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City Trader Turns Killer, Beach Boy’s Gershwin: London Weekend

Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson works at his piano on his album of Gershwin music. Source: Clay Patrick McBride/ Disney Pearl via Bloomberg

Beach Boy Brian Wilson is coming to London to take George Gershwin surfin’.

“Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So” are given a Californian-pop makeover by Wilson, who says that “Rhapsody in Blue” is one of his favorite tunes. He is back at London’s Royal Festival Hall, where in recent years he has run through all of the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” and “Smile” albums.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX, Sept. 16-18. Information: +44-20-7960-4200, or


The brand-new Buicks in Lee Friedlander’s photographs look pretty unappetizing.

The American photographer (now 77) was asked by Harper’s Bazaar in 1963-4 to shoot the new Buick and Ford models. The results were so unglamorous that they never ran. Fished out of his archive and now on show, they’re yours for $6,000 each.

Far more alluring (and priced $9,500 each) are the black-and-white Hasselblad prints taken in the last decade and a half from inside his car. Like a road movie, they show America through its roadside diners, highways, and tacky billboards. The dashboard, windshield and steering wheel act as frame dividers, making the images look almost abstract.

The show ends Oct. 1 at the Timothy Taylor Gallery, 15 Carlos Place, London W1K 2EX. Information: or +44-20-7409-3344.

Murano, near the gallery, is the modern Italian restaurant of Angela Hartnett, the Good Food Guide’s chef of the year. The set lunch is 30 pounds ($47.23), and might include dishes such as roasted sea trout, aubergine parmigiana, tomato vinaigrette. Information: or +44-20-7592-1222.

Saturday Night

A City trader named Johnny goes out to dinner, attacks a young woman, and kills her dad.

Johnny is actually Don Giovanni, in an updated production by the pop-up troupe OperaUpClose. Shortened to 2 hours and 15 minutes, the Mozart opera has some live piano and electronic sounds mixed in for even more of a contemporary touch.

As in the original, Johnny has more than one woman on the go. In this version, he also has an uppity intern. Uneven though the production may be, it makes for an unusual night out.

“Don Giovanni” ends Saturday at the Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, W1D 3NE. Information: +44-20-7478-0100 or

Soho is home to so many good restaurants, it can be hard to choose. If you want to eat before “Don Giovanni,” Barrafina is a fine pick. Long lines form at this fashionable tapas bar, yet you can grab seats if you arrive just after it opens at 5 p.m. Information: or +44-20-7813-8016.

Rock fans get a rare chance on Saturday to hear electronic pioneer Gary Numan. The man known for hits such as “Cars” has just released a new album, “Dead Son Rising.”

O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT, Sept. 11. Information:


Those passing the Victoria & Albert museum will stumble across a new three-story structure in front of the main door. The latticed circle, made of red oak and dubbed “Timber Wave,” is by Amanda Levete, the architect designing the V&A’s new extension.

It’s an eye-catching display that’s part of the London Design Festival, now in its ninth year and involving some 200 organizations.

Other architects with projects around town are David Chipperfield, who has a glass structure outside the Royal Festival Hall, and John Pawson, whose optical devices in St. Paul’s Cathedral reflect the interior from unusual angles.

The festival ends Sept. 25. Information:

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

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