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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: Erin Baiano
Stop Hitting Yourself

Willam: The meWme Show

Critics' pick

The only queen ever kicked off RuPaul's Drag Race also happens to be one of the funniest performers—and best singers—ever to come out of that show, and he's rightly become something of an Internet sensation, racking up millions of views with his song parodies and casually bitchy comedy.

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Gramercy Theatre Saturday April 18 2015

Tribeca Film Festival

Critics' pick

The star-studded festival that made Tribeca even cooler is back. Robert De Niro’s downtown fest draws roughly 400,000 movie fans each year to view 97 movies, from high-profile premieres to breakout indies. We’re especially excited about the premiere of Live from New York!, the much-anticipated Saturday Night Live documentary—with unprecedented access granted by Lorne Michaels. The full schedule of screenings and panels can be found on the site.

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Tribeca Cinemas Until Sunday April 26 2015

Cherry Blossom Season at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Critics' pick

You don’t have to take a 15-hour flight to Japan to experience the wonder of cherry-blossom trees in bloom; hop the train to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to stroll through the most majestic springtime beauty New York City has to offer. Check out the "Plants in Bloom" report on the garden’s website to plan your visit like a pro.

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Brooklyn Botanic Garden Until Sunday April 26 2015

Waka Flocka Flame

Critics' pick

At a time when street cred is no longer a vital commodity in hip-hop, Waka Flocka Flame (real name: Juaquin Malphurs) is a throwback to the days when rap luminaries like Flocka’s idol, Tupac Shakur, were constant targets of gang violence and spent time in prison. It’s no surprise that these same crime-ridden scenes turn up in his lyrics. But Flocka's got an ear, picking only the most over-the-top records to rhyme on, making for some of rap's hardest-hitting singles. Listen for pieces of his forthcoming third LP, Flockaveli 2, due June 1.

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Webster Hall Monday April 20 2015

The Ted Alexandro Show

Alexandro, best known for his many late-night talk-show appearances, hosts this event in which he brings comics and other artists to perform, then interviews them after their set.

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Q.E.D. Monday April 20 2015

Speakeasy Dollhouse: Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolic

The new edition of Cynthia von Buhler's immersive, interactive mystery has a 1930s showbiz theme and is staged site-specifically at the old Liberty Theater, a vintage venue hidden behind storefronts in Times Square. Audience members are free to wander a space filled with showgirls, aerialists and specialty cocktails.

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Liberty Theater Until Saturday May 9 2015

Simon Amstell

Critics' pick

The charming and self-deprecating Londoner, who solidified his fame by hosting the U.K. comic game show Never Mind the Buzzcocks and starring in his own BBC Two series, Grandma's House, regularly deals with big themes such as religion, sexuality and finding one's place in the world.

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Theatre 80 Saturday April 18 2015

Brooklyn Folk Festival

Critics' pick

The seventh annual Brooklyn Folk Festival takes place at St. Ann's Church this year, offering an array of globe-straddling talent. This isn't just an Americana fest, though there'll be plenty of that; you'll also hear traditional Balkan, Middle Eastern and Guinean stylings. Headliners include Daptone Records faves Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, blues multi-instrumentalist Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, folk luminary Michael Hurley, and weirdo-folk duo Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel. Instrumental workshops, open-jam sessions and a banjo-tossing contest round out the schedule.

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St. Ann's Church Until Sunday April 19 2015

Smorgasburg

Critics' pick

The epicurean extravaganza returns to the great outdoors Sat 4, with Saturdays in East River State Park, and Sundays in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Over 75 vendors from Kings County and beyond sell food and drink as varied as oysters, artisanal sodas, gluten-free baked goods and caramelized apples.

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East River State Park Until Sunday November 22 2015 Free

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Critics' pick

The mercurial Jefferson Mays (Tony winner for I Am My Own Wife) plays multiple members of an aristocratic clan in this new musical by Steven Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman, based on the same novel that inspired Kind Hearts and Coronets. A distant and disinherited member of the D'Ysquith family slays his way to the earldom. Darko Tresnjak directs.

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Walter Kerr Theatre Until Thursday December 31 2015

About Elly

This Iranian drama was made in 2009, prior to its writer-director Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning A Separation. As in that film, social strictures and tensions loom large in a narrative that defies easy prejudices during its early scenes of lively young Iranians leaving Tehran for a coastal holiday. Tagging along is Elly (Taraneh Alidoosti), a teacher whom one of the women, Sepideh (Golshifteh Farahani), has invited in the hope that she’ll hit it off with divorced Ahmad (Shahab Hosseini).  If it all sounds too modern to be true, it is: Things go wrong when one of them has an accident and the group’s free-and-easy bubble is burst. The writing and direction lean toward the heavy-handed, but there’s much to chew on regarding tradition, progress and the power of the white lie.

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Now Showing

Chappie

After the out-of-nowhere sucker punch of his 2009 debut District 9, Neill Blomkamp’s second film, 2013’s Elysium, felt like the work of a Hollywood-designed, blockbuster-producing robot: slick and anonymous. So it’s a huge relief to discover that, with Chappie, the South African filmmaker has re-engaged his emotion chip and ramped up the weirdness factor for a lovably scattershot cybernetic satire.

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Now Showing

Child 44

Life in post-WWII Russia was brutal. Stalin’s Soviets were cracking down on dissidents. Food was in short supply, and the winters were punishing. As if all this wasn’t enough, Child 44 adds yet another indignity: The Russian characters don’t even get to speak in their mother tongue. Instead, we get some kind of weird pidgin English in phlegm-clogged voices, like they’d just gargled a tub of rice pudding.

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Now Showing

Cinderella

Enough with the feminism. Disney has clearly had enough of these uppity princesses getting all empowered and messing with their fairytales. After Frozen, and Into the Woods, it’s back to the basics of being a princess in director Kenneth Branagh’s lavish, sappily sweet version of Cinderella.

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Now Showing

Clouds of Sils Maria

Olivier Assayas’s beautiful, brain-twisting psychodrama about an aging star (Juliette Binoche) and her young assistant (Kristen Stewart) gives both actors the roles of their careers.

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Dior and I

Fashionistas will love this fly-on-the-wall doc about eight make-or-break weeks at the house of Dior, filmed in 2012 as newly appointed creative director Raf Simons puts together his first haute couture collection against the clock. The Belgian was hired in the toxic wake of John Galliano, terminated for unleashing an anti-Semitic rant filmed on a cell phone. Couture is as elitist as fashion gets, bought by a few 100 super wealthy women who don’t blink at spending the equivalent of a year’s rent on a few new-season must-haves. (Prices typically start at $30,000.) The pressure for Simons to succeed in the ultrafeminine world of Dior is intense.

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Now Showing

Effie Gray

A painterly biopic about the formative years of an inadvertent 19th-century feminist, Effie Gray offers a rare look at a dark and foreboding topic that seldom appears onscreen: the nightmare of being married to a critic. In 1848, when she was 19 years old, Euphemia “Effie” Gray (Fanning) was wed to contrarian pundit John Ruskin (Wise), the Armond White of the Victorian era. Every bit as handsome, inert and lifeless as the man to whom Effie was betrothed, Richard Laxton’s film is entombed by the same repressiveness that motivated its namesake to escape their marriage.

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Ex Machina

Stephen Hawking has warned us that the growing power of artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. Technology has not yet reached the point where a robot has passed the Turing Test—fooling people into believing they’re talking to a human. But screenwriter and novelist Alex Garland’s debut feature takes us to the very moment of technological birth. What might it look like when we get there? Pretty damn slinky, as it happens.

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Now Showing

Felix and Meira

A lonely guy and an unhappy Jewish wife (not his) complete each other in mysterious ways in this beautifully observed romance, a quiet storm.

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Now Showing

5 to 7

Adapted from the masturbatory fantasy shared by every struggling, straight male writer in Manhattan, 5 to 7 tells the wistful story of a nebbishy freelancer named Brian (Anton Yelchin) who stumbles into a torrid affair with a gorgeous, married French woman he sees smoking on the sidewalk outside a midtown department store. The title of Victor Levin’s debut feature may allude to cinq à sept affairs (the old Gallic custom of people cheating on their spouses during the hours between leaving work and arriving back home for dinner), but the film will disappoint anyone expecting a passionate sheet scorcher—it may sound like a melodrama, but this is purely the stuff of fairy tales.

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Now Showing
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“Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera”

Critics' pick

Born in Hong Kong, Tseng was something of an art- and club-scene fixture during the go-go ’80s, a celebrity shutterbug who documented downtown nightlife, as well as a performance artist for the camera whose photographic self-portraits capture him in a Mao suit, posing fish-out-of-water style against New York and American landmarks. This first-ever retrospective revisits his alien’s perspective of the Reagan era.

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Grey Art Gallery/NYU Tuesday April 21 2015 - Saturday July 11 2015 Free

“Sultans of Deccan India, 1500–1700: Opulence and Fantasy”

For more than a millennium, the Deccan Plateau in Central India was home to some of the greatest ruling dynasties in the subcontinent’s history. A region rich in diamonds (thanks to volcanos credited with at least one great extinction in Earth’s geological past), it attracted artists, poets, writers and traders from all over the world. The 16th and 17th centuries represented a cultural apogee, brought to life in this show of 200 treasures including paintings and metalwork.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Monday April 20 2015 - Sunday July 26 2015

Neil Goldberg, “One Version of Events”

Goldberg’s videos and photos are known for their poetic meditations on the mundane, capturing, for instance, the faces of people who’ve just missed the subway. His latest works, which include drawings, veer into our relationships with food with images sporting such titles as The Gay Couples of Whole Foods and Wild Animals Eat My Family and Me (Jeff and Hyena).

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Participant Inc Sunday April 19 2015 - Sunday May 24 2015 Free

Bill Jensen, “Transgressions”

Dense, heavily worked surfaces and an intuitive hand characterize this veteran abstractionist’s work, which over the course of his 40-year career has evolved from depicting vaguely surreal forms to pure gestural application of paint.

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Cheim & Read Until Saturday May 9 2015 Free

Erin Shirreff, “Arm’s Length”

Critics' pick

Shirreff is known for her refined exploration of abstraction across several mediums, including photography, sculpture and video. In her solo gallery debut, 2-D segues into 3-D and vice versa with a series of photos depicting sculptural moquettes and a series of steel reliefs based on shapes cut out of paper.

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Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Until Friday May 22 2015 Free

Comments

7 comments
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 !

Joyce W
Joyce W

Try this tasty experience in Chinatown tomorrow.  What a great way to do lunch!


We're going crazy for 4th of July and getting started early. Join our NEW Chinatown highlights tour and get tickets for only $25. That's a full meal and 2 hrs. of interesting history tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. Just buy tickets on our site and use code CFTFB2014. Hurry up. You can also call 917-979-4833

Blair Y
Blair Y

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