It may be dreary outside, but there is music and theater to enjoy all throughout the borough (and beyond) this weekend. Winter Jazzfest’s incredible lineup is bopping across multiple venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan (catch us making a rare trip into Manhattan to witness the insane lineup for Donald Harrison’s Music Omniverse at Town Hall Thursday). The experimental Brooklyn-theater festival Exponential will also be underway.
On Friday, Eli “Paperboy” Reed and The Harlem Gospel Travelers will raise the roof — and your spirits — at Brooklyn Bowl. Plus Avant Gardner’s Winter Ski Lodge opens on Friday night.
There’s a play date for the kids at The Winter Hub at City Point on Saturday afternoon. The Bell House hosts a free Britney Spears dance party that night and Saint Vitus Bar has a British rock dance party.
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum holds MLK Jr. celebrations on Sunday and Monday, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music hosts their annual MLK Jr. tribute on Monday morning.
Here are our picks for your weekend.
Friday, January 12
Winter Jazzfest comes to Brooklyn Times and venues vary
The 19th annual Winter Jazzfest hits Manhattan and Brooklyn this weekend, and on Friday night, a new show starts nearly every 30 minutes at venues across the borough. Pick from your favorite spots like Superior Ingredients, Union Pool, or Baby’s All Right and more. Experience The Night at the East featuring spiritual/soul jazz titan Gary Bartz on Saturday night, and bass wizard Mononeon’s Brooklyn Steel show on January 18. We only touched the surface of artists and venues to choose from — head over to Winter Jazzfest’s website for the full line-up. Check the venues for age requirements as they vary. Various locations.
The Exponential Festival Times and venues vary Exponential is a month-long Brooklyn-based theater festival dedicated to New York City-based emerging artists working in experimental performance. With an emphasis on inclusiveness and a diversity of artists, forms, and ideas, the festival will be held at locations throughout the borough, including the Brick, the Brick Aux, Jack, Target Margin Theater, Loading Dock Theatre, Cloud City and We Are Here. Highlights include Cristina Pitter’s “ixchel (we are still here, remember this medicine),” Emma Horwitz and Bailey Williams’s “Two Sisters Find a Box of Lesbian Erotica in the Woods,” Banana Bag & Bodice’s “Hubris Always Gets You in the End,” Yuki Kawahisa’s “ten dreams of metamorphoses or me talk dirty someday” and Marissa Joyce Stamps’s “Being Up in Here and All the Other Businesses that Don’t Concern You OR When You See a Buncha Black People Running, What Do You Do?” Full lineup here.
Free ‘Mean Girls’ shots at Grand Army Bar
To celebrate the premiere of the new “Mean Girls” movie this weekend, Grand Army Bar (whose current cocktail menu is “Mean Girls” themed) is offering a free “You Go Glen Coco” shot to those seeing the movie. Now through Sunday night, anyone who shows their ticket receipt for the “Mean Girls” movie will get a free shot of “You Go Glen Coco,” made with equal parts Malibu rum, Yola mezcal and Empirical Symphony 6, and, of course, edible glitter. 336 State Street.
Watch ‘Drag Race’ Season 16 at C’mon Everybody 7:30 p.m.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” returns on Friday for its 16th season, and C’mon Everybody is your destination for hate-watching, fangirling or however you consume RuPaul’s flagship show. Head over to CE’s front bar/lounge to cheer on Brooklyn’s own queens Dawn, Megami, and Manhattan queens Nymphia Wind, Plasma, and Xunami Muse. 21+. 325 Franklin Avenue. Free.
‘The Voices in Your Head’ at St. Lydia’s 7:30 p.m
St. Lydia’s presents a new hourlong play, “The Voices in Your Head.” With performances through January 29, the dark comedy is about an idiosyncratic support group who gather to share a bizarre bond. Over a 60 minute meeting, eight New Yorkers of varying backgrounds exchange stories, escape the ridicule of the outside world and build an oasis, even as individual needs test the group’s stability. The play is presented by St. Lydia’s, Billy McEntee, and the independent theater collective Those Guilty Creatures. 304 Bond Street. Tickets are $31.
Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed and The Harlem Gospel Travelers 8:45 p.m. Eli “Paperboy” Reed and The Harlem Gospel Travelers face off in an epic soulful sing-off for the ages. The Harlem Gospel Travelers were students of Reed’s in Harlem and come from far-flung corners of the five boroughs of New York. It was in Harlem where they found their voices. The Travelers have been working with Reed for close to a decade, and on Friday, they bring their show to Brooklyn Bowl. 61 Wythe Avenue. Tickets are $20 to $25.
The Great Ski Lodge Party 10 p.m.
The Great Hall at Avant Gardner transforms into an immersive Winter Ski Lodge on Friday night. Get your après-ski on with festive drink specials and more, alongside performances from the venue’s favorite artists including Cheat Codes and Matoma. Wear your brightest colors, winter jackets, goggles, hats, vintage flannels, etc. 140 Stewart Avenue. Tickets are $36.
Saturday, January 13
Winter Hocus Pocus & Play 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Join The Winter Hub at City Point on Saturday for winter play and magic on Saturday. Featuring an igloo and snowmen crafts, their epic Lego table, and a winter magic show featuring the European magician Nico. Entry to the Winter Hub for play, crafts and games is free and located on the Main Floor. The magic show is a ticketed event. 445 Albee Square West.
MLK Day of Service: Youth Justice Expo 12 to 2 p.m.
Join the Weeksville Heritage Center for a day of service for young people and by young people to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. The day dedicated to service and empowerment will be led by youth leaders from Beginning with Children, Girls for Gender Equity, and more, the Youth Justice Expo promises engaging conversations, community-driven activities, and impactful initiatives. Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Avenue. Free.
Brooklyn Winter Beer, Wine and Spirits Fest 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Dry January is out. Damp January is in! Warm up over a glass of your favorite vino or try one of the hundreds of new wines from around the world at Brooklyn Wine Fest on Saturday. Guests can sample wine during one of two sessions, paired with live entertainment, food, and games at Industry City. Ticket holders will receive a souvenir tasting glass and discount admission is available for designated drivers. 33 35th Street. Tickets are $19.
Retro Saturday Morning cartoons 2 to 9 p.m.
Experience a blast from the past at Retro Saturday Morning Cartoons. Relive the golden age of animated shows and indulge in nostalgia-filled fun. Grab your friends and family, have a special “Cereal Bowl” cocktail dessert and get ready to be transported back to a time when Saturday mornings were all about colorful characters, catchy theme songs, and cereal-filled adventures. 1214 Nostrand Avenue. Tickets are $18.
Los Texmaniacs 4:30 to 6 p.m. and 7:30 until 11 p.m.
Put on your dancing boots and join Los Texmaniacs on Saturday night for a music workshop and dance party with the Grammy-winning conjuto supergroup. Los Texmaniacs mix the simplest yet finest ingredients of Texas music to create a sound solidly rooted in tradition, exploding with contemporary vitality. From 4:30 to 6 p.m., Los Texmaniacs will host a Tex-Mex music workshop at the Jalopy Theatre & School of Music. Next, at 7:30, there’s a Texas two-step dance lesson, followed by a performance Los Texmaniacs from 8 until late. 315 Columbia Street. Tickets begin at $28.
Party Like It’s 1999: Britney’s Time is 25 Edition 10 p.m.
Party Like It’s 1999: Britney’s Time is 25 Edition will feature your favorites from the first decade of Britney’s career at The Bell House on Saturday night. You’ll hear “…Baby One More Time,” “Oops! I Did It Again,” “Toxic,” “Womanizer,” “If U Seek Amy” and more. Plus they’ll play all your favorite ’90s and ’00s requests. 149 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. Free.
Supersonic: British Indie Dance Party 11 p.m.
Head over to Saint Vitus Bar on Saturday night where the authentically British Nick Marc (of Tiswas) and special guest DJ Jose Maldonado (the frontman for The West Coast Smiths tribute band The Sweet & Tender Hooligans) spin all the bittersweet symphonies by your favorite charming English bands. You can dance the night away, but no guarantee they’ll play Dua Lipa, even if she is English. 1120 Manhattan Avenue. Tickets are $11.
Sunday, January 14
Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Brooklyn Children’s Museum Sunday and Monday
Join the Brooklyn Children’s Museum to celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through interactive performances and more. Daily events feature shadow puppet performances and puppet-making with Nehprii Amenii and poster-making and protest marching with Brooklyn-based musician Fyütch. 145 Brooklyn Avenue. Tickets are $15.
The Brooklyn Three Kings Day Parade 3 to 5 p.m.
The Brooklyn Three Kings Day Parade takes place on Graham Avenue this Sunday afternoon bringing with it a day filled with colorful floats, lively music and joyful dancing. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage in honor of the magi and their journey to visit the baby Jesus in the Christmas story. This year’s special guests include Brooklyn-born salsa singer Ray Sepúlveda, grand marshal Assistant Chief Scott Henderson, and parade godfather Detective Kenneth J. Melendez. See their Eventbrite for the parade route.
ConTEAnental at Body by Brooklyn 6 to 11 p.m.
Ricardo Tavares presents his monthly “bathhouse tea dance” at Body by Brooklyn on Sunday night. Join for a night of steam rooms, saunas, jacuzzis and dancing featuring Tyler Ashley with DJs Patrick Kyle & Daddy Baby. 275 Park Avenue.
Monday, January 15
The 38th Annual MLK Jr. Tribute at BAM 10:30 a.m.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso honor Dr. Martin Luther King at this beloved Brooklyn tradition, which rings in a new year with musical performances and an invigorating call to action. Keynote speaker Reginald Dwayne Betts (a poet, lawyer and founder and CEO of Freedom Reads) offers reflections on freedom anchored in his own journey, his enduring commitment to social justice, and his work to radically transform access to literature in prison. Featuring uplifting performances by Sing Harlem and singer-songwriter Madison McFerrin, this annual tribute invites us to reflect, recharge, and support one another as we carry on Dr. King’s pursuit of equality and justice. The celebration continues with a free screening of “Rustin” at 1 p.m. at BAM Rose Cinemas and family-friendly activities presented by BAMkids in The Adam Space.
Spirit of Hope: Tribute Concert for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 5 p.m.
For the past 21 years Brooklyn Music School has celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, with their annual concert. Join them Monday for a special concert featuring our professional faculty and students as they perform a series of songs that inspire, uplift and honor Dr. King’s legacy. 126 St Felix Street. Free, but donations are appreciated.