Best offbeat things to do in New York this week

Break the mold and try something different this week. Here are our top event picks for things to do that are unusual, quirky or just plain weird.

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Tired of the same ol', same ol'? Daily grind got you down? Inject a little spontaneity into proceedings and do something you normally wouldn't. It could be an Off-Off Broadway show, perhaps some experimental theater, an unusual comedy night, an avant-garde gallery exhibit or a batshit-crazy party.

1

The Big Quiz Thing: The 40 Greatest Music Trivia Questions of All Time

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

TONY copy chief Noah Tarnow hosts and emcees this tune-filled edition of his long-running multimedia quiz show, where your impressive stash of trivial knowledge (or ability to come up with smart-alecky witticisms) just might snag you big prizes. As a bonus, Rock Star Karaoke (and, possibly, you) will be performing live. Go to bigquizthing.com for more info.

  1. Littlefield 622 DeGraw St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Until Tue Apr 1
More info
2

"Octopus! A Discussion of Animal Intelligence, Behavior—and Robots"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Katherine Harmon Courage, author of Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea, leads a chat about the tentacled ocean dwellers and their robotic applications with animal-behavior researcher Jennifer Basil, philosopher Robert Lurz and bio-robotics professor Frank Grasso.

  1. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe 126 Crosby St, between E Houston and Prince Sts, 10012
  2. Until Thu Apr 3
More info
3

Nerdlesque Festival 2014: Select/Start/Strip

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The revenge of the nerds continues apace—and now we have a full four nights of nerdlesque antics to prove it. This extravaganza—the brainchild of the folks behind Epic Win, RAWR! and D20—kicks off in the East Village with a preparty brimming with drinking, dancing, and performances from Little Brooklyn, Chicago's Bazuka Joe, Francine "The Lucid Dream," Hard Corey, St. Louis lass Pinny Yearned and Matt Knife. Nasty Canasta, the self-professed "girl with the 44DD brain," hosts; Johnny Horrible spins the tunes.

  1. Drom 85 Ave A, between 5th and 6th Sts
  2. Thu Apr 3
More info
4

One Step Beyond

  • Critics choice

Tonight's edition of the museum's long-running series of nighttime soirees, held in the shadow of the Hayden Planetarium, looks to be a great one: bass producer Machinedrum (half of the duo Sepalcure) headlines, with Fade to Mind's Nguzunguzu and Brooklyn spinner Jubilee opening.

  1. Rose Center for Earth and Space (at the American Museum of Natural History) 5 W 81st St, between Central Park West and Columbus Ave
  2. Fri Apr 4
More info
5

"Ultraglam: Portraits by Bettina May"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Bettina May isn't just one of the city's top burlesque artists—she's also a great photographer. Many of herportraits have appeared in the pages of Time Out New York in the past few years, and you can see even more at this show, including the lovable likenesses of such scene stalwarts as Francine "The Lucid Dream," LouLou D'vil, Jo Weldon, Tansy, Brewster McCall, Shelly Watson and Stephanie May. Bonus: vegan doughnuts!

  1. Dun-Well Doughnuts 222 Montrose Ave, at Bushwick Ave, 11206
  2. Fri Apr 4
More info
6

National Tartan Day Parade

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Expect bagpipers, pipe bands, drum corps, men in kilts and lots of plaid at this Scottish-themed march, which draws an estimated 3,000 fanatics every year. The event is part of the larger Tartan Week (tartanweek.com) and Scotland Week (scotland.org) celebrations, which include musical performances, exhibits, whiskey tastings and parties. Sixth Ave from 45th to 55th Sts. Subway: D, F to 47–50th Sts–Rockefeller Ctr.

  1. Manhattan
  2. Until Sat Apr 5
More info
7

Catlady Craft Night

  • Critics choice

Join fellow cat ladies and lads at the studio’s first feline-centric craft night. Materials for eight projects will be available, including earrings, mugs, zines, nail art and tote bags. Kitty-themed snacks and cocktails will also be on hand. Sadly, your whiskered precious has to stay home.

  1. Brooklyn Craft Company 61 Greenpoint Ave, between Franklin and West Sts, suite 101, 11222
  2. Sat Apr 5
More info
8

PopRally Presents: HOLYCHILD

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Los Angeles pop duo performs its electronic bubblegum sounds at this performance installation. In addition to free beer and wine, attendees get a chance to walk through the museum’s “Robert Heinecken: Object Matter” retrospective.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Sun Apr 6
More info
9

Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The squeamish might want to opt out of this taxidermy expo, where attendees are invited to bring along "bought, found or homemade" critters, as well as jarred specimens and skeletons. E-mail secretscienceclub@gmail.com to preregister your preserved pet.

  1. The Bell House 149 7th St, between Second and Third Aves, 11215
  2. Until Sun Apr 6
More info
10

Faerie Tale Theater: The Last Unicorn

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Delysia La Chatte and Kita St. Cyr are behind this burlesque show based on the 1982 film The Last Unicorn (Mia Farrow voiced the titular horned horse, fact fans). Bastard Keith, Madame Rosebud, the Carousel Sisters (Carolyn Chiu and Rosabelle Selavy), Deity Delgado, Sweet Lorraine, Lady Alchemy, Lewd Alfred Douglas, Lucille Ti Amore and Ms. La Chatte herself are among the enchanted performers. A dance party (with Michael T on the decks) follows—as does a best-dressed contest, so don your best mystical duds.

  1. Slipper Room 167 Orchard St, at Stanton St
  2. Until Mon Apr 7
More info
11

Ra Ra Rasputin

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Celebrate one of history’s most mythologized figures: Russian peasant turned tsarist sidekick Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin. Hosted by Greenpoint’s Center for Investigative Research, the dinner marks the 99th anniversary of the adviser’s reported attempt to prove his identity by exposing himself—literally—at Moscow’s Yar Restaurant (he was rumored to be superlatively endowed). Sip a 21-ingredient borscht while learning about his supposed healing powers, his religious belief in redemption through sin and his mysterious death by cyanide-laced cake (the meal ends with the same petit fours, minus the poison). If the dulcet tones of a traditional Russian lute aren’t enough to transport you, take solace in a pair of vodka toasts to a man who was also a notorious drunkard.—Nina Stoller-Lindsey

  1. Le Gamin 108 Franklin St, between Noble and Oak Sts
  2. Until Mon Apr 7
More info

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