In recent years, Tyler, the Creator has won a Grammy, had two albums make their debut atop the Billboard 200 and earned heaps of critical praise. But even for such an accomplished rapper and singer, playing Madison Square Garden is still a point of pride. He brings it up more than once on last year’s “Call Me if You Get Lost,” a brisk, boastful and occasionally melancholic album that takes aesthetic cues from mid-2000s rap mixtapes (including hypeman services rendered by DJ Drama). On the record’s lead single, Tyler boasts of his “MSG sellout,” as well as his car collection and his credit score.
And he has packed the Midtown arena again: Both of his upcoming concerts there are sold out. However, fans can secure verified resale tickets at msg.com for the shows, which are on Sunday and Monday starting at 7 pm Kali Uchis, Vince Staples and Tyler’s “Call Me” collaborator Teezo Touchdown are opening.
No Damsel in Distress
Long before Katniss Everdeen was impressing her oppressors with her archery skills in “The Hunger Games,” another intrepid fictional heroine was demonstrating her prowess.
She is Manijeh, a beleaguered princess who is the central character in “Song of the North,” a new adaptation of part of the Persian poet Ferdowsi’s 10th-century epic “Shahnameh” (“The Book of Kings”). Hamid Rahmanian has created, designed and directed this theatrical version, which is intended to be a shadow puppet play that feels like immersive cinema. With a script by Rahmanian and Melissa Hibbard, a score by Loga Ramin Torkian and vocals by Azam Ali, the production features a cast of nine actors in elaborate headgear, whose silhouettes are projected onto a 15-by-30-foot screen.
Part of the BAMkids series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, this 80-minute show depicts Manijeh’s plight after her father throws her beloved, a knight from a rival kingdom, down a well and takes away her title. Tickets start at $12 (partial view) and $15 for the final performances, on Saturday at 2 and 7 pm at the Harvey Theater, where young audiences can see the princess triumph with a weapon even more powerful than arrows.
You can still wear green and grab a Guinness at your nearest Irish pub, but why not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year by actually engaging with Irish culture as well? The coming week offers several opportunities around town to see stellar troupes performing Irish step-dancing, which is characterized by stiff torsos and percussive, tornadolike footwork and accompanied by dramatic folk music.
On Friday at 8 pm, the National Dance Company of Ireland brings “Rhythm of the Dance,” a show tracing Irish history from ancient mythology to the modern day, to Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn (tickets start at $34 at onstageatkingsborough.org). On Sunday at 4 pm, Velocity Irish Dance takes a similarly historical approach in a flashy program at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx (tickets start at $25 at lehmancenter.org). Velocity will also make two stops on Long Island: at the Patchogue Theater on Friday and at the Madison Theater in Rockville Center on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, Trinity Irish Dance Company begins a run through March 20 at the Joyce Theater in Manhattan (tickets start at $20 at joyce.org).
In the provocative “Man Cave,” when a Republican congressman goes away for the weekend, his employee Imaculada (Annie Henk) and three of her friends (Claudia Acosta, Jacqueline Guillén and Socorro Santiago) hold an unforgettable meeting in his decadent and overwhelmingly masculine foundation.
Written by John J. Caswell Jr., the play explores “American anxieties and the cunning ways systemically upheld forces penetrate and corrupt our own singular and collective identities,” he said in an interview. His séancelike work combines elements of horror and wickedly sharp comedy, as the four lead characters exorcise demons of the emotional, sexual, political and supernatural varieties.
Directed by the visionary Taylor Reynolds, “Man Cave” is being presented by Page 73 and runs at the Connelly Theater through April 2. Tickets start at $10 and are available at ovationtix.com.
Kate Soper’s opera “The Romance of the Rose” was one of the most anticipated premieres of 2020 until it was canceled because of the pandemic. Her latest album, “The Understanding of All Things,” should help tide fans over until the opera is rescheduled. And it can also serve as a compelling introduction to the inimitable style of this composer, singer and pianist.
Soper is best known for threading sumptuous song forms together with spoken-word discourses. Appropriately, the new album starts with her treatment of a work by Kafka. The second track, “Dialogue I,” is a musical improvisation between Soper and the live-electronics virtuoso Sam Pluta. But one of the texts Soper quotes, from the philosopher George Berkeley, is part of a grander design, as Berkeley’s name comes up again during the album’s centerpiece, “The Fragments of Parmenides” (which also includes text from Yeats).
When auditing this album’s nimble, engaging humanities lectures, you’ll probably want Soper’s libretto in front of you. (A PDF booklet comes with every digital purchase on the Bandcamp platform.) But the sublimity of Soper’s songful material needs no great explanation — just check out her setting of Yeats’s “For Anne Gregory” in “Fragments.”
SETH COLTER WALLS