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Brooklyn Bridge, Downtown Manhattan, and One World Trade Center
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/John Cunniff

20 awesome things to do in NYC this week

Jennifer P

Mon 6 

NYC Undiscovered The Living Room at the W Times Square; 6pm; free
Ever wish you could listen and enjoy the great talents who perform on the subway without rushing to your next destination? The Living Room – W New York – Times Square, the recently remodeled bar and lounge, is making your dream a reality. Every Monday night, the venue invites raw talents such as subway musicians Najah Lewis, Chris Zurich and Drew Angus to provide free entertainment while you chill out and sip specialty cocktails. 

Brooklyn Film Festival at various locations and times; $13 single tickets
It's the time of year again when 100 films from 30 different nations descend on Kings County. Now in it's 19th year, the narrative films, documentaries, experimental flicks and animated features chosen to screen this time around are all centered around the theme of "Experiment" and exemplify in their narratives or filmmaking the nature of taking on something new and risks. The fest begins with a showing of director Sean Garrity's new indie drama Borealis.

Daybreaker Week at various locations; 6am, through Fri 10; $35 each
Start your day off on the right foot when DayBreak NYC brings five days of massive early morning (and we mean early) dance parties to venues across Manhattan and Brooklyn. The groove-worthy hits start at 6am sharp (9am on Sunday) and each day has a different theme like disco, '90s and bach music, so you won't have to worry about getting sick of the sound track.

Your Favorite Band is Killing Me The Strand Bookstore; 7pm; Free with book purchase
Music journalist Steven Hyden (AV Club, Grantland) discusses his new book about how high-profile beefs and friendly rivalries between bands reflect our culture, Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me: What Pop Music Rivalries Reveal About the Meaning of Life. Joining Hyden for the Q&A is Rob Sheffield, author of Turn Around Bright Eyes.

Frank Conniff’s Cartoon Q.E.D.; 8:30pm; $5
Befitting his past as a regular on Mystery Science Theater 3000 as TV’s Frank, Frank Conniff brings some truly bad and bizarre cartoons to this variety show. Between screenings of animated missteps, Coniff (who portrays a depressed owl on a fictional terrible children’s show throughout) and his special guests do sketches, stand-up sets and music numbers.

Best of Broadway Sings Highline Ballroom; 8pm; $30, VIP $65
Ever wondered how songs by Adele, Pink, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston might sound with 14-piece jazz band? Here's a great chance to find out as Brandon Victor Dixon, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Alison Luff, Matt DeAngelis, Christina Sajous, Marty Thomas, Natalie Weiss and other major musical-theater talents perform highlights from the past year of the pop-oriented Broadway Sings concert series.

PopAction at Streb; 6pm; $15, 1$135 10-class package
Elizabeth Streb and her company—the STREB Extreme Action Company—are the daredevils of the dance world, and the MacArthur-winning choreographer has made her own aesthetic out on the edge of what the human body can do. Her technique—an aggressive mixture of circus skills, modern dance, body awareness and something like boxing—teaches participants how to manifest her same power-packed grace; in her Williamsburg facility, her dancers teach you “low-flying” skills, fall without fear, and generally become your best superhero self.

Open Roads: New Italian Cinema Film Society at Lincoln Center; noon, through Wed 8; $14 per film
The Film Society and Istituto Luce Cinecittà present their fifteenth annual showcase of Italy’s latest generation of filmmakers. Expect to see heart-wrenching indies and dazzling commercial hits among the selection, which includes nine North American premieres. Fans of movie history should include Viva Ingrid! on their list of must-sees—the film is about Ingrid Bergman and is directed by Roberto Rossellini's grandson Alessandro.

Tue 7

Chuck Klosterman Barnes & Noble Union Square; 7pm; free
Omnivorous pop-culture essayist Chuck Klosterman's new book, But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past explores the way future societies will look at our present. Topics cover include our attitudes toward democracy and whether we recognize our greatest living artists as geniuses.

The Tony Awards Presents: NYC’s Ultimate Broadway Trivia Night The Bell House; 8pm; $12
Calling all Broadway Babies and musical theater nerds! Join other fans of the Great White Way at this trivia bonanza organized by the official Tony Awards and TrivWorks. Prizes include tickets to Broadway shows and passes to the Tony Awards dress rehearsal, but even if you lose you'll be treated to live, improvised numbers by seasoned troupe "Broadway's Next Hit Musical."

Life is Pain Union Hall; 8pm; $6, at the door $8
If a comic complains without a live audience to hear it, did it ever really happen? In this hilarious show, Lily Karlin and Blythe Roberson welcome the likes of Lane Moore, Steven Markow, Ziwe Fumodoh and Oliver Chinyere to help them contemplate the grimness of life on earth. 

Punderdome 3000 Littefield, 8pm; $8, at the door $10
Jo Firestone and her Rodney Dangerfield impersonator father, Fred, host this beloved competition, in which the first 18 individuals or duos to sign up at the door attempt to pun-up each other's spontaneously produced word-play. Winners are determined by a "human clap-o-meter" and go home with a kitchen appliance.

Making the Invisible Visible: NYC LGBTQ Historic Sites Project New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building; 7pm; free
Just in time for Pride, the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project explores the bars, theaters, meeting places and sites that were essential to the LGBTQ community long before the Stonewall riots. Historian George Chauncey and Historic Sites directors will guide you through some of the landmarks of the city and discuss the future of the project. 

Barrett Foa Feinsten’s/54 Below; 9:30pm; $30–$85 plus $25 minimum
Foa hides his handsome blond light under a bushel as techie Eric Beale on NCIS: Los Angeles, but this cabaret set should let him shine. An alum of multiple Broadway and Off Broadway musicals (including Avenue Q), Foa knows how to turn up the charm.

Wed 8

Legion of Skanks The Creek and the Cave; 9pm; free
The trio of Big Jay Oakerson, Luis J. Gomez and Dave Smith gets together each week to do stand-up and record an episode of its raw and unapologetic podcast, Legion of Skanks. If you're ready to experience "the most offensive podcast on earth," then head to the Creek and the Cave for some hilarious mortification. 

Comics Watching Comics New York Comedy Club; 7pm; $15
The show where, well, comics watch comics will be hosting a live version featuring the panelists, good comedians and some who may have had an off-night, but will be given a second chance for a full slot in the show. 

Gods and Mortals at Olympus Onassis Cultural Center NY at Olympic Tower; 10am; free
Get a glimpse into the ancient Greek city of Dion at the Onassis Cultural Center NY's latest exhibition, "Gods and Mortals: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus." The collection features artifacts—the result of more than 40 years of excavation—that have never before been seen in the U.S., including astonishingly well-preserved statues and mosaics. You'll also find contemporary artwork, plus videos and photos of the archeological site and its environment. On April 21 and May 21, philosopher Simon Critchley and special guests will lead a guided walk through the artifacts while discussing contemporary topics inspired by the exhibition. Family Sundays (April 17, May 15 and June 5) give kids an interactive experience with storytellers, books, masks and more.

Thu 9

Teen Angst: A Lip Sync Battle The PIT Loft; 7:30pm; $5
You know the days when you’d scream “F#!k you, mom and dad!” into your pillow? Take that angst to the stage and let it all out lip syncing to the likes of Good Charlotte, Blink 182, Simple Plan or any of your other favorite “Warp Tour” style bands. 

Performance Mix Festival Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement; 7pm; $20
This festival, now in its 30th season, features work by experimental artists. The final show, on Saturday 11, explores improvisation in music and movement, including tap dancing.

Free Yoga in Bryant Park; 6pm; free
Whether you’re a die-hard yogi or a noob searching for vinyasa, folks of all fitness levels are welcome to find Zen beneath the trees in Bryant Park every Tuesday morning and Thursday evening through summer. The outdoor hub is launching its 13th season of yoga, presented by sportswear brand Athleta, during which instructors from Yoga Journal help you perfect poses while you focus on deep breathing. Classes will be held at Upper Terrace (Tue) and on the Lawn (Thu). 


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