5 Things to Do This Weekend
Art & Museums
Cultural Crossroads at Lincoln Center
Bringing together a range of socially engaged artists, Lincoln Center’s first-ever poet in residence, Mahogany L. Browne, plans to host free, monthly virtual and in-person events as part of her three-month residency, “We Are the Work.” Her first, which is on Saturday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will feature slam poets and musicians performing next to artworks on digital billboards lining 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, and in front of Alice Tully Hall.
Many of the works — by multidisciplinary artists such as Russell Craig, Rico Frederick and Eboni Hogan — serve as inspiration for the evening’s performances. In one, the violinist Mylez Gittens will play a piece he wrote for another violinist, Elijah McClain, a young Black man killed by police in a suburb of Denver in 2019. The graphic in the background of that performance is an image of McClain by Michael Boyd of the Supremacy Project.
At 6:30, the festivities will culminate in a poetry reading by Browne and special guests at Hearst Plaza. A standby line to get into the reading will form at the 65th Street entrance to the plaza. For more information, visit the event’s web page on Lincoln Center’s website or call 212-875-5456.
Disrupting Sexual Politics
Shortly before the lockdown in 2020, Jacqueline Novak’s “Get on Your Knees” was enjoying an extended run at the Lucille Lortel Theater. Novak had planned to take it on a tour of theaters and festivals, and film a performance for global distribution, but of course, the pandemic put all that on hold.
Now, Novak has brought the Drama Desk Award-nominated one-hander back to where it had its first run in 2019: the Cherry Lane Theater in the West Village.
As I observed back then, “Novak redefines sexual politics and turns it on its ultrasensitive head.” Her ribald work, which is directed as before by the comedian and actor John Early, isn’t just funny, it’s educational.
“Get on Your Knees” will be performed at the Cherry Lane from Monday to Saturday at 8 p.m. until July 31. Tickets are available at the theater’s website.
SEAN L. McCARTHY
Requiem for the American Dream
“Blue Collar” (1978), the bleak, hard-edge directorial debut of the screenwriter Paul Schrader (“Taxi Driver”), follows three co-workers (Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto) at a Detroit auto plant who are themselves cogs in a machine — mistreated by their bosses on one hand and by their corrupt union, which isn’t even good for repairing a locker, on the other.
Making less than a living wage, turning to cocaine and drink as outlets from boredom, they decide to rob the labor organization (hey, they’re only stealing from themselves). But this is no caper movie: The fallout from the theft only accelerates the forces that collude to keep the friends down and fighting with one another. Schrader, who wrote the movie with his brother, Leonard, offers a searing diagnosis of how the powerful exploit pressure points among the powerless.
Starting on Friday, Film Forum will screen the movie for a week in a pristine 35-millimeter print.
Delivering a Soulful Harlem Stew
Well before Gregory Porter leapt from playing soul-jazz gigs in Harlem bars to international stardom, the svelte, skillful vocalist and guitarist Allan Harris, a native of the neighborhood, was working out a similar brew.
Harris’s latest album, “Kate’s Soulfood,” is a tribute to Harlem that’s full of original compositions in the Lou Rawls and Al Jarreau tradition — seated comfortably at the corner of blues, cabaret, ’70s soul and midcentury jazz. To pull it off, Harris enlisted a top-shelf ensemble and the producer Kamau Kenyatta, who won a Grammy in 2016 for his work with Porter.
From Thursday to Saturday, Harris and an octet will perform selections from the LP at Birdland, the storied Midtown jazz club, which reopened for live concerts last week. They will play sets at 7 p.m. on Thursday and 7 and 9:30 on Friday and Saturday; admission is $30. (Select other weekday performances at Birdland this month will cost only 99 cents for those who buy tickets in advance, as part of a reopening promotion.)
Fun on Ship and Shore
Although brutal summer heat sometimes makes New York feel like a city of fire, it is fundamentally a city of water.
Families can learn why on Saturday, when the Waterfront Alliance and the New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program will present the annual City of Water Day, a free celebration not only in the five boroughs but also in Westchester County and New Jersey. (Schedules and a map are on the festival’s website.) The offerings — some online, and some requiring registration — mix education about conservation and climate change with aquatic fun.
The highlights for children include a cleanup scavenger hunt at Hunts Point Riverside Park in the Bronx; explorations of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater at West Harlem Piers, and the 19th-century tall ship Wavertree at the South Street Seaport Museum in Lower Manhattan; and a family shoreline walk in Red Hook, Brooklyn. And don’t forget the biggest event-within-the-event: the Jamaica Bay Festival in Brooklyn and Queens, with boating, nature tours and catch-and-release fishing.
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