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New york city

Hugh Jackman performing onstage is something to behold, as shown by his Emmy-winning turn as a Tony Awards host and a starring role in 2009’s “A Steady Rain.” The Australian heartthrob returns to Broadway in “The River,” Jez Butterworth’s follow-up to the Tony-nominated “Jerusalem.” Also starring Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo, the erotic, mysterious and poetic drama tells the story of a man and a woman who encounter each other at a remote fishing cabin on a moonless night. The preview show premieres Oct. 31 at Circle in the Square theatre, with opening night on Nov. 16. theriveronbroadway.com

Philadelphia

Indulging in drinks and dinner before a show is many theatergoers’ favorite pastime. But if you want to do so at Volver, a perfect pre-theater option in Philly, you’ll have to buy a ticket for the restaurant, too. The acclaimed chef Jose Garces has basically eliminated the “no-show” with his new, 34-seat restaurant that requires parties to purchase advance tix at a set price ($75 to $250 per person) with the choice of two nightly seatings. Menu includes innovative plates such as Monterey Bay Squid, Carnitas Popcorn, and the cheekily named Milk & Cereal—rice flakes, quail egg, chicken oyster, truffle, thyme marshmallows and white asparagus milk. Or stop by the bar any time for cavier, champagne and cocktails. volverrestaurant.com

Washington, D.C.

Film buffs can “get shorty” for 11 straight days (and nights) at the DC Shorts Film Festival, the largest fest of its kind on the East Coast. We’re talking 135 films from 25 countries, ranging from two to 30 minutes—from dramas to documentaries and funky experimental films—at five different locations in D.C. and Fairfax, Va. One standout:the 15-minute comedy “Anxious Oswald Greene,” a fantastical flick about a desperate man who seeks an unusual cure for his crippling anxiety. Don’t miss the opening weekend parties and filmmaker Q-and-As after each screening. Bonus: you can also watch 100 curated shorts from the comfort of your couch at dcshorts.com

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