Weekend arts planner: Takashi Murakami, ‘Fat Ham’, ‘Eddie Palmieri’

Takashi Murakami doesn’t require much introduction: he’s one of the most popular and successful artists in the world. He’s especially well known for his signature “superflat” style – think fields of exuberant grinning daisies in outrageously bright hues.

That style is represented in Murakami’s big new show at the Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. But this exhibition, titled “An Arrow Through History,” also looks backward, with a room full of pale, cool paintings based on an ancient Chinese porcelain vase, and forward, with a street-level lobby filled with manga-style images and sculptures Murakami based on a recent NFT collaboration.

You can interact with a virtual-reality simulation of the entire show on the Gagosian website, but people who visit in person can use Snapchat to view what appear to be live animations floating in midair around the art and viewers alike: fish swimming through midair, grass and daisies sprouting from the gallery floor. And of course there are limited-edition tchotchkes in the gift shop. Through June 25; gagosian.com

The inexhaustibility of Shakespeare is proved once again in “Fat Ham,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play that just opened at the Public Theater in collaboration with the National Black Theatre.

In a nutshell, playwright James Ijames remixes “Hamlet” into a tight, lively, outrageously funny story about a young queer Black man named Juicy, who’s caught between the ghost of an abusive father and the loud, strutting presence of an uncle turned stepfather who detests him.

Ijames samples his source material liberally, wrings an unforgettable set piece out of a Radiohead song and offers a flamboyant ending with a whole new approach to cycles of family trauma. The cast is terrific, and the intimate staging draws you into the action. When I attended, more than a few people felt free to shout their support to this character or that. The fourth wall didn’t stand a chance. Through July 3; publictheater.org

Eddie Palmieri, the Salsa Spaceman, is a living legend and a genuine East Harlem icon – who better to kick off the outdoor music season at Lincoln Center? Palmieri and his orchestra will be performing on Wednesday night at The Oasisa new dance-floor installation right smack in the middle of Lincoln Center Plaza, adorned with its own disco ball.

The dance floor opens at 6 pm… you can get a quick salsa dance lesson at 6:30 pm, and Palmieri gets started at 7:30 pm Best of all, it’s free – make a reservation online starting Tuesday, or just show up. June 1 at 6 pm; lincolncenter.org

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