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20 awesome things to do in NYC this week

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Mon 16

Play Date at Pete’s Candy Store; 6pm; free
Head to Pete's Candy Shop every third Monday of the month for readings of new dramatic works and reinterpreted classics, curated by Siler Buckley and Willie Johnson. 

Good Catch Music Improv, People’s Improv Theater; 9pm; $5
Witness musical improv greatness (or calamity) as a wildly creative group of comics creates and performs a complete musical on the spot, based on your suggestions. May's MGM theme promises tapping, tuxedos and plenty of romance, but there's always a chance that the show will go completely off the rails. Either way, it's likely to be win/win. 

Mac DeMarco, Webster Hall; 8pm; $30
The reigning hooligan king of indie pop, DeMarco released a mini-album of love songs last summer that revealed, in addition to the nuances of his heart, his home address, complete with an invitation for coffee. If you didn’t have a chance to make it out to his Queens apartment, you can also enter for a chance to win a meet n’ greet through his new fan club, the Mac DeMarco Fan Club, run by none other than his mom, Agnes. Or for an alternative route to a face-to-face with the impish outsider–lite rocker, you can ambush him here at these Webster Hall gigs as he returns to New York to air his pouty, surreally stylized lo-fi tunage.

Dearly Beloved: A Concert Tribute, 42West; 8pm; $20
Lena Hall, Robin De Jesus and E. Clayton Cornelious are among the stars going crazy at this encore presentation of the hit 2014 Broadway the Hardway concert tribute to Prince. Proceeds benefit the charitable efforts of Arts for All. 

Time Out Bar Awards, Arena; 7pm; $50
In the mood to celebrate the best booze in New York City? (Stupid question: of course you are). Join us for the second annual Time Out Bar Awards on Monday, May 16th from 7-10pm at Arena, where we'll be partying the night away with the best and brightest cocktail and bar minds in the city. Your ticket to this exclusive event includes a premium open bar including beer from Peroni, passed hors d’oeuvres, DJ, entertainment, giveaways and more. 

Tue 17

Is America in Decline?: Debating America’s Future in Uncertain Times, Village Underground; 7pm; $40
Politically-minded folks (and those who are merely interested in the future of America) are welcome to observe this riveting and undoubtedly good-humored debate, which digs deep into our country's areas of concern. This event's kick-ass panel of debaters includes David Rothkopf (CEO and Editor of the FP Group), George Packer (The New Yorker), Tom Rogan (National Review), Kristin Tate (National Review and The Washington Times) and moderator Collin Quinn (SNL). Warning: Things might get hilariously heated. 

Lady Bunny: Trans-Jester, The Stonewall Inn; 7pm; $20
Shameless drag legend and nightlife pioneer Lady Bunny is back with another delightfully offensive solo show packed with song parodies and savagely hilarious takedowns.

Cuba Festival, Joyce Theater, 7:30pm; $20–$50
The Joyce welcomes three Cuban companies in a two-week celebration of the island's contemporary dance scene. Malpaso Dance Company (May 10–12) offers three pieces, including one by artistic director Osnel Delgado; DanzAbierta's Showroom (May 14–17) combines modern dance and metatheatrical storytelling; and Irene Rodríguez Compañía (May 19–22) gives a Cuban spin to classical Spanish flamenco.

New York City Ballet Spring 2016, David H. Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center), 8pm; $30–$170
The company's spring season includes 10 ballets by cofounder George Balanchine and four by Jerome Robbins, including a diptych of Dances at a Gathering and West Side Story Suite (May 11–15). World premieres of Christopher Wheeldon's American Rhapsody (set to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue) and Nicolas Blanc's Mothership are also on the schedule. The season concludes with a weeklong run of Balanchine's magical, full-length A Midsummer Night's Dream (May 24–29). 

Annie Ross, Metropolitan Room, 9:30pm; $25 plus two-drink minimum
Now 85, Annie Ross remains as hard-swinging, glamorous and funny as when she was one third of the legendary jazz-vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. See her and you’ll understand what jazz used to be: an expression of the danger, fun and high-wire life between the notes.

Wed 18

Ghostbusters (Gender Swap), Littlefield; 8pm; $8, at the door $10
A Drinking Game brings you a live performance of the ’80s occult classic, with gender-swapped roles (we’re psyched for that sequel) and a play-as-you-go custom drinking game.

#Misster, The Woods; 10pm; free
The baddest gals in town (and a sprinkling of dudes) gather on Wednesdays for pop and hip-hop crowd-pleasers, cheap drinks and wild dancing. Past themes include "Missy Elliot Appreciation Night" and "Britney Spears' Birthday." 

James Blake, Webster Hall; 7:30pm; $35
Though the long-anticipated Kanye verse on James Blake's latest album, The Colour in Anything, fell through, the dubstepper cum electro-soul crooner has racked up an impressive star-studded list of collaborations this year nonetheless: contributions from Bon Iver and Frank Ocean, production from Rick Rubin and two tracks on Beyoncé's Lemonade. It seems the inspiration from so many equally innovative peers augmented the scope of the Brit's trademark falsetto R&B from dubstep-flecked sparsity to a more expansively textured landscape—a welcome, poignant transformation. 

Balls Deep with Tammy Spenks, Phoenix; 8pm; free
The ever-so-fabulous Tammy Spenks leads various rounds of bingo and karaoke—yes, you will have your diva moment—while dishing out cash prizes along the way.

Anohni: Hopelessness, Park Avenue Armory; 8pm; $50
Soulful singing enigma Anohni (formerly Antony) gives her new album, Hopelessness, an audio-visual presentation inside the Park Avenue Armory's spacious drill hall. As part of the Red Bull Music Academy Festival, Anohni unveils the new direction, which she has described as a "dance/experimental electronic record with quite a dark thematic undertow," over two nights.

Thu 19

The Secret Lift of the Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport Museum; 12:15pm; $20
During this hour-and-15-minute walking tour (wear your sneaks), you’ll discover stories and secrets about the glorious Brooklyn Bridge as well as tales about the remarkable builders who gave life to the enigmatic structure. 

NYC Pop Fest, at various locations; 3pm; free–$30
The iconic indie music festival returns to NYC for several nights of rowdy shows by bands from the US, UK and far beyond. With shows all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, afterparties and screenings of the documentary Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream, this packed weekend is a dream come true for fans of alternative rock new and old. 

Nice T!TS, The PIT Loft; 7pm; $20
Back for an encore run, NICE T!TS is Amy Marcs's one-woman show about surviving breast cancer, but it's a lot more perky than it sounds. With keen observations and ample humor, Marcs takes the audience through her journey of womanhood, body confidence and mortality.

Lasers in the Jungle, UCBEast; 7:30pm; $5
Hosts Dan Wilbur (The Onion), Sean Crespo (MTV) and Katina Corrao (VH1) welcome stand-ups to this ongoing weekly showcase. Previous acts include Aparna Nancherla (@midnight), Ben Kronberg (Last Comic Standing) and Michelle Wolf (Late Night with Seth Meyers). After more than four years of weekly shows, Lasers has quite a Rolodex of comics to call. You never know who might show up at a performance.

Harlem EatUp! Festival; 6:30pm; $80–$155
The uptown celebration of food and community returns for a second year, with an event-packed schedule featuring star-studded chefs’ dinners and a main stage in Morningside Park that will host chef demos and live music. Notable toques include Emeril Lagasse, Andy Ricker, Jacques Torres and fried-chicken maestra Carla Hall.

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