements. It happens again at 7 p.m.

Information: +1-212-500-6035;

Saturday Night

Before Brian Wilson started penning tunes about beach life, he fell in love with George Gershwin’s music.

“‘Rhapsody in Blue’ was the very first song I learned and played on the piano when I was 8,” Wilson said by phone during a rehearsal break last week.

He released a CD of Gershwin’s music last year, and is now performing it at Highline Ballroom. Expect a gorgeous acapella rendition of “Blue,” a jazzy version of “Summertime,” and a mash-up of “I Got Rhythm.”

It’s part of the Blue Note’s month-long jazz festival celebrating the club’s 30th anniversary.

At 431 W. 16th Street through Sunday. Information: +1-212-414-5994;


Get yourself some authentic grill.

It’s the 9th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, and top pitmasters from Texas and the South are descending on Manhattan to cook up their regional recipes.

Musicians Doug Wamble, Those Darlins and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears will entertain as you savor the pulled pork, brisket and ribs.

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Madison Square Park, between 23rd and 26th streets. and Fifth and Madison avenues. Information: +1-646-747-0584;

Sunday Evening

Shakespeare in the Park is previewing Daniel Sullivan’s production of “All’s Well that Ends Well.”

Annie Parisse is Helena, whose snooty husband Bertram, played by Andre Holland, abandons her right after their wedding. Using her wits plus a “bed trick,” the clever heroine finds the way to bring him round.

What could be better than listening to the Bard, as you enjoy views of Belvedere Castle and Turtle Pond on a soft summer night?

At the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, opening June 26. Enter at 81st St. and Central Park West or 79th St. and Fifth Ave. Information: +1-212-539-8750;

(With assistance from Daniel Billy, Patrick Cole and A. M. Erika. 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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