Cheryl Cole Jingles Bells; Pop Cabaret: London Weekend
Will Young sparkles in “Cabaret.”
The platinum-selling performer runs around in leather shorts and sock suspenders in Rufus Norris’s revisiting of the musical. “Mein Gott, she’s so hot!” he cheers at the sight of his sidekick Sally Bowles (Michelle Ryan), who wears bondage- style corsets. He then trundles on in a velvet fatsuit for a rendition of “Money Makes the World Go Round.”
As Sally Bowles, Ryan is more Lily (Allen) than Liza (Minnelli). Sian Phillips easily outsings her as the elderly landlady. Ultimately, though, Young is the show’s selling point.
“Cabaret” ends Jan. 19 at the Savoy Theatre, Savoy Court on the Strand, WC2R 0ET. Information: http://www.atgtickets.com or +44-844-871-7615.
The River Restaurant at the Savoy is often overshadowed by the hotel’s grill room, run by Gordon Ramsay. The River is more sedate, with fine Thames views, formal service and a menu that’s classic, not old-fashioned. It isn’t as expensive as it looks. The pre-theater menu is 24 pounds ($38.50) for two courses and 27.50 pounds for three. Information: http://bit.ly/NwBT5i or +44-20-7836-4343.
The sculptures parked on Trafalgar Square’s empty plinth have all been brought under one roof -- in miniature form.
Artworks commissioned for the Fourth Plinth are on display in a well-presented show at the nearby Institute of Contemporary Arts. There’s Marc Quinn’s marble likeness of Alison Lapper, the Yinka Shonibare bottled ship with batik sails, and the blue rooster (“Hahn/Cock”) by Katharina Frisch that goes up next year. There’s also the standout that never made it on: Jeremy Deller’s carcass of a car blown up in Baghdad after the 2003 Iraq war.
An empty plinth symbolizes Antony Gormley’s “One & Other,” in which he invited a different person to stand on the plinth every hour for 100 days. You’ll see a selection of loopy participants on a plasma screen, including a male nudist, who flashes by pretty quickly.
“Fourth Plinth: Contemporary Monument” is at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, SW1Y 5AH through Jan. 20. Information: http://www.ica.org.uk or +44-20-7930-3647.
Zedel, a short walk away, is one of London’s most glamorous restaurants, an offshoot of the fabled Wolseley. Prices are surprisingly low. Most starters cost less than five pounds, while the set menu is 8.75 pounds for two courses and 11.25 pounds for three. If you want a quiet drink, the Bar Americain is extremely elegant. Classic cocktails are 9.75 pounds. Information: http://www.brasseriezedel.com/ or +44-20-7734-4888.
This is also the debut weekend of the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, that towering yearly gift from Norway to thank Britain for hosting the Norwegian government-in-exile during World War II. See it lit at night. Information: http://www.london.gov.uk.
Bruno Mars, Cheryl Cole, JLS, the Script and Rizzle Kicks start the Christmas party on Saturday. Calvin Harris, Girls Aloud and Pink keep it going Sunday. This collection of pop stars will congregate at the O2 for the annual Jingle Bell Ball.
Those unable to get to the O2 can tune in to Capital FM, which is organizing the show. (Bloomberg critic Robert Heller will be there to report on the highlights and lowlights, and party with the teen bands so you don’t have to.)
Looking for a fancy turban, an ethical T-shirt, or a subtle seascape to give a loved one? Try the Angel Christmas Fair.
Held just off the main drag in fashionable Islington, the event offers affordable, cutting-edge art and design, and everything is handmade. It’s run by the Candid Arts Trust, whose mission is to promote graduate artists and designers.
A highlight of this year’s fair: jewelry -- made of precious metals, or of unwanted trinkets passed down over many generations.
The Angel Christmas Fair is free, and runs all weekend (starting Friday night). It’s at 3 Torrens Street, EC1V 1NQ. Information: http://www.candidarts.net.
Star soprano Renee Fleming rounds off the weekend with a recital of music by Mahler and Schoenberg.
Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8BS. Information: +44- 7638-8891, http://www.barbican.org.uk.
(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)
To contact the writers on this story: Farah Nayeri in London at email@example.com.
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