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The best things to do this week in NYC

Find the biggest and best events, activities and things to do in New York City this week, as chosen by Time Out's editors

Photograph: Joseph Moran
Shakespeare in the Park

Harlem Week

Critics' pick

Harlem's historic community’s rich artistic heritage in on full display during this "week" (actually more like a month). It opens with showcases for Harlem’s gospel, fashion, restaurant and culture scenes at the all-day picnic Great Day in Harlem at the General Grant National Memorial. The festivities continue with free concerts, a 5K run, and an expo and a fair of small businesses in the area.

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Various locations Tuesday August 4 2015 - Saturday August 22 2015 Free

Brasil Summerfest

Critics' pick

Get ready to get sweaty. Béco Dranoff, curator of this ambitious series, calls Brazilian music “the perfect soundtrack for summertime.” Checking out the schedule for the fifth annual installment of Summerfest, whose locations range from Central Park and Lincoln Center to Bushwick and several downtown locales, we’re inclined to agree. You’re going to want to make room in your warm-weather gig schedule for magpie fusionists Nação Zumbi, who appear at SummerStage on Aug 2 (the 20th anniversary of their U.S. debut), a samba showcase at South Street Seaport on Aug 1 and the lively, percussive beats of Bahian DJ Patricktor4 at the Wick on Aug 8. For the full schedule, visit brasilsummerfest.com.

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Cielo Until Saturday August 8 2015

Father John Misty + Angel Olsen + Summer Moon

Critics' pick

The crackling aura surrounding Father John Misty extends beyond his past life as a Fleet Foxes member to the music he’s now releasing as a solo artist. His 2012 Sub Pop debut, Fear Fun, features soaring, soulful folk-rock lysergically spiked with energy and intelligence. His new follow-up, I Love You, Honeybear, is an arch, sometimes brutal look at modern love that should provide plenty of fodder for Misty’s scenery-chewing live show. Read our recent cover story with Father John Misty.

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Central Park SummerStage Mainstage Wednesday August 5 2015

Empire Biscuit Comedy Festival

Critics' pick

The Lower East Side biscuit mecca is dedicating itself to comedy with more than 40 stand-up comedians appearing over nine shows in three nights. While you munch on your fluffy complimentary biscuit, some of the best comics from across the city, including Sasheer Zamata (SNL), David Bluvband (The Chris Gethard Show), Shakir Standley (Last Comic Standing) and Mike Lawrence (@midnight), will serve fresh-baked jokes.

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Empire Biscuit Until Tuesday August 4 2015

Lincoln Center Out of Doors

One of the great good things that New York does in the summer, this festival includes free offerings by major talents—don't miss Garth Fagan Dance on August 1st or Abakuá Afro-Latin Dance Company on August 6.

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Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center Until Sunday August 9 2015 Free

J. Cole + Big Sean + YG + Jeremih

Critics' pick

In 2010, J. Cole was part of XXL's "Freshman Class." Five years later it would appear the North Carolina native has graduated to a very successful career. The rapper's got three Billboard 200 No. 1s to his name, the latest of which—2014 Forest Hills Drive—debuted in the top slot.

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PNC Bank Arts Center Monday August 3 2015

Rooftop Films

Critics' pick

For more than 15 years this outdoor gathering of indoor types (sorry, sorry, film buffs) has hosted screenings in a variety of creative locales—beaches, parks, plazas, farmland and roofs (duh). This year’s series will be held at seven al fresco spots including the Industry City complex in Sunset Park. There’s something about looking out over the city from up high, soaking in the skyline, that makes the experience much more, dare we say, cinematic. Programming runs the gamut from tried-and-true cult faves to world premieres. See site for specific times and locations.

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Location TBA Friday August 7 2015 - Friday August 14 2015

One Direction

Critics' pick

The boys in One Direction might have started out as a Simon Cowell–groomed pop product, but in the years since their 2010 X Factor debut they've more than proved their worth as one of the world's biggest acts. Their latest LP, Four, is a bona fide smash full of stadium-rock swells and huge sing-along hooks that have more in common with the Who or Fleetwood Mac than NKOTB. Sure, there will be bus loads of screaming tweens angling for a selfie with Harry or Zayn (sorry, Louis). There'll also be plenty of grown-ass adults lured by the group's unaffected, unpretentious pop-rock, unashamedly belting out megahits like "What Makes You Beautiful."

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MetLife Stadium Wednesday August 5 2015

Warm Up at MoMA PS1

Critics' pick

After 18 years, MoMA PS1's Warm Up is bigger than ever, with music aficionados and sun-worshipping revelers flocking to the museum's courtyard to take in the top-tier lineup of bands, DJs and producers, along with the same great taste in art, beer and food it's boasted from the beginning.

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MoMA PS1 Saturday August 8 2015 - Saturday September 5 2015

Caribou

Critics' pick

Known by the nom de plume Caribou, esoteric electronica collagist Dan Snaith has an undeniable talent for spinning expansive, thoughtful records out of a sprawling range of electronic, hip-hop and pop elements, as on his latest Merge release, Our Love.

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East River Park Thursday August 6 2015 Free

A Poem Is a Naked Person

Les Blank’s long-lost Leon Russell doc unfolds like a southern-fried Almost Famous that’s been stitched together from all the observations that a scripted film would leave out. Shot between 1972 and 1974 and buried for more than four decades after Russell balked at the final cut, this masterful collage works because Blank knows that the music is just
a rollicking good excuse to get together and be alive.—DE

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Amy

Anyone with a beating heart will be forgiven for allowing it to break during this unflinching and thoughtful account of the life of soul singer Amy Winehouse. Moving from Winehouse’s first steps into the music business in 2001 to her death in 2011 at just 27, Amy gives equal weight to her talent and the tragedy of its loss. Smartly, the film refuses to offer easy answers to explain her demise.—Dave Calhoun 

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Ant-Man

Marvel’s smallest origin story begins with scientist Hank Pym (Douglas), the inventor of a top-secret particle capable of shrinking ordinary objects down to insect size. Ousted from his own tech company, Hank needs a skilled stooge to break into his old lab and steal some research, and sweet-natured thief Scott Lang (Rudd) is the only man for the job. Rudd is inhibited in the role, as if he felt there was too much at stake, and that impulse to play it safe typifies a film that shrinks in the face of a challenge.—David Ehrlich

 

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Now Showing

Dope

Rick Famuyiwa’s comedy follows three high-school nerds who call Los Angeles’ frightening Inglewood home. It’s a euphorically funny indie that flips the script on Boyz n the Hood.

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Now Showing

Far From the Madding Crowd

Burning with understated passion and a fine central performance from Carey Mulligan, Thomas Hardy’s romantic classic comes to life in an adaptation that’s far from stodgy. 

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Infinitely Polar Bear

Line up now for Mark Ruffalo’s most complex and likable performance to date, as a mentally unstable parent who, despite frequent mood swings, must care for two rambunctious girls.

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Now Showing

Inside Out

Critics' pick

Pixar’s fun, near-experimental latest will have kids straining to listen to imaginary voices in their heads—those are the real stars of the movie: Joy (Poehler), Fear (Hader), Anger (Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). At times, you ache to put the brakes on the chaos, but the animation studio once again turns childhood into the stuff of rare and riveting adventure.—DC

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Now Showing

Irrational Man

Woody Allen’s latest, a deadly straight drama, gives us Abe (Phoenix), a philosophy lecturer at a small East Coast college. Rita (Posey) is a fellow professor who wants to sleep with him, while student Jill (Stone) insists that her interest is purely platonic. It all feels pretty familiar for Woody: the tortured genius, the younger woman, the world closing in on our antihero. But there’s something sloppy about Irrational Man, even by Allen’s uneven standards.—DC

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Now Showing

Jurassic World

The slickly entertaining sequel has no reason for being (except for the obvious one), but at least it chomps your time painlessly. There’s a fully functioning tourist attraction on the haunted grounds of Isla Nublar some 22 years after the first film, complete with a Starbucks and huge crowds. Subtly—between generic action sequences—the movie celebrates money and itself, not science.—JR

 

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Love & Mercy

Beach Boy genius Brian Wilson loved being nestled in the recording studio, and to watch the delicate Paul Dano (a magically right choice with a beautiful voice) steer his ace session band through what would become Pet Sounds is to have a piece of rock history re-created right before your eyes. Wilson, a pop savant, was chasing some kind of dragon, and as the movie toggles years forward to the scared, overmedicated Wilson of the 1980s (Cusack, absorbingly strange in the tougher part), you sense that the dragon bit back.—JR

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Now Showing
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Hélio Oiticica, "Penetrables"

Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980) was perhaps the key figure of Brazil's vibrant avant-garde scene of the 1960s and ’70s. His specialty was creating installational environments that played with color as palpable spatial presence. The show includes three rarely seen examples of his work, presented in New York for the first time.

Michael Alan, "The Rise of Artistic Tradition"

These small works on paper by Alan dissolve figures and other representational elements into abstracted, allover jumbles of line and color that resembles a cartoonish mix of Matta and Hans Bellmer—with bits of more contemporary painters like Carroll Dunham and Nicola Tyson thrown in for good measure. Whatever sources may or may not be influencing the artist, he creates a lively combustion of form and composition. A one-night-only performance/installation—in which viewers are invited to "zone out, draw, zen, be one" takes place Aug 8 beginning at 6pm for $20.

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Tanja Grunert Until Wed Aug 12

"Space Between"

Paintings straddling the line between 2-D, and three are the focus of this show of canvases that are shaped, stitched together, layered one on top of the next or otherwise made to emphasize their material presence. Ellsworth Kelly, Liam Gillick and R. H. Quaytman are among the contributors.

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FLAG Art Foundation Wednesday August 5 2015 - Friday August 14 2015

Vera Neumann, "Vera Paints a Rainbow"

Neumann (1907–1993) was a textile designer as well as an artist, and there is no mistaking her work’s midcentury aesthetic—which she arguably helped to shape with her abstracted forms derived from nature. Neumann certainly wan’t afraid of color: The watercolors here run the gamut of the rainbow spectrum with unabashed panache.

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Alexander Gray Associates Tuesday August 4 2015 - Friday August 7 2015

Jorge Pardo, Jon Pylypchuk, Dirk Skreber

The works in this three-person show are varied and span different mediums, but all seem to share a certain downbeat tone which is somewhat out of place for a summer group show. Pylypchuk offers frowny-face paintings; Pardo, dimly illuminated lamps contained in cages formed into life-size figures; and Skreber presents a video of a car crashing. A needed antidote to the season’s carefree vibe? That depends on your mood.

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Petzel Gallery Until Friday August 7 2015

Comments

9 comments
Chris O
Chris O

Is anyone going to any of these? Possibly in Brooklyn? 

Cecily O
Cecily O

"Drinking with Dorothy" is at the Player's Theatre, Macdougal St. on June 5 & 6 at 10pm. Tickets : $12. 

Based on Dorothy Parker's stories, this in an evening of alcohol-fuelled romance and music, presented by 2Time Theatre.

Claire B
Claire B

Basque Cider House is this Sunday at Txikito! Michelin rated James Beard nominated Chefs prepare a Curated dinner highlighting Basque cultural appreciation through specially crafted Ciders and Art including projections and documentary film. Eder Montero, Alex Raij, Emily Lobsenz and Leah Rinaldi invited me to unique experience of a tradition. This Sunday, March 29th at 6, Totally worth sharing!

Mark W
Mark W

The BEST, and longest-running, Dueling Pianos show in NYC - SHAKE RATTLE & ROLL DUELING PIANOS - 10pm every Saturday night.  All request rock n roll party.  Part concert, part cabaret, part comedy - all fun!


The Cellar @ 22 Warren St. NYC 10007

www.ShakeRattleRollPianos.com for tix and info!

Beatrice B
Beatrice B

Have to see Queen. Lambert is no impersonator! I saw them in Chicago and again in Vegas, now MSG. This show deserves a 4 star !!! That if you like great music and a front man with an amazing voice and commands the stage. Its like hearing Queen for the first time . Go see this show, if you can get seats !

Blair Y
Blair Y

how about the Spike Lee block party in Brooklyn...