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5 Things to Do This Weekend

With the pandemic again preventing New York’s Winter Jazzfest from taking place downtown, organizers put together a series of well-produced, prerecorded broadcasts that have been streaming free since Friday on the festival’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page. They’re instantly archived, so what is normally a festival has instead become a public lending library of videos.

It still serves Winter Jazzfest’s manifest purpose — to take the temperature of the entire New York jazz scene. Watching one video alone will do it: “Virtual Marathon Night 1” showcased 20-minute sets from seven artists, including the commanding postbop pianist Helen Sung, the electroacoustic saxophone innovator David Binney and the vocalist-flutist-producer Melanie Charles (who also streamed the debut episode of her new podcast, “Make Jazz Trill Again,” on Tuesday as part of the festival).

Winter Jazzfest continues through Saturday: On Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern time, the trumpeter Maurice Brown (known as Mobetta) will be accompanied by Anderson .Paak on drums. On Saturday at 6 p.m., the British saxophonist Chelsea Carmichael will perform; and at 8, the capstone show will feature the drummer Makaya McCraven, the vocalist Samara Joy and the writer Mahogany L. Browne.

School can be intimidating, whether you’re attending for the first time or returning after a break. And you’re bound to be especially self-conscious if you have bright pink fur and a neon-blue ponytail.

That describes Petunia, a gregarious, bug-eyed puppet who looks as if she could be related to Elmo on “Sesame Street.” The host of “Petunia’s Playhouse,” a free self-care web series developed and written by Laura Kay Clark, she is now onstage — virtually — in “Petunia’s Big Day,” from Party Claw Productions and New Ohio Theater’s program Theater for Young Minds.

With a book by Clark, who also voices the title character, and appealing music and lyrics by Billy Recce, the show focuses on Petunia’s exciting first morning of school. Suddenly the Anxiety Monster — who first takes the form of a finger puppet and then becomes a loud, insistent human showman (Christopher Isolano) — drops in, followed by comically nervous butterflies. (Eric Wright, co-founder of the Puppet Kitchen, and Myra G. Reavis designed the inventive puppets.)

You may wish that this amusing half-hour show, directed by Christina Rose Ashby and streaming on demand on Eventive through Feb. 6 (tickets are $25 per household), were longer. But it does offer its fuzzy heroine simple strategies to vanquish the jitters. And they work for people, too.

Film Series

The Hungarian director Marta Meszaros remains relatively unknown here, but by presenting 11 of her features in six days beginning on Friday, Film at Lincoln Center will offer moviegoers a chance to become experts quickly. “Adoption” (on Friday and Sunday), which centers on a childless 43-year-old who takes a teenager under her wing, won the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 1975. Meszaros’s next film, the even more bracing “Nine Months” (on Sunday and Tuesday), stars Lili Monori as a single mother whose relationship with her controlling factory foreman (Jan Nowicki) casts gender and workplace expectations in a harsh light.

The lavish period production “The Heiresses” (on Saturday and Wednesday) features Monori as a wealthy woman who persuades a Jewish friend (Isabelle Huppert) to bear a child for her as World War II looms. The highlight is likely Meszaros’s autobiographically inspired “Diary” trilogy, which began in 1984 with the gorgeous, black-and-white “Diary for My Children” (on Saturday and Wednesday). Zsuzsa Czinkoczi plays Meszaros’s proxy — a movie-loving teenager forced to live with her great-aunt (Anna Polony), a revolutionary turned party stalwart, as Stalinism gains force after World War II.


In 2012, when the comedians Dan Goodman and JoAnna Ross paired pole dancers with stand-ups to raise funds for a friend’s cancer treatment, the format for the show, “Schtick a Pole in It,” worked so well that they kept producing it. Now, 117 performances later, they have reached their ninth anniversary.

On Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at Drom in the East Village, Goodman and Ross will host a celebration, with pole dancers such as Lara Michaels and Donna Carnow performing to this weekend’s musical theme: Styx (previous themes have included power ballads, “West Side Story,” disco and Megan Thee Stallion). John Moses and Nathan Macintosh will provide the laughs on Friday; Gus Constantinos and Gianmarco Soresi, on Saturday.

Tickets start at $35 and are available at Eventbrite.

Art & Museums

Since 2001, the Socrates Sculpture Park has organized an annual public art exhibition aimed at speaking to an urgent contemporary issue. For the 2021 edition, an open call was made to artists to consider the many meanings of the word “sanctuary”: both in the role it plays in their lives and how art has helped enhance their definition of it.

Accordingly, those participating in “Socrates Annual: Sanctuary” have turned the park, which has long served as a sanctuary in the Long Island City section of Queens, into a place for deep and honest reflection. Among the 11 artworks is “Catch a Stick of Fire II,” a giant aluminum structure that with its arced poles bearing coral bell plants resembles an alien tree. Its artist, Jeffrey Meris, used his passion for gardening, an area in which he finds comfort, to address past traumas.

“Sanctuary” will be on view until March 6. The park is open every day from 9 a.m. to sundown; admission is free.

Circassia News

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