Anna Nicole, Prince William, Streets, Mussolini: London Weekend
There’s no such thing as a free ranch.
That’s what 89-year-old J. Howard Marshall II tells his 26- year-old belle in the Royal Opera’s new production, “Anna Nicole.” The two then disappear from view, and she reemerges to declare that she got the ranch.
Carnality is suggested, not shown, in this operatic spoof on the life of Anna Nicole Smith. As her fake chest swells to pneumatic dimensions, Smith (Eva-Maria Westbroek) graduates from fast-food waitress to lap dancer to billionaire’s bride in a swift and crudely narrated sequence of tableaux.
Conveniently, the old man dies 14 months into the marriage. Inconveniently, he leaves her out of his will.
The production ends its inaugural run on March 4. Information: http://www.roh.org.uk or +44-20-7240-1200.
The nearby Opera Tavern is a fun, informal place to eat. It’s a new tapas restaurant brought to you by the owners of the popular Salt Yard and Dehesa. The bar is on the ground floor, where there are no bookings, and there’s a dining room upstairs. Information: http://www.operatavern.co.uk/ or +44-20-7836-3680.
This weekend is your last chance to slip your arm through Prince William’s and try out the ring.
The grandson of Queen Elizabeth II -- who marries Kate Middleton on April 29 -- appears in wax form at a Mayfair art gallery. You can stand beside him and wear the sapphire attached to his sleeve.
Created by New York artist Jennifer Rubell, the sculpture is a comment on women’s enduring fascination with engagements. The show ends March 5 at the Stephen Friedman Gallery, 25-28 Old Burlington Street, London W1S 3AN.
Information: www.stephenfriedman.com or +44-20-7494-1434 or http://jenniferrubell.com/index.php?sec=projects.
Rock fans get their last chance to see the Streets perform. The musician behind the project, Mike Skinner, is moving on and playing what is billed as a farewell show in Brixton. Expect more of a celebration than a wake, with street-smart songs from the last Streets album “Computers and Blues” mixed with highlights such as “Dry Your Eyes.”
The Saturday event is technically sold out, though tickets can be found online. O2 Academy Brixton, 211 Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL. Information: http://www.o2academybrixton.co.uk, +44-905-020-3999 or http://the-streets.co.uk/.
The real-life couple who inspired Oscar winner “The King’s Speech” are pictured in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
The future King George VI and his newlywed pose touchingly for the camera in 1923, never suspecting that their fate will spell box-office gold some nine decades later. Their photographer is Edward Hoppe, a celebrity chronicler of his day.
Hanging nearby is Hoppe’s chilling image of Benito Mussolini, taken the following year. There are also snaps of ordinary Londoners -- the tattooist decorating a woman’s back, or the zookeeper pulling open the jaws of Joan, the friendly hippopotamus.
“Hoppe Portraits: Society, Studio & Street” runs through May 30. Information: http://www.npg.org.uk or +44-20-7306-0055.
Portrait, the gallery’s rooftop restaurant, offers views all the way to the Houses of Parliament. Swedish-born Katarina Todosijevic -- one of a handful of women head chefs in London -- serves seasonal British dishes. Brunch and afternoon tea are also served Sunday. Information: http://bit.ly/3CMQ4P or +44-20-7312-2490.
(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)
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