Serbian Bladder Queen, Fang Island, ABT: N.Y. Weekend (Update1)
The Serbian performance goddess will get up for good on May 31, having spent some ten weeks sitting down nearly every day without moving while the museum is open.
Catheter? Diapers? Some version of the stadium pal? Or just mind over matter? Art can be so mysterious.
Abramovic is the centerpiece of her own retrospective on the sixth floor, “The Artist is Present,” which includes live re-enactments of past triumphs. In one, a naked woman balances on a cross; in another, a naked guy sprawls snoozing under a skeleton. Noisy videos show Marina fiercely brushing her hair, people running into walls, and her one-time partner bouncing against a large rubber band. He too spent most of his adult life, it seems, wearing very little.
In olden days, she would probably be in the care of soothing people in white uniforms. But this is now and we have museums to fill.
The show concludes at 5 p.m. on Monday. After that, there’s always Marina on YouTube. Our favorite: “How we in the Balkans Kill Rats.” (Works for humans too).
Just tonight: Angel Corella and Paloma Herrera dance together in “Don Quixote” as American Ballet Theater continues its season at the Metropolitan Opera. (These staid story ballet folks still keep their clothes on, by the way). The show continues until next Friday when John Neumeier’s dark “Lady of the Camellias” returns with a changing cast, including soulful Roberto Bolle as Armand on Saturday night.
Le Grand Macabre
Bring a wad of cash for a visit to Breughel-land at the New York Philharmonic. Here’s a rare opportunity to witness Gyorgy Ligeti’s raucous ode to the end of the world, “Le Grand Macabre.” The orchestra and its enterprising new chief, Alan Gilbert, spent about half a million on this spectacle by Doug Fitch. Good for them not to give in to morose penny pinching. As Ligeti insists in this incoherent, brilliantly orchestrated extravaganza, it’s great to be drunk, happy and not dead.
The projections are sweet if a bit homespun like sock puppets, but how great to see this often deadly hall come alive in all corners. Bravo to the maestro (and his check-writing board).
Sold out tonight and tomorrow. But there’s always someone selling something. Information: http://nyphil.org
Brooklyn’s three-headed guitar act, Fang Island -- a drummer and bassist round out the group -- has been the buzz of the web with the release of their debut album earlier this year.
The 10-track record is a roller coaster ride of cascading guitar jams and vocal harmonies that can sound like chanting. They’ll play the intimate Cake Shop on Saturday night. 152 Ludlow St. +1-212-253-0036; http://www.cake-shop.com.
The band then opens for The Flaming Lips on a summer tour. Information: http://www.myspace.com/fangisland
Later, head over to WD-50 (50 Clinton St.) for licorice custard with sake sorbet and pear. Or the caramelized brioche with apricot, buttercream and lemon thyme. Foam is involved. Information: +1-212-253-0036.
Still stuck in town? The 15th annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts presents performers and artists throughout the holiday weekend in this diversely frenzied neighborhood.
A highlight is a pop-up art gallery of local artists in the lobby of the Theater for the New City, the town’s most outrageous producer of street theater agitprop and a mainstay of community organizing.
For a complete performance schedule over the three-day festival, go to http://www.theaterforthenewcity.net or +1-212- 254-1109.
After two days of rest, Gilbert and the Philharmonic move uptown to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine for a free concert of Copland, Haydn, Schubert and Beethoven. Sit by Greg Wyatt’s Peace Fountain, and hope for a visit from one of the cathedral’s famous and loud peacocks who coached with Ligeti.
At 8 p.m. The Cathedral is at 1047 Amsterdam Ave. and 112th Street. +1-212-316-7441; http://www.stjohndivine.org
Afterward, try perfectly grilled fish or the tapas and a beer at Vareli. The newest addition to the Columbia University neighborhood was established by the owners of nearby Westside Market. 2869 Broadway, at 111th Street; +1-212-678-8585. Or just cross the street to that flaky institution, the Hungarian Pastry Shop at 1030 Amsterdam Ave. +1-212-866-4230). Cash only.
(Manuela Hoelterhoff is executive editor of Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)