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Marsalis Toots, Sawed-up Chaplin, Shrek in Love: London Weekend

Wynton Marsalis
Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is playing at Ronnie Scott's. Photographer: Clay McBride/Jazz at Lincoln Center via Bloomberg

Wynton Marsalis has brought his trumpet across the pond for a five-night residency.

Fans are packing into intimate Ronnie Scott’s for the Marsalis Quintet’s two shows a night. The Pulitzer and multiple Grammy winner is blasting through his swing jazz hits to a rapturous reception.

47 Frith Street, W1D 4HT, through Aug. 20. Shows at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Limited tickets left.

Information: http://www.wyntonmarsalis.org/ or http://www.ronniescotts.co.uk or +44-20-7439-0747.

Frith Street is turning into a destination for food lovers, lured by Arbutus, Barrafina, Bar Shu and Koya, all of which are good. For a taste of old Soho, Quo Vadis may be an even better bet. The restaurant was founded in 1926 -- the year before the late club owner Ronnie Scott was born.

Information: http://bit.ly/nltQB or +44-20-7437-9585.

Saturday

Queen Elizabeth II wears a strained smile and a diamond crown as she poses for Lucian Freud.

Freud, who died last month at age 88, is pictured from the back in his dingy atelier, standing at a well-worn, rust-colored easel. The photograph by David Dawson is part of the government’s art collection and currently hanging in the Whitechapel Gallery; it usually lives in Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s office, one of his personal picks.

The Freud picture itself was described as “an insulting daub” and “a travesty” by British newspapers.

Another cabinet curator, Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey, has chosen monoprints by Tracey Emin -- two with no lewd content, depicting the coastal town of Margate. It’s where Emin grew up, and where Vaizey spent summers as a kid.

“Government Art Collection at Work” ends Sept. 4 at the Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, E1 7QX. Information: http://www.whitechapelgallery.org or +44-20-7522-7888.

Chef Angela Hartnett now oversees the Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room, worth a visit in itself. Hartnett champions seasonal dishes with maximum flavor and minimum fuss, and her menu is a match for any restaurant in the area. Information: http://bit.ly/fWDVFx or +44-20-7522-7896.

Saturday Night

A flying dragon and a chorus of tuxedoed rats rank among the show-stealers in “Shrek: The Musical.”

Now in London after a year on Broadway, “Shrek” focuses on the improbable pairing of a grouchy, green-faced ogre (Nigel Lindsay) and the princess he involuntarily rescues (Amanda Holden, a judge on the “Britain’s Got Talent” show).

Expect plenty of burps and bodily noises at the Drury Lane Theatre. Information: http://www.shrekthemusical.co.uk or +44-844-871-8810.

Sunday

It’s your last chance to see Charlie Chaplin’s daughter get sawed in half.

Victoria Chaplin and her husband Jean-Baptiste Thierree weave freaky tricks, tightrope walks and costumes into their “Invisible Circus” -- not to mention a cute colony of rabbits and ducks.

“Le Cirque Invisible” ends Sunday with the 2:30 p.m. performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Information: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk or +44-844-847-9943.

(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts & leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

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