The New Yorker Festival at various locations and times; $65
The New Yorker is sending its finest staffers around town to talk with fascinating figures in literature, film, TV, music, theatre, tech, activism and beyond. Preview upcoming shows and films, hear concerts from star acts, one-on-one interviews with celebrities and enjoy panel discussions. Just be sure to do your research before taking the mic during the Q&A section.
Comic Con Vixens City Winery; 11pm; $20–$75
Now in its fourth year, burlesque diva Dangrrr Doll’s ingenious geek revue promises to take striptease parodies of X-Men, Stranger Things and Game of Thrones to an even more bodacious level. This year’s tassel-twirling stars include Stella Chuu, Stormy Leather, Maki Roll, Bastard Keith and more.
Star Wars in Concert David Geffen Hall (at Lincoln Center); 7:30pm; $65–$175
New York Philharmonic takes on John Williams’s scores for the most iconic film franchise in history with screenings of The Empire Strikes Back (through Thu 28), Return of the Jedi (Oct 4, 5) and The Force Awakens (Oct 6, 7), all backed by conductor David Newman and an 85-person orchestra. Maybe we’ll get the prequels in 2018?
Tribeca Drive-In Dinner and a Movie on Oculus Plaza Westfield World Trade Center; 7:30pm; free
Westfield World Trade Center has been cranking out alfresco movie nights at Oculus Plaza all summer. September’s program includes screenings of two darling NYC romances, the Audrey Hepburn classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Fri 1 and Amy Adams’s self-parodying Disney princess fantasy Enchanted on Sat 2.
Plan 9 From Outer Space Live Reading Littlefield; 8pm; $20
Beware and take care for this fan reading of one of the worst movies ever made, Ed Wood's legendary Plan 9 from Outer Space. A stellar lineup of comedians take on the lines of Bela Lugosi and Maila Nurmi, including Scott Adsit, Gilbert Gottfried, John Hodgman, Jean Grae, Michael Ian Black and Janet Varney.
Oktoberfest Under the Manhattan Bridge The Archway; 1pm; free admission
The Dumbo Business Improvement District is throwing down under the Manhattan Bridge with crafts, food and music for this epic Oktoberfest celebration. Enter a pop-up beer hall replete with lederhosen-clad servers delivering brews, pretzels, brats and more from the Lighthouse. Get ready to gorge on classic German fare, and jam out to polka music by Melina and the Oompahs, Street Beat Brass and The Polka Brothers. Prost!
Grand Victorian Banquet and Ball Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden; 7pm; ball $35, banquet and ball $95
Live your Age of Innocence fantasy at this meticulous reenactment of 19th-century nightlife. Tour the Mount Vernon mansion gardens, enjoy a historically accurate feast, play parlor games with the skill of a Bennett sister and get down to current chart-toppers performed by an orchestra.
SIP. SHOP. EAT! at The Collective Market 106 North 3rd; noon; free to attend
New Yorkers in Williamsburg will get the chance to SIP. SHOP. EAT! at Collective Market! Shop artisanal handmade jewelry, fashion, home decor, vintage, and collectibles by local NYC artists and designers. RSVP for a chance to win free drinks and a free tote!
Romy & Michele’s Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance Club Cumming; 3pm; free
Make sure you don’t look as if you’re going to a hoedown at this day party inspired by the brilliantly subversive Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. DJ Bright Light Bright Light plays a vinyl mix that will give you life, featuring hits and B-sides from Grace Jones, Spice Girls, Tori Amos, Ethel Merman and more, and you can write requests on post-its to make Heather Mooney proud. In a perfect moment of cosmic alignment, the party movies to Club Cumming, the new nightlife spot of Alan Cumming—a.k.a. Sandy Frink, the Frinkazoid. No need to contain your excitement with a giant notebook.
Cigarettes After Sex Bowery Ballroom; 9pm; $20
This hauntingly dreary Brooklyn shoegaze crew sounds like everything its name suggests: smoky, sultry and heartachingly intimate. The band has been at it for over eight years, but it wasn't until last year that the internet grabbed hold of its sweetly lulling ballad "Nothing's Going to Hurt You Baby," and catapulted the band into the spotlight. Singer-songwriter Greg Gonzalez' dusky voice is the highlight of CAS' dark dream pop sound; count on it to keep you from losing yourself completely in the rolling waves of guitar reverb.
Find Your Fido and Friends Adoption Event Central Park East Meadow; 1pm; free
Meet your new four-legged soulmate at this massive adoption event, courtesy of the NYPD, ASPCA and Animal Care Centers of NYC. Enter at 60th St and Fifth Ave.
Target First Saturdays Brooklyn Museum; 1pm; free
Head to Brooklyn Museum for a free day of talks, tours and performances. Learn about how to defend immigrant rights with activist group Movimiento Cosecha, catch a screening of The Holy Mountain, and get down to reggaetón and salsa at shows by Batalá New York and Balmir Latin Dance Company.
Boo at the Zoo Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society; 10am; $37
The Bronx Zoo goes all out for Halloween every weekend in October. After a hayride in the haunted forest, catch acoustic performances, beer and food-truck bites at Bootoberfest (noon–4pm), take part in a costume parade (noon–2pm), and face spectral birds of horror lore, including ravens, vultures and owls (11am–3pm).
Future of Storytelling Fest Snug Harbor Cultural Center; 10am; $40
Innovators in the fields of virtual reality, immersive theater and experimental art gather to ignite a new era of interactive experiences—including VR programs set in the Amazon, DJ sets designed for a deaf audience and a Popsicle that creates music.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center; 8:30am; $25, skate rental $12
Even if the sidewalks are overrun with tourists, you’ll have ample room to skate at the city’s most iconic rink; only 150 people are allowed on the ice at once. So be prepared to spend a bit of a wait in line fantasizing about your waltz jumps and double axels: the buildup will be worth it once you're on the ice.