New York events in May

Plan your month with our events calendar featuring the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, Neil Gaiman and Eddie Izzard

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Spring is in full swing and there’s no shortage of outstanding events in NYC this May. Take in the cityscape and all the greenery by participating in this year’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour. Literary enthusiasts can snap up tickets to An Evening with Neil Gaiman, where the scribe will be sharing various short stories. And if you’d rather tickle your funny bone this spring, check out Brit comic Eddie Izzard on his world tour Force Majeure.


Our May highlights

Haim

  • Critics choice
  1. Terminal 5 610 W 56th St, at Eleventh Ave
  2. Sat May 10 - Sun May 11
More info
  1. Domino Sugar Factory 316 Kent Ave, at South 2nd St
  2. Sat May 10 - Sun Jul 6
More info

McKellen Me Softly

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Church of the Holy Apostles 296 Ninth Ave, at 28th St
  2. Thu May 29
More info

More events in May 2014

DANSE: A French-American Festival of Performance and Ideas

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

France invades New York for a three-week festival of performances and talks that also unveils two publications: an anthology of existing writing, and a catalog documenting aspects of the festival. Events take place at venues throughout town, and the artists are a diverse, experimental crew, including Christian Rizzo, Cecilia Bengolea and François Chaignaud, David Wampach, Ashley Chen, Cédric Andrieux, Christophe Ives and Lyon Opera Ballet. Visit the website for details. • frenchculture.org

  1. La MaMa E.T.C. 74A E 4th St, between Bowery and Second Ave
  2. Thu May 1 - Sun May 18
More info

Here Lies Love

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

“This ain’t no party / This ain’t no disco / This ain’t no foolin’ around,” sings David Byrne in “Life During Wartime,” the 1979 Talking Heads single that superimposes Third World political terror on East Village hipster malaise. More than 30 years later, the surreal mash-up of foreign and banal recurs in Byrne’s ecstatic and dynamic first musical, about the rise and fall of former Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos. Here Lies Love is most definitely a party, in a sort of disco, and while there’s plenty of fooling around, the piece cannily demonstrates how the pleasure principle dovetails with revolutionary zeal.

  1. Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Tue Apr 29 - Sat Jun 21
More info

Urban Bear Weekend

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Hibernation season is over! Burly, fuzzy dudes take to the streets to strut their stuff during this incredibly popular annual celebration of all things ursine, brought your way by the Urban Bear honcho Robert Valin. Events range from screenings and comedy shows to dance parties and the requisite beer blasts. Check the website for specifics as they're planned.

  1. Various locations
  2. Thu May 1 - Mon May 5
More info

Max Steele: Mapplethorpe

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

BAX artist in residence and downtown-performance scenester Max Steele presents this comedic solo show about a white reggae star named Mapplethorpe. (No relation, presumably.)

  1. Brooklyn Arts Exchange 421 Fifth Ave, between 7th and 8th Sts
  2. Fri May 2 - Sun May 4
More info

"Mel Bochner: Strong Language"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

A selection of 70 works in painting, drawing and mixed media make up this survey of Bochner, whose focus on language as a subject made him one of the pioneers of late-'60s Conceptual Art.

  1. The Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Ave, at 92nd St, 10128
  2. Fri May 2 - Sun Sep 21
More info

Russell Howard: Wonderbox

  • Price band: 2/4

Brit stand-up Russell Howard is like a puppy who's just been fed a few Pixy Stix: He bounds across the stage with exceedingly good cheer, flopping about in a naturally funny way. He's also quite clever. The combination, on view in his series Russell Howard's Good News, is irresistible.

  1. Gramercy Theatre 127 E 23rd St, between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave
  2. Fri May 2
More info
Luckyrice Festival

Luckyrice Festival

The Asian-inspired street-food extravaganza kicks off its fifth anniversary with a cocktail reception, an outdoor night market and the Grand Feast tasting, featuring fifty top chefs—past participants include Masaharu Morimoto, Daniel Boulud and David Chang—and eight bartenders. luckyrice.com

  1. Locations TBD
  2. Sat May 3

TD Five Boro Bike Tour

  • Critics choice

May is Bike Month; time to take your two-wheeled steed out of the corner of your living room and hit the pavement once more. If you love cycling but have a horror of navigating New York traffic, join Bike New York’s annual trans-city cyclathon. As the name suggests, this 32,000-strong ride spans all five boroughs in the course of 40 miles and five bridges. And thanks to a partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation, each and every one of those miles is automobile-free.

Micah McCain: Broadway Credits

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Musical-theater obsessive and viral-video star Micah McCain ("Hey Girl!") returns with his self-deprecating cabaret show designed to get those elusive Broadway credits onto his résumé. Expect songs, stories and consistent laughter.

  1. The Duplex 61 Christopher St , at Seventh Ave South
  2. Mon May 5 - Fri May 16
More info

Ragnar Kjartansson, "Me, My Mother, My Father, and I"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This first New York museum exhibition of the Icelandic artist (born 1976) features his videos, which are known for their filmic gloss and narrative compression, as well as a performance with ten musicians. As the show titles suggest, the works relate to the artist's family members, all of whom are noted actors in Iceland's film and theater worlds.

  1. New Museum of Contemporary Art 235 Bowery, at Prince St
  2. Wed May 7 - Sun Jun 29
More info

Selected Shorts: An Evening with Neil Gaiman

  • Price band: 2/4

Much more than a fantasy author, Gaiman creates stories—be they novels, graphic novels, scripts or short works—that are appealingly dark and clever, and that reach for a level of myth that most modern writers wouldn't even consider. Tonight you'll be sure to hear from The Ocean at the End of the Lane, his 2013 novel about adolescence, which many consider to be his best.

  1. Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, at 95th St, 10025
  2. Wed May 7
More info

"Charles James: Beyond Fashion"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Metropolitan Museum of Art may be known for its paintings and ancient treasures, but fashion is increasingly what brings crowds to the institution. Nearly 700,000 people came to the stunning “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” retrospective in 2011, making it one of the most-visited exhibitions in the museum’s history. Last year’s “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” was a more modest success, as 450,000 people clamored to see a replica of CBGB’s grotty bathroom. With more fashion-focused visitors than ever, the timing is perfect for the museum to open its revamped Costume Institute on May 8. It’ll be bigger and better—and thanks to a particularly helpful benefactor, it’ll be known by a new moniker: the Anna Wintour Costume Center.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Thu May 8 - Sun Aug 10
More info

Cher

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Well, this ought to be something.… The omnitalented bombshell—a star for nearly five decades—returns to the arenas in support of last year's Auto-Tune–drenched dance-pop beltfest Closer to the Truth. The album hasn't yet spawned a "Believe," but lead track "Woman's World" did burn up the dance charts. On the strength of over-the-top razzle-dazzle, not to mention stylistic breadth and sheer megastar wattage, these gigs could be the pop spectacle of the year.

  1. Izod Center Meadowlands Sports Complex, 50 State Rte 120
  2. Fri May 9 - Sat May 10
More info

Frieze New York 2014

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The tent-tastic London art fair on Randalls Island is back for its third New York edition. A global array of 190 galleries is setting up shop under a temporary structure overlooking the East River, designed by New York architects SO–IL. Six contemporary artists—Darren Bader, Eduardo Basualdo, Eva Kotátková, Marie Lorenz, Koki Tanaka and Naama Tsabar—have been commissioned to create site-specific works for the proceedings, which also include talks by artists and writers, and a special tribute to Allen Ruppersberg’s Al’s Grand Hotel, an art project that the artist actually ran as a hotel over six weekends in 1971, at 7175 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

  1. Randall's Island
  2. Fri May 9 - Mon May 12
More info
Rosemary Society cocktail at Estela

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic

The spirited fest will return for its fifth year, flush with nearly 100 ticketed events across five days, including drink-slinging workshops, tiki tours, bar crawls, mixology lectures and, of course, the opening-night black-tie gala at the New York Public Library. • manhattancocktailclassic.com

  1. Various locations
  2. Fri May 9 - Tue May 13

“Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948–1988”

  • Critics choice

Brazilian artist Lygia Clark (1920–1988) wasn’t particularly well known to American audiences during her lifetime, but then neither was much of art being produced during the postwar era in Brazil, or, for that matter, the rest of South America. Yet during the 1960s and ’70s, the Brazilian art scene, in particular, was a hotbed of radical innovation thanks to the Neo-Concretist movement, of which Clark was a leading figure. This MoMA retrospective of the multimedia artist represents the first comprehensive examination in North America of her work, and surveys everything from her efforts in painting and sculpture to her self-styled “abandonment” of art, as she made her move into a unique form of conceptualism that grew out of a lengthy period of psychoanalysis.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Sat May 10 - Sun Aug 24
More info

Discovery: Scott Grooves

  • Critics choice

Discovery's Faso and Free Magic are back with another edition of their long-running bash, featuring a soundtrack of house, techno, various bass-music beats and more. This edition looks like another hot one (aren't they all?): It boasts a guest set of deep and funky beats from the talented Detroit production vet Scott Grooves, one of the more underrated guys on the scene and a truly inspiring figure.

  1. Glasslands Gallery 289 Kent Ave, between South 1st and 2nd Sts, 11249
  2. Sat May 10
More info
Will Guidara and Daniel Humm at the James Beard Foundation Awards

James Beard Awards

Known as the culinary “Oscars,” this star-studded awards showcase gathers food-world heavyweights from coast to coast under one roof—last year’s winners included New York bigwigs like Mission Chinese Food supertoque Danny Bowien and molecular-gastronomy poster boy Wylie Dufresne (wd~50, Alder). Semifinalists will be announced February 19th and tickets go on sale March 18th. • 212-675-4984, jamesbeard.org/awards

  1. Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue and 65th Street
  2. Sat May 10

Kara Walker, "A Subtlety or The Marvelous Sugar Baby"

  • Critics choice

The very long subtitle of Walker's first ever public-art project reads an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant. While the word artisan is a bit vague, the subject of sugar is certainly in keeping with the artist's career-long investigation of the historical wages of slavery and racism.

  1. Domino Sugar Factory 316 Kent Ave, at South 2nd St
  2. Sat May 10 - Sun Jul 6
More info

American Ballet Theatre Spring 2014

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The company—including dancers Roberto Bolle, Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Gillian Murphy, Veronika Part, Xiomara Reyes, Polina Semionova, Hee Seo, Daniil Simkin, Cory Stearns, Ivan Vasiliev, Diana Vishneva and the newest principal, James Whiteside—returns for its spring season. Highlights include the company premiere of Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, as well as a "Shakespeare Celebration," featuring Ashton's The Dream and Alexei Ratmansky's The Tempest. The lineup also features Leonide Massine's Gaîté Parisienne and Kenneth MacMillan's Manon, and guest performers Alina Cojocaru, Maria Kochetkova and Denis Matvienko.

  1. Metropolitan Opera House (at Lincoln Center) Lincoln Center Plaza, at 65th St
  2. Mon May 12 - Sat Jul 5
More info

Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure

  • Critics choice

Even just workshopping Force Majeure last year, the world-renowned comedian and "executive transvestite" dazzled with his language games, historical concerns and fanciful visions of yak dressage. No doubt when Izzard visits the city as part of this global tour, the finished product will be as energetic, witty and strangely informative as past efforts.

  1. Beacon Theatre 2124 Broadway, at 74th St
  2. Tue May 13 - Sun May 18
More info

The Asian Burlesque Spectacular

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Burlesque stars Calamity Chang and Sukki Singapora join forces with Thirsty Girl Productions for the second annual Asian Burlesque Spectacular, tossed in homage to such fabled and groundbreaking performers as Barbara Yung and Mei Ling. The show features Seattle's Shanghai Pearl, Denver's Orchid Mei, Montreal's Cherry Typhoon, Toronto's Wrong Note Rusty, Calgary's Miyuki Divine, San Fran's Bunny Pistol, San Diego's Miss Di’ Lovely, Tokyo's Violet Eva, NYC's own Cheeky Lane, and, of course, Misses Chang and Singapora themselves; drag artist Yuhua Hamasaki is the evening's glamorous host.

  1. Drom 85 Ave A, between 5th and 6th Sts
  2. Fri May 16
More info

John Jasperse

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Jasperse acknowledges the dichotomy between appearance and essence in regard to performance and his own artistic habits in Within between.

  1. New York Live Arts 219 W 19th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Wed May 28 - Sat May 31
More info

Bill Cosby

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Get over the politics and the pudding pops, and spend the rest of your life boasting to parents and comics that you spent time with the Cos. His clean, amiable slice-of-life stand-up laid the foundation for everything from his book Fatherhood to The Cosby Show. On tour and in his recent special (Far from Finished), his stories are as sharp as ever.

  1. St. George Theatre 35 Hyatt St, at Central Ave
  2. Fri May 16
More info

Godzilla

Let’s face it, Roland Emmerich’s 1998 reboot of the Japanese monster series didn’t exactly set the world on fire (in either sense). So here’s a chance to get back to the roots of what Godzilla is all about: less chatty-chatty, more smashy-smashy. And who better to deliver than DIY movie master and Monsters director Gareth Edwards, the man who made a classic big beastie flick in his bedroom. He has a larger budget this time around and bona-fide stars—Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche and Sally Hawkins.

  1. Opens May 16

Edna O'Brien + Edward St. Aubyn

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Two impressive writers, one Irish and one English, make a rare combined appearance in the city. The eminent O'Brien's fiction and plays have the keen ability to put the inner lives of female protagonists on display, and O'Brien recently did the same for herself in memoir Country Girl. Best known for his darkly funny Patrick Melrose series, about growing up and getting away from a highly dysfunctional family, St. Aubyn satirizes literary prizes in Lost for Words.

  1. 92nd Street Y 1395 Lexington Ave, between 91st and 92nd Sts
  2. Thu May 29
More info

We Are the Best!

After more than a decade of misfires, arthouse oddities and bleak personal projects, Swedish writer-director Lukas Moodysson finally (and perhaps grudgingly?) returns to the sparky, indie-comic tone of his best-loved films Show Me Love and Together. We Are the Best! is a joyous celebration of youth, friendship and rebellion, and if there’s a nagging note of regret and bitterness it never manages to undermine the overwhelmingly compassionate tone.This is a film of flawless, natural performances, particularly from the three young leads. It’s 1982, and Bobo (Mira Barkhammer) and Klara (Mira Grosin) are best friends, bolshy 13-year-old outsiders whose love of punk leads them to form their own band.

  1. Opens May 30


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