Home / Arts & Life / Your Week in Culture: Jay-Z, Eugene O’Neill and ‘Princess Bride’ in Theaters Nationwide

Your Week in Culture: Jay-Z, Eugene O’Neill and ‘Princess Bride’ in Theaters Nationwide

It’s a pulpy psychological drama with a madwoman in the attic, and a conventional staging could be deadly. But an uncut version with the Obie winner David Greenspan playing all the parts? Transport Group’s revival, in previews for an Oct. 21 opening at the Irondale Center in Brooklyn, turns the eight-character play into a solo show. Directed by Jack Cummings III, it has a running time of six hours, including two intermissions and a dinner break — and a captivating, quicksilver star who makes it a thrilling proposition. LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES

Walter Dundervill: Skybox Video by NewYorkLiveArts

Dance: Walter Dundervill’s ‘Skybox’

Oct. 20-22; newyorklivearts.org.

Walter Dundervill is a choreographer and costume designer, though it’s not always clear where one role ends and the other begins. In his recent “Arena,” he staged a playful and perverse three-hour pageant at the Brooklyn performance space Jack, swathing himself and his dancers in ribbon, foil and fabrics. Bundled, draped and stretched, the materials became extensions of the body and the room, aiding or obstructing movement.

In his new “Skybox,” opening Friday, Oct. 20, Mr. Dundervill continues in that vein, this time in the cavernous setting of Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Presented with New York Live Arts, the work for 12 dancers features wearable sculptures by Diana Puntar, who has also designed a Mylar-dispensing contraption. Mr. Dundervill is playing with layers of history, too; his inspirations include Roman frescoes and figures from a mannerist painting. SIOBHAN BURKE

Claudio Monteverdi, L’Orfeo (Sir John Eliot Gardiner/Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras) Video by Teatro La Fenice

Classical: Monteverdi at Lincoln Center

Oct. 18, 19 and 21; lincolncenter.org.

Given that opera was invented less than a decade before Claudio Monteverdi contributed his first entry to the genre, it is remarkable that the Baroque composer wrote a trio of operas that reach the dramatic heights we expect of productions today.

As the opening salvo in this year’s White Light Festival — a staple of the fall classical season in New York City — Lincoln Center will present Monteverdi’s groundbreaking “Orfeo,” “The Return of Ulysses” and “The Coronation of Poppea.” Under the authoritative direction of the conductor John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists, these three semi-staged performances will celebrate Monteverdi’s 450th birthday and provide an overview of the composer’s extraordinary contributions to a genre in the era of its birth. WILLIAM ROBIN


Mona Hatoum’s “Grater Divide” (2002).

Mona Hatoum/Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Photo by Iain Dickens, via White Cube

Art: Mona Hatoum at the Menil

Through Feb. 25; menil.org.

The Palestinian-English artist Mona Hatoum’s 1999 piece “La grande broyeuse (Mouli-Julienne x 17),” an 11-foot-high hand-cranked steel vegetable slicer, makes a quiet but effective joke about macho abstract sculpture, even as it entertains with its outlandish scale.

By highlighting the violent action of an everyday implement, it also asks us to consider what other brutality we may be taking for granted as we go about our lives. A steel grater large enough to handle potatoes like boulders (“Grater Divide,” 2002), meanwhile, looks like a torture implement, suggesting that the line between domestic comfort and dislocated terror may be more flexible than we’d like to believe.

The solo show of approximately 30 sculptures and installations at Houston’s Menil Collection, which made it through Hurricane Harvey unscathed, has been in the works since 2012, and will be Ms. Hatoum’s largest American outing in decades. WILL HEINRICH

George Michael: Freedom | Official Tease | SHOWTIME Video by SHOWTIME

TV: Documentary on George Michael

Oct. 21; sho.com.

“If I was looking for happiness, this was the wrong road,” George Michael said of his quest to become the world’s biggest-selling musician. It’s a line from “George Michael: Freedom,” the documentary he was making at the time of his death, at 53, on Christmas Day last year, which will premiere Saturday, Oct. 21, on Showtime.

His transformation — from teen idol with Wham! into grown-up sex god — sent him rocketing into the pop-chart stratosphere with his 1987 solo album, “Faith.” Disillusionment followed, and with his second album, “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1,” three years later, Mr. Michael retreated, refusing to give interviews, tour or appear in videos. In the early ’90s, he sued Sony for release from his contract and lost, his career dimming as he mourned the death of his partner, Anselmo Feleppa, from AIDS.

“Freedom,” co-directed by David Austin, is frustratingly opaque about the last decade of its subject’s personal life with scarcely a glimpse of the older Mr. Michael, save for a “Carpool Karaoke” appearance with James Corden. But its musical journey — set to the sensual throb of megahits like “Faith,” “I Want Your Sex” and “Freedom! ’90” — is nearly impossible to resist. KATHRYN SHATTUCK

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