These are our top picks for the weekend of February 1st-3rd. For more event listings and reviews, check out Goings On About Town.
© Ellen Berkenblit; Courtesy the artist and Anton Kern Gallery, New YorkArt
The curator Dan Nadel, whose portal to art was underground comics, has a superbly weird eye and a mind that works like a Venn diagram. The sixteen artists in “Samaritans,” the split-level group show he organized at the Presenhuber gallery (on view through March 3), are united formally by their eccentricity and informally by their relationships. There are onetime high-school classmates (the painters Steve DiBenedetto and Ellen Berkenblit, whose “Captain of the Road” is pictured here), married couples (the sculptor Huma Bhabha and the painter Jason Fox, co-conspirators in gnarly aesthetics), and patron saints of the twisted (the polymathic cartoonist Gary Panter and the master of abjection Mike Kelley).—Andrea Scott
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Photograph Nathan Bajar / NYT / ReduxNight Life
The singer-songwriter Shamir has made reinvention into its own art. His acclaimed début album, “Ratchet,” from 2015, revelled in glorious dance-pop driven by radiant synths and ballroom-style rhythms. Fast-forward to last year’s “Resolution,” and we find a fully realized vision of indie rock. He sings of police brutality, panic attacks, and life’s complexities over grungy, wailing guitars and regal percussion, his gorgeous voice shifting between downy falsetto and androgynous tenor. Shamir displays his kaleidoscopic talents on Saturday at Brooklyn Bazaar.—Briana Younger
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Photograph by Haruka Sakaguchi for The New YorkerFood & Drink: Tables for Two
In Japan, freshwater eel, or unagi, is such a beloved and age-old delicacy—prized for its nutritional value (it’s high in vitamins and protein), its tender, ever so slightly gelatinous texture, and its rich yet delicate flavor, enjoyed especially in the summertime—that there is a category of restaurants that serve basically nothing else. In New York, where once there were no such establishments, suddenly there are two: Unagi Aburi Ittetsu and Unagi-Ya Hachibei.—Hannah Goldfield
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Illustration by Antonio SortinoThe Theatre
Long before “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda was part of an improv hip-hop group called Freestyle Love Supreme, which performed frequently at Ars Nova and Joe’s Pub. Formed in 2003, while Miranda and the director Thomas Kail were working on “In the Heights,” the group spins audience cues into freestyle comedy. It returns this week, for a run at Greenwich House Theatre, under Kail’s direction, featuring Chris Sullivan, Anthony Veneziale, and Bill Sherman, whose day job is music director of “Sesame Street.” Miranda, a producer, will make guest appearances.—Michael Schulman
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Photograph Courtesy The Criterion CollectionMovies
There’s a special subcategory of movies in which people—whether celebrities or civilians—play themselves, acting out stories from their own lives. Anthology Film Archives’ series “In-Person Reenactment,” running through Feb. 13, displays the surprisingly wide range of films—and of lives—that it covers; the first weekend’s offerings include Tom Gries’s “The Greatest,” starring Muhammad Ali as himself, and Abbas Kiarostami’s “Close-Up,” a wryly intricate docu-fiction about an aspiring Iranian filmmaker who impersonates a real-life one.—Richard Brody
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Photograph by Cameron Kelly / ISSUE Project RoomClassical Music
As a composer, Eric Wubbels infuses complex structures with brusque energy and potent psychoacoustic effects; as a pianist, he has a gift for investing his music with irresistible appeal. Performing on Saturday at DiMenna Center with the violinist Josh Modney and the cellist Mariel Roberts, Wubbels introduces “If and Only If,” a newly completed forty-five-minute piano trio. Also on the program are Vicente Hansen Atria’s “Speleology” and Linda Catlin Smith’s “Dreamer Murmuring,” the latter in its U.S. première.—Steve Smith
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Illustration by Matteo BertonDance
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s work divides the audience: some leave the theatre exhilarated, others exasperated and wondering why they came. And it makes sense—she’s utterly uncompromising. In her program at Baryshnikov Arts Center, tonight through Sunday, with her company Rosas, the music behind the dance is Arnold Schoenberg’s “Verklärte Nacht,” a stormy and achingly beautiful tone poem about a night of rapturous confessions, forgiveness, and love. The poem that inspired it includes the lines “See how brightly the universe gleams! There is a radiance on everything.” De Keersmaeker’s language is less exalted, but it’s been known to offer revelations of its own.—Marina Harss
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