Overwhelmed by all the options of things to do in Berlin? We know the feeling. So, we rounded up our top picks in music, art, theater, and more for the weekend of February 28th to March 1st.
The city takes on a whole new light after a visit to the Pablo Picasso x Thomas Scheibitz exhibit at Museum Berggruen in Charlottenburg. The contrast of pastel against neon, and stacking of bold shapes in Scheibitz’s work, often hinting at Picasso’s, starts showing up in the graffiti covering Berlin’s concrete surfaces. Since pieces are full of Berlin’s disarrayed loudness, it’s no surprise at all that Scheibitz is based here. His work, described as “montages of a freely interpreted reality,” provides a lively new perspective to Picasso. Sunday, February 29th is the last chance to see it.
At the start of Act III of Alexei Ratmanksy’s reconstruction of Marius Petipa’s Russian 1877 ballet La Bayadère for Staatsballett Berlin, dancers step out of the clouds one by one, performing identical movements down a ramp to emulate an opium-induced haze. In more recent versions, popularized in western Europe in the 1980s, the tempo is slower and performed with regimented precision. Here, though, Ratmansky has re-instated a briskness that pushes the dancers forward, causing the white gauze covering their arms to appear like mist as they move. With set and costume designs based on the originals, and choreography pulled from Petipa’s libretto, the performance at Staatsoper Unter den Linden this Sunday the 1st (and six more shows in March) is a rare and rewarding glimpse into the past.
The well-known French television and film actor Dominique Horwitz has been known for his stage singing since the 90s, when he recorded The Best of Dreigroschenoper. Now, he and the seven-piece “Me and the Devil” Band perform a futuristic take on John Gay’s play in The Beggar’s Opera 2071, part of Kurt Weill Revisited at Tipi am Kanzleramt. Horwitz performs well-known Weill songs, along with David Bowie and Stevie Wonder hits, and melodies from Irving Berlin and Modest Mussorgski. The evening promises a unique take on an essential Berlin experience presented cabaret-style, where drinks are brought to your table.
Futura Pizza in Friedrichshain may have only opened in 2019, but a year later, the restaurant’s friendly, laid back nature, makes it feel like it’s been going strong for years. The Neapolitan pizza dough is fluffy and chewy, with those satisfying charred bits that are near-impossible to achieve from your home oven. Owner Alessandro Leonardi imports all ingredients from Italy. Toppings are authentic and vivid—yellow San Marzano, green Corbara cherry, and red date are the three types of tomatoes on the Marinara pizza. Even in the middle of winter, this food is mood-brightening.
It’s 1927. The German expressionist science-fiction film Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang, just hit theaters. Acclaimed for being visually impressive, it draws from elements of Bauhaus, Cubist, and Futurist design. When you take your seat and the curtain opens, a live orchestra plays Gottfried Huppertz’s score. Oh wait—it’s not 1927; it’s actually 2020. For a special performance on Saturday night at Babylon, conductor Marcelo Falcão leads the Babylon Orchestra Berlin in tandem with the film, giving an authentically dramatic viewing experience of a silent film that promises robots, exaggerated facial expressions, and English subtitles.
There’s plenty for children to do in Berlin, but surprisingly little geared toward young babies. The interactive musical show Future Beats at Theater o.N. in Prenzlauer Berg offers a sensory experience for little people aged six months to two years. Director and composer Bernd Sikora, along with dancer Nasheeka Nedsreal and musician Andreas Pichler, offer performances this Saturday and Sunday that use handmade instruments to incite the senses of touch, sight, and hearing.