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Our critics' picks of this week's openings, plus your last chance to see and what to book now

• Which cultural events are in your diary this week? Tell us in the comments below

Opening this week

Theatre

Big and Small
Cate Blanchett plays Lotte, a continuing optimist in a bleak world where she struggles to make a connection with her family and others. Sydney Theatre Company with its award-winning production of Botho Strauß's surreal play. Barbican, London (020-7638 8891), Friday until 29 April.

Miss Julie
Maxine Peake plays the troubled 19th-century aristocrat who wanders into the kitchen and the bed of her father's valet, Jean, one delirious midsummer's eve. David Eldridge adapts Strindberg's troubling play, which caused a scandal when it was first produced. Royal Exchange, Manchester (0161-833 9833), Wednesday until 12 May.

Film

This Must Be The Place (dir. Paolo Sorrentino)
Paolo Sorrentino's English-language debut has Sean Penn as a retired goth rocker living in Dublin. News about his father sends him on an American quest.

Dance

Celebration of Bob Lockyer
Alston, Baldwin and others in new works created to celebrate TV dance pioneer Bob Lockyer. The Place: Robin Howard Dance theatre, London (020-7121 1100), Friday.

Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire
New, danced adaptation of Tennessee Williams's fraught tragedy of desire and dreams. Theatre Royal, Glasgow (0844 8717 647), Wednesday until 14 April. Then touring.

Classical

The Dream of Gerontius
Edward Gardner replaces Andris Nelsons on the podium as the CBSO continues its long association with Elgar's choral masterpiece. Symphony Hall, Birmingham (0121-780 3333), Thursday; Barbican, London (020-7638 8891), Saturday.

The Sinking of the Titanic
Turntablist Philip Jeck and the Gavin Bryars Ensemble present their latest version of Bryar's 1969 classic of British experimentalism, to mark the centenary of the disaster itself. Town Hall, Birmingham (0121-780 3333), Friday; Barbican, London (020-7638 8891), Sunday.

Jazz

The New York Standards Quartet
Foursome formed in New York in 2006 by world-jazz saxophonist Tim Armacost, with pianist David Berkman, drummer Gene Jackson and bass virtuoso Mike Janisch – a regular New York-London commuter. Cool, soulful, subtly swinging postbop. 606 Club, London (020-7352 5953), Monday; Colston Hall, Bristol (0117-922 3686), Wednesday. Then touring.

Pop

Laibach
The controversial/disturbing/hilarious Slovenian art-rock collective begin a rare UK visit. Expect industrial classical sounds, totalitarian imagery, silly hats and hopefully, their surreal subversions of arena-rock anthems. Tour begins Wednesday, HMV Institute, Birmingham (0844 248 5037).

Graham Coxon
With the Blur reunion on hold, their ever-idiosyncratic guitarist pursues his own singular furrow, promoting combative, abrasive new solo album, A + E. Tour begins Friday, 02 Academy, Oxford (0844 477 2000).

Visual art

Hans-Peter Feldmann
Feldmann is a collector of everything from the contents of women's handbags to seascapes and snatched moments; he is part installationist, part joker, part archaeologist of the fleeting moment. Serpentine Gallery, London (020-7402 6075), Wednesday until 3 June.

Last chance to see

Theatre

Gypsy
Paul Kerryson's fabulous, five-star revival of Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim's legendary musical inspired by the memoirs of burlesque dancer, Gypsy Rose Lee. Curve, Leicester (0116-242 3595), until Sunday.

The Pitman Painters
If you haven't yet caught Lee Hall's warm, intelligent and moving account of the Northumberland miners who turned themselves into artists, you should. A terrific and tender night out. Duchess, London (0844 482 9672), until Saturday.

Film

The Raven (dir. James McTeigue)
John Cusack stars in this sprightly, creepy reimagining of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe.

Classical

La Traviata
Welsh National Opera's tidy revival of David McVicar's production, with Joyce El-Khoury as Violetta, and Simon Phillippo taking over in the pit for the final performances. Hippodrome, Bristol (0844 671 3012), Tuesday and Friday; Grand , Swansea (01792 475715), 20 April.

Jazz

Chick Corea and Gary Burton
Four-decade-long partnership between vibraphone star Burton and popular jazz and fusion pianist Corea – a predominantly quiet dialogue between two improvising masters some said was too limited in scope to last, but which has consistently produced vibrant new work. The repertoire from their new Hot House album features composers from Art Tatum and Tadd Dameron, to Paul McCartney. Barbican Hall, London (0845 120 7550), Wednesday.

Pop

The Osmonds
The ageing 1970s boyband's biggest ever but final UK tour. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool (0151-709 3789), Tuesday. Then touring until 6 May.

Visual art

Thomas Ruff
Photographer Thomas Ruff's pictures are derived from NASA images of Mars and internet pornography. His enlarged, pixelated and smeared images are barely photographs at all, more a kind of painting by proxy. Gagosian, London WC1 and W1, until Saturday.

Book now

Theatre

Transform
Intimate performances in pop-up theatre spaces, interactive adventures in the labyrinths of the theatre, and even four-course feasts of food and radical opinions. A great lineup of artists including Chris Goode, Uninvited Guests, Curious Directive and others. West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds (0113-213 7700), 19 to 28 April.

Before Your Very Eyes
Why are we so obsessed with youth and ageing? A cast of 8-14 year olds are locked inside a room of one-way mirrors, peering into the future at their adult selves in the final part of this trilogy from Gobsquad and Campo. Unicorn, London (020-7645 0560), 28 to 30 June.

66 Minutes in Damascus
The Syrian revolution comes to London with the audience cast as a group of tourists finding themselves arrested and thrown into detention. Lebanese theatre-maker Lucien Bourjeily with an immersive show that is definitely not suitable for the faint-hearted or those suffering from claustrophobia. Shoreditch Town Hall (020-7613 7498), 19 to 24 June.

Film

The Cabin in the Woods (dir. Drew Goddard)
Some great-looking teens take a break in a remote woodland cabin. Creepy things ensue – with all sorts of tricks and twists.

Classical

King Priam
The tautest and most dramatically cogent of Tippett's five operas gets a 50th-anniversary concert performance, with Sian Edwards conducting the Britten Sinfonia. The Dome, Brighton (01273 709709), 27 May.

Jazz

London Jazz festival
The city-wide festival has just announced its first major artists for November – including still-stunning octogenarian saxophonist Sonny Rollins, guitarists John McLaughlin and Bill Frisell, Jan Garbarek's new lineup with percussionist Trilok Gurtu, pianists Brad Mehldau and Tigran Hamasyan, and many more. Various venues, 9 to 18 November.

Pop

New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys
The two veteran and thus now rather misleadingly named boy bands begin an arena-sized UK jaunt. Tour begins 20 April at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast (028-9073 9074).

Visual art

Bauhaus: Art as Life

The Bauhaus was key to architecture, design, furniture, textiles, painting, sculpture, photography and much besides: not just what you hung on your walls but the walls themselves, and a whole sense of what it is to be modern. Its spirit lives on, and we live in its legacy. Barbican, London (020-7638 8891), 3 May until 12 August.


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