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Killers Hit 02, Gold-Digging Friel: London Weekend

November 17, 2012

The Killers

The Killers have released their fourth album, "Battle Born." The band will perform at Peninsula Sqaure on Nov. 16 and 17. Photographer: Steve Jennings/WireImage via Bloomberg

The Killers return to London ready to fire off an arsenal of new stadium-rock songs.

The Las Vegas band is blasting out “Battle Born,” an album of arena-friendly anthems for mass sing-alongs and torch waving.

The Killers, supported by Tegan and Sara, play on Nov. 16- 17 at O2, Peninsula Sq., SE10 0DX. Information: +44-20-8463-2000 or http://www.theo2.co.uk, http://www.battleborn.fm.

If you like jazz, Sonny Rollins -- the unstoppable master of tenor sax, now in his 80s -- performs at the Barbican on Friday night, followed on Saturday night by Chick Corea, the pianist-keyboardist of Sicilian-Spanish descent. There are plenty more first-class gigs on the closing weekend of the London Jazz Festival.

Information: http://www.londonjazzfestival.org.uk.

Saturday

Greed is bad.

That’s the message you take away from “The Misers” (1548- 51), a painting in the Queen’s collection that’s been cleaned for exhibition in “The Northern Renaissance: Durer to Holbein.”

It pictures a couple of rich tax collectors, one jotting on a ledger while the other wears an ugly scowl. The burning candle above them warns that life is short and wealth is pointless.

On the opposite wall is a censored masterpiece by Peter Bruegel the Elder, “Massacre of the Innocents” (1565-7). A Biblical story transposed to the Spanish-occupied Netherlands, it shows soldiers in Spanish uniform killing people. The babies originally depicted have been replaced with animals or bundles.

At the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, through April 14, 2013. Information: http://www.royalcollection.org.uk or +44- 20-7766-7301.

Saturday Night

A bunch of country bumpkins get a little spice in their life when their elderly relative weds a younger woman.

Yelena (Anna Friel) is beautiful and bored as she roams the creaking estate in Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya.” Yet her passage stirs unexpected passions, including in Uncle Vanya, whose sister was the estate’s owner.

Vanya grits his teeth as his brother-in-law, a pompous art historian, shows off his young wife and calls all the shots.

Chekhov’s tragicomic exposition of life’s drudgery is bolstered by Ken Stott’s first-rate performance as Uncle Vanya. He’s so taken by the role that, by the curtain call, his tears have still not dried up. Friel is fine as Yelena, though she and the rest of the cast suffer from a static staging.

“Uncle Vanya” is at the Vaudeville Theatre. Information: http://www.nimaxtheatres.com or +44-844-412-4663.

Rules, close to the Vaudeville Theatre, is one of London’s oldest restaurants. It’s also one of the best if you like a historic setting and fine, traditional cooking. There’s also a discreet cocktail bar upstairs if you’re looking for somewhere quiet. Information: http://www.rules.co.uk/ or +44-20-7836-5314.

Sunday

A handsome Courbet landscape goes on sale at Sotheby’s (BID:US) London soon for an estimated 200,000 pounds ($317,000) to 300,000 pounds. That’s a fraction of the $40.4 million paid for a Jackson Pollock at Sotheby’s New York on Nov. 13.

Never offered before on the market, the 1864 “Le Ruisseau de Plaisir-Fontaine” shows a dense green gorge with a stream running through. You can see it and other highlights from the Nov. 20 day auction of 19th-century European paintings this weekend at Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, W1A 2AA.

Information: http://www.sothebys.com.

Hakkasan Mayfair is a very good place to stop for lunch. The luxury Chinese restaurant can be as expensive as it is stylish. If you’re on a budget, the dim sum selection is good value. Information: http://www.hakkasan.com/mayfair/ or +44-20- 7907-1888.

Rock fans who have had their ears blasted by the Killers Friday and Motorhead at Brixton Academy Saturday may wish to end the weekend in mellow mood. Rufus Wainwright is at HMV Hammersmith with his reflective ballads.

(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Mark Beech on music, Jason Harper on cars and Rich Jaroslovsky on tech.

To contact the writer on this story: Farah Nayeri in London at farahn@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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