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‘Nutcracker: Rated R,’ Yo La Tengo, Cannibal Witch: NYC Weekend

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"Portrait of an Old Man and a Boy"
"Portrait of an Old Man and a Boy" (1490) by Domenico Ghirlandaio. On loan from the Musee du Louvre, Paris, the double portrait, perhaps of a grandfather and grandson, explores familial lineage. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art via Bloomberg

Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Catch the grown-up “Nutcracker: Rated R” at Le Poisson Rouge Friday night for an amusing send-up of the family classic.

Created by Angela Harriell, this ballet has Clara as a rebellious teen whose uncle Drosselmeyer takes her back to New York’s 1980s club scene. The fancy footwork ranges from ballet to breakdance.

There’s also a bit of rhythm gymnastics, presented by a member of the 1996 German Olympic team.

At 158 Bleecker St. Information: +1-212-505-3474; http://lepoissonrouge.com.

For a musical evening, cross the river -- beloved Hoboken natives Yo La Tengo play their annual Hanukkah residency at Maxwell’s.

The trio’s restless sound roves from fragile to noisy, brassy to bluesy.

Keep in mind they usually stock their shows with surprise guests, so each night packs a different punch.

Runs through Dec. 27 at Maxwell’s, 1039 Washington St., Hoboken, NJ. Information: +1-201-653-1709; http://maxwellsnj.com.

Saturday

The blond tot, a jaunty red hat setting off perfect golden ringlets, looks up at his grandfather, whose face, filled with humanity, is dominated by a warty, bulbous nose. Youth and age regard one another with clear-eyed benevolence.

This is the work of Ghirlandaio, part of the Metropolitan Museum’s powerful new exhibit: “The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini.” In more than 160 works, ranging from painting to marble sculpture, individuals come alive across the centuries.

Runs through March 18 at 1000 Fifth Ave. Information: +1-212-535-7710; http://www.metmuseum.org.

Saturday Matinee

Old madwoman or emerging artist? The great Rosemary Harris takes on Athol Fugard’s Miss Helen in the Roundabout Theatre Company production of “The Road to Mecca.”

Based on South Africa’s most famous Outsider artist, Miss Helen is a widow in the middle of nowhere creating a weird collection of sculptures in her garden.

Jim Dale is the worried minister who wants to send her to the Sunshine Home for the Aged, while Carla Gugino plays the young friend desperate to keep her free.

In previews at the American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St., opening Jan. 17 for a limited run. Information: +1-212-719-1300; http://www.roundabouttheatre.org.

Saturday Night

A cheer goes up in the usually staid Metropolitan Opera audience when Hansel and Gretel finally push the cannibal witch into her own oven.

“Eat or be eaten” is the motto of the 2007 Richard Jones production of the Engelbert Humperdinck work now in revival at the Met.

Kate Lindsey is an appropriately boyish Hansel, while Aleksandra Kurzak sings Gretel with sweet innocence. The voracious villainess is played by tenor Robert Brubaker, decked out in pearls and a too-tight skirt.

Runs through Jan. 7 at Lincoln Center. Information: +1-212-362-6000; http://www.metoperafamily.org.

Sunday

Take a look at some compassionate photographs shot on New York City streets during the Depression, World War II and the tumultuous years that followed.

“The Radical Camera,” formed in 1936 to engage with the city’s tough realities, shows images taken by members of the Photo League, including Berenice Abbott, Paul Strand and Weegee.

There are shots of demonstrations, black kids playing in the streets of Harlem and saucy girls posing for the camera at Coney Island.

Blacklisted by the U.S. Justice Department for its activities in 1947, the League shut down in 1951.

Runs through March 25 at the Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. Information: +1-212-423-3200; http://www.thejewishmuseum.org.

Sunday Afternoon

Grab your skates and head to the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink, to show off your layback spins.

Towering above is the 12-ton, 74-foot tall Norway spruce decorated with 5-miles of LED lights, topped by a Swarovski star.

Get a special holiday premium pass to enter through the VIP Igloo and avoid the crowds.

Off Fifth Ave. between 47th and 50th Sts. Information: +1-212-632-3975; http://www.rockefellercenter.com.

Then retire to the Rock Center Cafe, on the north side of the rink, and sip a Manhattan while savoring the crab and risotto cake with watercress.

For dessert, try the deep dish apple pie.

Information: +1-212-332-7620.

Sunday Evening

Soothe your soul by listening to the sounds of Christmas at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine performed by Early Music New York.

Conducted by Frederick Renz, the male chamber choir with instrumental ensemble will present medieval processional music and early Baroque carols and noels.

Take in the Great Rose Window, made from 10,000 glass pieces, the largest stained-glass window in the U.S.

At 1047 Amsterdam Ave. Information: +1-212-749-6600; http://earlymusicny.org.

(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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