London Weekend: Alicia Keys, Ritz Lunch, Crazed Boxers

Alicia Keys, lunch at the Ritz and sweaty boxers are among Muse’s arts and leisure recommendations for London this weekend.


Telling the truth doesn’t pay.

Henrik Ibsen’s “Public Enemy” is all about a certain Dr. Stockmann whose prosperous spa town is about to get spanking new baths. Trouble is, the town’s water supply is contaminated, and Dr. Stockmann lets that be known.

Locals shrug off the pollution claims, preferring to focus on the economic benefits. Soon, the good Dr. Stockmann becomes the town scapegoat. “Public Enemy,” in a staging by Richard Jones, ends June 8. Information: or +44-20-7922-2922.


Slow Food U.K. offers a four-course family lunch at L’Anima restaurant Saturday to mark Slow Food Week. Chef Francesco Mazzei will showcase regional Italian cuisine using locally sourced produce. Tickets start at 70 pounds ($106) for adults; children under 14 eat for free. Information: or +44-20-7422-7000.

Lunch at the Ritz sounds like the kind of treat you’d save for birthdays or anniversaries. (People book months ahead for high tea there.) Yet the set three-course lunch is 47 pounds on Saturdays and 55 pounds on Sundays. You eat in one of London’s most beautiful dining rooms, or out on the terrace. Information: or +44-20-7493-8181.


Two sweaty boxers have a nasty punchup in turn-of-the-century New York.

George Bellows’s “Stag at Sharkey’s” (1909) is at London’s Royal Academy of Arts for just one more week, and it’s worth the visit. Though boxing was banned in the New York of the 1900s, there were enough private fights for Bellows to get the inspiration for his best-known work.

His other Manhattan scenes are fine, too: the nighttime digs to build Penn Station, the billboard-covered skyscrapers, the busy sidewalks.

Ends June 9 at the Royal Academy of Arts. Information: or +44-20-7300-8000.


Alicia Keys brings her “Set the World on Fire” tour to London. The show tears through hits including her new album’s title track, “Girl on Fire.” May 31 only at O2. Information:,, +44-20-8463-2000.

Green Day goes for the big time at the 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium. June 1 only. Information: +44-20-7619-5003.

Chime for Change at Twickenham Stadium, supporting a campaign to put women’s issues on the world stage, stars Beyonce and Timbaland. June 1.

Disney gets a bumpy ride in the new Philip Glass opera, “The Perfect American.” Christopher Purves plays the aged Walt Disney in the work based on Peter Stephan Jungk’s novel.

From June 1 at English National Opera, London Coliseum, St. Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4ES. Information:, +44-20-7845-9300.


Akram Khan, the supple dancer who stunned the 900 million viewers of the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, delivers a tribute to Igor Stravinsky’s 100-year-old “Rite of Spring.”

Khan -- who usually performs solo or in tandem with such talents as Sylvie Guillem or Juliette Binoche -- stays off the stage this time.

His “iTMOi” (In the Mind of Igor) is a mesmeric spectacle of writhing, whirling characters. Most striking is a ghostly, powder-faced woman in a hoop skirt (Catherine Schaub Abkarian) who dances herself to death.

Ends Saturday at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Information: or +44-844-412-4300.

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

Muse highlights include New York and London weekend guides and Lewis Lapham on history.

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