Summer events calendar: The best picks for the season

Check out our summer events calendar for the top events, parties, concerts, outdoor activities, freebies and more.

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  • Photograph: Courtesy Shakespeare in the Park

    Tue May 28 - Sun Aug 18: Shakespeare in the Park

  • Photograph: John Klemm

    SummerStage

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Celebrate Brooklyn!

  • Thu Aug 1: Rumble on the River

  • Photograph: Grace Chu

    Sun Aug 4 - Sun Aug 18: Summer Streets

  • Photograph: Courtesy Sony Pictures

    Fri Aug 9 - Thu Sept 5 : Film Forum’s Son of Summer Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction

  • Photograph: Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art

    Sat Aug 17 - Tue Dec 31: "American Modern: Hopper to O'Keeffe"

  • Mid - August: Harlem Week

  • Photograph: Alek Keshishian

    Sat Aug 24 - Sun Nov 24: Romeo and Juliet

  • Photograph: Getty Images or USTA/Getty Images

    Mon Aug 26 - Sun Sept 29: US Open

  • Photographer: Lars van den Brink

    Fri Aug 9 - Sun Aug 25: New York International Fringe Festival

  • Photograph: Jordan Loyd/ElectricZooFestival.com

    Fri Aug 30 - Sun Sept 1: Electric Zoo

  • Photograph: Rebecca MB Pearson

    Sat May 25 - Sun Sep 8: Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

Photograph: Courtesy Shakespeare in the Park

Tue May 28 - Sun Aug 18: Shakespeare in the Park

Featured events in August 2013

Ghostbusters

Film Forum’s Son of Summer Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction

The venerable downtown movie house is reviving its cinematic salute to creepy, geeky fare for the first time in 17 years. Expect a few new prints and celeb appearances (both TBA at press time) at the four-week series, which includes showings of Alien, Evil Dead 2, Ghostbusters, Starship Troopers, Plan 9 from Outer Space!, a 3-D presentation of The Creature from the Black Lagoon and many more wide-ranging titles. 212-727-8110, filmforum.org. Various times; $12.50, seniors (Mon–Fri before 5pm) and members $7 per screening.

  1. 209 W Houston St between Sixth Ave and Varick St
  2. Fri Aug 9 - Thu Sept 5

Harlem Week

This annual uptown celebration began in the ’70s as Harlem Day, but the name is misleading—Harlem Week includes more than a month of performances, films, fashion and sports events in July and August. The centerpiece is the two-day street fair on the third weekend of August, which brings live music, art, activities for kids and educational booths to Harlem's W 135th St. Visit harlemweek.com for the full schedule.

  1. Various locations
  2. Mid - August
Andy Murray

US Open

To the tennis fan, the US Open is better than Christmas. The enthusiastic (but not barbaric) crowd, the delightful getups, the impressive feats of grace and athleticism unfolding under a wide-open summertime sky, all that sporty grunting… There is nothing quite like it. The big questions this year: Will top-ranked Serbian player Novak Djokovic’s bad ankle lead to his demise? Will number-two Andy Murray rise to the top? Can Serena Williams replicate last year’s victory? Is Feliciano López too handsome, or just handsome enough? usopen.org. $60 and up.

  1. USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park at New York Ave, Flushing, Queens
  2. Mon Aug 26 - Sun Sept 29
Tiësto returns to headline Electric Zoo's brand new Main Stage East on Saturday, August 31.

Electric Zoo

The outdoor EDM megabash celebrates its fifth anniversary on Randalls Island this Labor Day weekend. And the onslaught of DJs, artists and beat makers is as diverse as ever, touching on stadium-sized trance techno (Tiësto), aggro-dubstep (Excision), Burning Man vibes (Bassnectar), dancehall (Diplo) and the sounds of more than 140 other acts. Nab tickets now—lest you miss showing off those furry boots one last time before summer ends. madeevent.com/ElectricZoo. Gates open at 11am; three-day pass $329, three-day VIP Experience pass $649, three-day Platinum Experience pass $1,199.

  1. Randalls Island Park, Robert F. Kennedy Bridge at Randalls Island
  2. Fri Aug 30 - Sun Sept 1


Theater events in August 2013

Shakespeare in the Park

This annual festival, which begins in June, presents the Bard's greats performed in open air at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Created by the late Joseph Papp and presented by the Public, Shakespeare in the Park has endured not just because it's a night of free theater in New York's backyard, but because it's a night of great performances by some of the most talented actors of our day, including Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Al Pacino, Oliver Platt, Blythe Danner, Philip Seymour Hoffman, George C. Scott and Denzel Washington.

  1. Delacorte Theater
  2. Tue May 28 - Sun Aug 18

New York International Fringe Festival

Each August, New York straps itself in for this annual theater megafest, in which scrappy performers and troupes from around the world descend on the city, raw talent (or lack thereof) in tow. Choosing between the nearly 200 shows on offer is a game of theatrical Russian roulette: You never know which alternamusical, one-woman confessional or puppet ballet will be the next underground hit, and which will be a self-indulgent flop. But hey—it’s cheap! 866-468-7619, fringenyc.org. $18, advance $15; discount passes available for multiple shows.

  1. Various locations
  2. Fri Aug 9 - Sun Aug 25

Romeo and Juliet

  • Price band: 4/4

Shakespeare’s timeless romantic tragedy returns for a contemporary stage revival, starring Hollywood pretty boy Orlando Bloom. It marks the Broadway debut of the Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean star, who will play Montague to Tony nominee Condola Rashad’s Capulet. In David Leveaux’s modernized staging, the star-crossed lovers are divided by racial tensions (didn’t West Side Story already cover that…?), though they’ll still employ the Bard’s original language. It’s the play’s first time on the Great White Way in 36 years, so get those hankies ready.

  1. Richard Rodgers Theatre 226 W 46th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Sat Aug 24 - Sun Nov 24
More info

Music events in August 2013

Black Sabbath

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The headbanging faithful drooled over a 2011 announcement that the original Black Sabbath lineup—the first and greatest heavy-metal band—was reuniting. That all fell apart last year, when drummer Bill Ward broke ranks over a contract dispute, but the train rolled on without him. Here you’ll witness a not-too-shabby 75 percent of Sabbath 1.0, pounding out doom & roll chestnuts and selections from a hotly anticipated new disc, 13.

  1. PNC Bank Arts Center Exit 116, Garden State Pkwy
  2. Until Mon Mar 31
More info

Beyoncé

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The international leg of the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour has already begun, and reports from the road indicate that Bey isn’t holding back on the crowd-pleasing hits and elaborate costume changes, from dazzling sequins to equally dazzling skin-baring. Sadly, tickets vanished as fast as you can say “Blue Ivy,” so prepare to shell out at StubHub if you want to see the pop goddess in the flesh.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Until Sun Dec 22
Buy tickets

The Killers

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It’s not such a surprise that director Tim Burton is a fan of Brandon Flowers’s Vegas crew the Killers, since both artists share a penchant for drama and darkness—check out the Burton-directed video for the band’s latest single, “Here with Me,” for evidence. At these two arena dates, the group toasts Battle Born, its grandiose, back-to-form 2012 album. Opening up at MSG, twin sisters Tegan and Sara present the layered vocals and sing-along angst of excellent seventh album Heartthrob, while the Barclays Center has Donald Cumming's downtown favorites the Virgins in the opening slot.

  1. Prudential Center 165 Mulberry St, between Edison Pl and Lafayette St
  2. Thu Aug 8
More info

John Mayer + Phillip Phillips

  • Price band: 3/4

Subtlety has never been John Mayer’s métier, whether he’s tweeting about his feces, explicating his rabid affection for masturbation or deeming Jessica Simpson "sexual napalm." The irony is that once you push past the image of the self-deprecating, ignorant and overtly immature 32-year-old, you find an aged bluesman with supreme chops and a gentle coo.

  1. Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Jones Beach
  2. Until Tue Dec 17
Buy tickets

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This year's ace uptown-downtown affair jumps off in Harlem on August 23 with "Bird Is the Word," a premiere by saxophone legend Jimmy Heath and his big band. Stellar sax man Kenny Garrett and fascinating vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant top the bill on August 24. And on August 25, down in Tompkins Square Park (near Parker's old roost on Avenue B), honored vets Lee Konitz and Sheila Jordan share a bill with young hotshots Christian Scott and Warren Wolf.

  1. Tompkins Square Park Ave A, between 7th and 10th Sts
  2. Until Sun Aug 25
More info

Arts events in August 2013

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

  • Critics choice
  • Free

More than eight decades ago, New York artists Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning propped up a few of their paintings in Washington Square Park and called it a show. A lot has changed since then: Now, more than 100 artists and artisans—including painters, sculptors, jewelers and glassblowers—exhibit their wares at the Washington Square Park Outdoor Art Exhibit.

  1. Location TBA
  2. Sat May 25 - Sun Sep 8
More info

"American Modern: Hopper to O'Keeffe"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Despite having its head turned by the 20th-century European avant-garde, MoMA has always kept a place in its heart for domestic works. In fact, Edward Hopper’s House by the Railroad, included in this exhibition, was the first painting in the museum’s collection. Check out moody pieces from 1915 to 1950 that illustrate the major themes and styles of the period: the rise of cities and industry (John Marin’s abstract watercolors of lower Manhattan), rural scenes (the haunting Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth), still-life and portraiture.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Sat Aug 17 - Tue Dec 31
More info

  1. May
  2. June
  3. July
  4. August

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