Seven Picks a Week is our guide to what’s worth catching in arts, culture and activities during the week ahead, with contributions from reporters throughout the WNYC/Gothamist newsroom and colleagues from WQXR and “All of It.”
Enjoy an evening at Lincoln Center overflowing with international music
If you’re someone who takes pride in having eclectic musical tastes, you won’t want to miss out on the 20th anniversary of globalFEST, coming to Lincoln Center this Sunday evening. The annual festival, which showcases an array of disparate, dazzling global musicians, will feature 10 groups performing on multiple stages inside the newly renovated David Geffen Hall. Performers include the New York Arabic Orchestra, flamenco singer Maria José Llergo, Cambodian-psych band Dengue Fever (pictured above), Tamasheq desert-blues group Tamikrest, Mexican garage-punk band Son Rompe Pera and more. Check out ticket info and a complete schedule of events here.
– Ben Yakas
Watch a sold-out celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. streaming online
This Sunday afternoon, WNYC and the Apollo Theater join forces for their 17th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, “MLK – Blueprint for the Culture,” programmed as part of the Apollo’s Uptown Hall series. “Notes from America” host Kai Wright talks with activist Chelsea Miller during the first hour of the event. WQXR’s Terrance McKnight hosts the second half, featuring music with the Harlem Chamber Players and other guests. Tickets for the event sold out quickly, but you can watch it live, free of charge, on the WNYC website.
– Steve Smith
Share a metaphysical experience at the New York Philharmonic
There is buzz that young Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali is a contender to be our hometown band’s next music director, and these concerts also feature Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” – the first chance to hear this seminal work in the new acoustics of David Geffen Hall. But for me, the chance to hear the New York premiere of “Catamorphosis,” by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, is an equally compelling reason to get thee to the New York Philharmonic this weekend. Her music is beautiful, mysterious and – as suggested by her title – metaphysical. Thorvaldsdottir’s music often bridges that difficult gap that can sometimes exist between pushing the boundaries and accessibility. Tickets are available for performance tonight and tomorrow night; see details here.
– Ed Yim, WQXR
Have some laughs – and a costume party – at “The Pregame”
Billed as a comedy show that ends with a themed afterparty, this month’s “Pregame” celebrates “Friday the 13th.” Audience members are encouraged to dress in costume as their favorite scary icon – “whether it’s Michael Myers, Vecna, Regina George,” or anyone else, says co-producer and performer Brent Birnbaum. The latest lineup includes one of “Saturday Night Live’s” newest talents, KC Shornima, plus several standups. It happens this Friday, Jan. 13 at 10 p.m. at Local 92 in the East Village, and tickets start at around $15.
– Kerry Shaw
Encounter avant-garde theater artists from around the world
The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival is back this year, featuring in-person performances for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Every year, the festival highlights innovative & experimental theater and performance art from around the world. This year, 36 artists from nine different countries will share their performances across six venues around the city – there’s a one-man piece about Otto Frank, Ann Frank’s father, a puppet adaptation of “Moby Dick” and dramatic readings of the very dirty love letters of James Joyce, among others. Earlier this week we spoke with festival director Mark Russell about the performances being featured during the festival, which runs through January 22, and with performance artist Migguel Anggelo about “LatinXoXo,” billed as an “outrageously queer concert experience” running through Jan. 17 at Joe’s Pub. See the full schedule here.
– Alison Stewart and Zach Gottehrer-Cohen, “All of It”
See dancers in motion at the Guggenheim Museum
Works and Process at the Guggenheim is presenting the Underground Uptown Dance Festival, a showcase for commissioned street and social dances. Audiences will be treated to a roster of works that incorporate a broad range of dance traditions, including hip-hop, house, Afrobeat, voguing, breaking and krumping. Programs include highlights and excerpts of work by Les Ballet Afrik, Princess Lockerooo, Ladies of Hip-Hop and more. The festival runs through Jan. 17; for more information, visit here.
– Precious Fondren
Discover how a punk band challenged apartheid
A reminder that the initial thrust of punk rebellion was international and politically threatening to even the world’s most extreme hegemonies lies at the heart of a documentary screening on Saturday night as part of Film at Lincoln Center’s New York Jewish Film Festival. National Wake was a multiracial punk band founded in 1978 in Johannesburg, fueled by the anti-Apartheid sentiment of young white South Africans after the Soweto uprising. Playing a mixture of punk, reggae/ska and funk to underground audiences in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, their very existence was banned by the government. “This is National Wake” is the feature-length directorial debut of journalist Mirissa Neff, filled with Super 8 films of performances, rehearsals and everyday life under apartheid. It’s narrated primarily by the band’s songwriter Ivan Kadey, who calls it a story of young men “struggling within the system to meet our own dreams of what South Africa could be.” For festival tickets and more information, go here.
– Piotr Orlov