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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.

Photograph: Lee Wexler

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.

Shipwreck and WORD Present: The Great Gatsby

Critics' pick

Six writers create perserse, twisted, sexy fan fiction based on the book that's been putting high-schoolers to sleep for the past half century. In lieu of your monotone AP english teacher, Cecil Baldwin, of cult sci-fi podcast Welcome to Night Vale, will handle reading duties.

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The Bell House Until Thu May 29

McKellen Me Softly

Critics' pick

The queer nerds of Geeks OUT have already paid puntastic tribute to George Takei (Takei Back the Night), and Sigourney Weaver (Dream Weaver) with their annual art show and fund-raising party. This year, they're saluting the man who brought Magneto and Gandalf to the big screen, the ever-fabulous Ian McKellen. Dozens of artworks inspired by the acclaimed British actor will be on view and for sale in a silent auction, which benefits Geeks OUT's ongoing mission to raise the visibility of LGBT people in the gaming, comics and sci-fi communities.

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Church of the Holy Apostles Until Thu May 29

See, Make, Sip

Critics' pick

Stir your senses by traipsing through museum galleries and making something inspired by what moves you. After your creative appetite has been sated, quench your thirst by sipping custom-mixed cocktails and listening to live music.

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Brooklyn Museum 29 May 2014

Bob Dylan Birthday Tribute

Critics' pick

Dylan tribute band the Zimmymen and the Wimmymen pays tribute to the Minnesotan born Robert Zimmerman, paying special attention the 1965 electric-acoustic Bringing It All Back Home.

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The Way Station Until Sat May 31

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot: Hamlet

Critics' pick

If to wait or not to wait is your question, skip the daylong queue for a ticket to the Delacorte and drink in the words of the Bard at Bryant Park. Born in a municipal lot on the Lower East Side, this open-air theater series heads to midtown for the first time with a production of Hamlet that recasts the despondent Dane as a member of a dysfunctional modern family.

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Bryant Park Until Sat May 31 Free

Coney Island Circus Sideshow

Critics' pick

One of the last of its kind, this ten-act extravaganza of human oddities aims to satisfy nostalgic and progressive temperaments alike. Now in its 29th season, the iconic spectacle adds a footnote to the controversial freak-show conversation by celebrating the talents of those “born different.” The lineup includes contortionists, sword swallowers, fire eaters and escape artists.

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Sideshows by the Seashore 28 Sep 2014

The Moth StorySLAM!

Critics' pick

Ten stories. Three teams of judges. One winner. The outrageously popular spontaneous storytelling series pits local raconteurs against one another, challenging them to come up with an impressive tale based on a specific theme. Get in line early, as spots for yarn-spinners and spectators alike go quickly.

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The Bell House Until Mon Jan 5

Mysteries of the Deep

Critics' pick

The party organizers of Rubulad have been hosting themed art raves in north Brooklyn lofts, warehouses and hot spots for the past two decades—an eternity in club years. If you haven’t been to one yet, it’s about time, yeah? The crew hosts an aquatic soiree, dubbed Mysteries of the Deep, at the Paper Box. Faux-French pop group Les Sans Culottes, chamber-twee outfit Friend Roulette, and DJs Reaganomics and Mike Simonetti provide musical accompaniment to the high jinks, which also include cabaret performances, under-the-sea visuals, savory snacks and films in the outdoor courtyard. Take your pick of suggested costumes: “salty sea captain,” “monster of the deep” or “diving belle of the ball.”

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The Paper Box Until Sat May 31

"Exposed: A History of Lingerie"

Critics' pick

Whatever your interest in ladies’ undergarments, you’ll see more than 70 iterations from throughout history at the Museum at FIT’s new exhibit. From a circa-1770 whalebone corset to Rudi Gernreich’s wireless “no-bra bra” of the ’60s, the exhibit looks at how form and function have shifted over time, as well as how nightgowns and other silhouette-framing pieces (like the Juel Park couture favored by Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor) have inspired formal wear and everyday clothes alike.

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The Museum at FIT Until Sat Nov 15 Free

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