Your Week in Culture: ‘Nutcracker,’ James Levine and Christmas Scripted by Charles Dickens

Pair it this Thanksgiving weekend with the Steven Soderbergh-produced Western series, “Godless,” streaming Wednesday on Netflix, in which Michelle Dockery — Mr. Stevens’s “Downton” love, Lady Mary — gets some screen time of her own. KATHRYN SHATTUCK


James Levine, Metropolitan Opera’s emeritus music director, will lead four concert performances of Verdi’s Requiem. Credit Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Classical Music: James Levine Leads Verdi’s Requiem

Nov. 24, 27, 29; Dec. 2;

Perhaps the greatest disappointment of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2017-18 season was the company’s decision to cancel a new production of Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” by the visionary, controversial director Calixto Bieito, in an attempt to cut costs. At least its replacement will sound a somber note in memoriam: The company’s emeritus music director James Levine will make a rare appearance to lead four concert performances of Verdi’s titanic Requiem.

A star team of soloists — Krassimira Stoyanova, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Ferruccio Furlanetto — will join Levine and the Met orchestra and chorus in bringing to life the composer’s hyper-dramatic funeral mass, written to honor the death of the patriotic Italian novelist Alessandro Manzoni. WILLIAM ROBIN


Lila Neugebauer‘s kinetic production of “The Wolves” opens on Nov. 20 at Lincoln Center. Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Theater: ‘The Wolves’ at Lincoln Center

Through Jan. 7;

It comes as a shock, in the final scene of Sarah DeLappe’s dazzlingly fierce and funny debut play, “The Wolves,” when one character mentions another by name. Until then, we know them all — nine teenage girls, members of an indoor soccer team called the Wolves — only by jersey number: 7, a bullying alpha, reckless with her talent; 25, the team captain, unironic in ordering the ladies to circle up; 46, the newbie, excruciatingly awkward and, in Tedra Millan’s beautifully nuanced performance, exceptionally endearing.

The chance to spend time with them again is reason to celebrate the return of Lila Neugebauer‘s kinetic production. Seen Off Broadway twice last season, it’s in previews at Lincoln Center Theater, where it opens on Monday, Nov. 20, with almost the entire original cast. A finalist for this year’s Pulitzer Prize, “The Wolves” is perfectly attuned to this moment — taking for granted that young women are whole human beings, and aware that not everyone sees them that way. LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES

Love, Lies and Records: Trailer – BBC One Video by BBC

TV: Ashley Jensen in ‘Love, Lies & Records’

Nov. 20;

Last year — after a career playing the effervescent sidekick in “Extras,” “Ugly Betty” and “Catastrophe” — the Scottish actress Ashley Jensen glammed up in fuchsia lipstick and a matching leather jacket for a long-overdue lead as a London publicist turned Cotswolds sleuth in “Agatha Raisin,” an original series from the streaming site Acorn TV.

Alas, a second season wasn’t to be. But Acorn’s programmers, bless ’em, are back on Ms. Jensen’s bandwagon with “Love, Lies & Records,” starting Monday, Nov. 20. Co-produced with BBC One (it debuts a few days earlier in Britain), the six-part drama stars Ms. Jensen as a registrar in Leeds, where she invariably summons precisely the right words for life’s big moments — births, deaths and marriages — while bumbling through her own relationships, hampered by an office indiscretion and a blackmailing colleague. Kay Mellor, who was inspired to create the show after registering her own mother’s death, has called it “anti-Brexit,” centering story lines on same-sex marriage, immigration and transgender struggles. KATHRYN SHATTUCK


The National Gallery of Art will show a sampling of Anne Truitt’s sculptures and drawings, through April 1. Credit Image

Art: Anne Truitt at the National Gallery

Through Apr. 1;

Anne Truitt’s otherworldly but deeply humane wooden monoliths are unmistakable demonstrations of the positive value of restraint. You can’t see every one of the 20 or so layers of paint that went into a piece like the nearly seven-foot tall, golden yellow “Summer Remembered,” but it shimmers distinctly with the artist’s focused concentration.

With the exception of three years in Tokyo in the late 1960s, Truitt (1921-2004) spent her working life in Washington, D.C. The National Gallery of Art’s sampling of sculptures and drawings that span most of Truitt’s career is an opportunity to see her work in exactly the light — and latitude — she made it for. WILL HEINRICH

Noname Yesterday Video by The Mellow Effect

Pop: Noname and Kweku Collins in Chicago

Through Nov. 30;

Energy drinks aren’t for everyone, but you don’t need to consume them to enjoy the arts programming that Red Bull sponsors each year in cities around the world. For music fans, the company’s latest venture — 30 Days in Chicago, a monthlong festival with an emphasis on hip-hop and R&B — is a pick-me-up in itself.

The lineup this week is particularly strong, with performances by Noname, the lyricist behind last year’s acclaimed “Telefone” (Nov. 21 at Concord Music Hall); the promising Canadian crooner Daniel Caesar (Nov. 20 at Reggie’s Rock Club); and the thoughtful rapper Kweku Collins (Nov. 25 at Space), among others.

While tickets for many shows have sold out, it’s worth checking out the resale market for a chance to see these blazing young talents in action. SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON

Continue reading the main story

Leave a Response