After the (non-)scandal of (un-)banned Tube posters, the works of Lucas Cranach the Elder are now well and truly on show at the Royal Academy. Painter, print-maker, illustrator, businessman, propagandist, and huge fan of the female nude, this is Cranach's first major exhibition in Britain. And while you're gazing at all the nakedness, remember; this was a mate of Martin Luther, and those erotic female nudes are all about Protestant devotion. Honest.
Ballet fans can choose between the return of the world-renowned New York City Ballet to our capital, after 25 years away, on Wednesday, or the opening of The Royal Ballet's gorgeous Sleeping Beauty on Thursday.
Mad for musicals?
Jamaican reggae-laced musical The Harder They Come (from the film of the same name) opens at the Barbican on Tuesday. Head out to Wimbledon to see familiar faces Claire Sweeney and Su Pollard in SHOUT!, a groovy musical about the swingin' 60s. Or stick to the same era in town with Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at the Prince Edward Theatre. They're the guys responsible for Big Girls Don't Cry, Working My Way Back To You, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, December 1963 (Oh, What A Night). And now Londonist is responsible for the fact that you'll have one of those songs going around in your head all afternoon. Sorry.
Fresh from the Fringe
All that seem a bit last century for you? Check out Into The Hoods, fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the Novello from Friday. ZooNation use street dance/theatre to put an energetic spin on Sondheim's classic musical Into the Woods. Follow the adventures of two children lost in the hood, as they meet Spinderella, Lil' Red and her bright red hoodie, Rap-on-Zel, producer of the finest quality weave in the city and Jaxx (who lives in the basement, of course).
From Russia With Booze
You'll be pleased to hear that the Royal Academy's From Russia: French and Russian Master Paintings 1870-1925 is so popular, they've extended the opening times until 10pm every Saturday from 8 March. That'll make a change from another Saturday night handing over tenners in your local.
And if you can't do without a drink, take advantage of the special From Russia promotions at the Harvey Nichols' Fifth Floor Bar. The From Russia cocktail is a classic Black Russian made with espresso-infused Stolichnaya vodka. On Friday, from 6-10pm, you can enjoy a From Russia cocktail at the RA in the exclusive John Madejski Fine Rooms with sets from DJ Martin Green, and then go and marvel at the masterpieces in the exhibition. Za Vas!
Image shows Cranach's Venus, 1532. Credit Jochen Beyer, Village-Neuf. From Staedel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.