Be there first:
After all the brouhaha over the From Russia paintings, this is surely the show to see in its opening week. Stunning, inspirational works by the likes of Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin, Matisse, Kandinsky, Tatlin and Malevich come to the Royal Academy from Saturday. This is jaw-dropping art you'd normally only get to see with a deep, heavy, carbon-footprint inducing flight to Russia, we're lucky enough to have it on our doorsteps until 18 April. Don't miss it.
Also opening this week:
After Matisse's dancers, see dance of an utterly different kind at the Wembley Arena from Friday-Sunday as silly, glitzy BBC show, Strictly Come Dancing Live! quick-steps into town. Zoe Ball, Darren Gough, Matt Di Angelo et al will all be there, strutting their stuff, and talking about their 'incredible journeys' from celebs to dancing divas. (Can't make these dates? It's back at the O2 on 13-15th Feb.)
In contrast, Britten's sensuous opera, Midsummer Night's Dream, returns to the intimacy of the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio on Monday.
Noel Coward's excellent social satire, Present Laughter at the National, closes on Thursday. And a couple of big art shows close this week, so get a wriggle on if you're interested. Paul Mellon's Legacy closes on Sunday, and has gorgeous British oils from Reynolds, Gainsborough, Constable, Hogarth and Turner. And who hasn't promised themselves they'll see the sexy Seduced before it's over? Due to popular demand, this exploration of sex in art will be open until 10pm from Thursday til it closes on Sunday. Over 18s only, please, and no sniggering at the back.
Ian Talbot (former Artistic Director of the Open Air Theatre) is going to take the part of Wilbur in the hit show, Hairspray, when Mel Smith leaves on Monday. He joins the lovely Michael Ball and Leanne Jones as Edna and Tracy Turnblad in a show that's got rave reviews from critics, colleagues and mates of Londonist alike.
And if you really can't be arsed to go out, sit back, log on, and let Sadler's Wells come to you on Saturday night. Sampled features performances from seven contrasting artists: ballet dancers line up next to hip hop breakers and flamenco divas next to contemporary gurus, and it's all being streamed live and for free at here.
By Zoe Griffths