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20 brilliant things to do in NYC this week

Jennifer P

Mon 7 

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Dixon Place; 7:30pm; suggested donation $10
Circus folk and other vaudevillian performers sign up for this monthly show to demonstrate new tricks and work-in-progress acts. Past participants have included the Heavy Metal Magician, trained rats, jugglers and sexy clowns.

Canstruction Brookfield Place Courtyard Gallery; 10am; free
Give “food as art” new meaning beyond those food-porn Instagrams at this 24th annual cans-for-a-cause competition, pitting architecture teams against each other to create larger-than-life Pop-Art–installations using more than 120,000 cans of nonperishable food, all in the name of ending hunger (every can is donated to City Harvest). Head down to Brookfield Place to see the unveiling of these engineering spectacles, all built overnight after months of planning, and check back to see if your favorite takes home any titles in judges’ categories like Best Use of Labels, Best Meal and Structural Ingenuity. You’ll also be able to cast a ballot for the “People’s Choice” winner online. Admission is completely free, but you can do your part by bringing the suggested donation of one canned good per person.

Slumber Party Film Society Presents: Pieces of April Videology; 9pm; $10
Revisit this Michelle Branch-era drama starring a "bad girl" Katie Holmes and the eternal Patricia Clarkson as estranged family coming together for Thanksgiving. Don't bother pretending you're not going to cry. 

Broadway Sings Beyoncé Highline Ballroom; 8pm; $30–$65
More than a dozen Broadway vocalists perform new arrangements of Queen Bee classics, backed by piano man Joshua Stephen Kartes and a 14-piece jazz orchestra. Singers include Alysha Umphress, Lilli Cooper, Amber Iman, Leslie Margherita, Charl Brown, Corey Mach, Kyle Taylor Parker, Joaquina Kalukango, Ciara Renée and Natalie Weiss. 

Elvis Costello Beacon Theatre; 7:30pm; $99–$135
The staggeringly brilliant smart-rock songsmith and jazz-loving musical polymath has been digging deep into his enormous back catalog at recent gigs; since he's playing unaccompanied here, we expect he'll continue the trend, mingling classics with unexpected gems. To quote an Imperial Bedroom fave, these gigs ought to be beyond belief. 

Michael Friedman: Election Songs New York City Center; 6:30pm; $25
The resident songwriter of the Civilians and the composer of musicals including Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Fortress of Solitude, Friedman has one of musical theater's sharpest minds. In a series of concerts leading up to the election—culminating in an election-night "hootenanny" at Joe's Pub—he slices into politics with a song cycle based on interviews he has conducted across the country throughout the blistering 2016 campaign.

Frank Conniff’s Cartoon Dump 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.

Tue 8

Comic Arts Brooklyn The City Reliquary Museum; 8pm; $5
Indie comic fans head to Brooklyn for this annual Valhalla, which features a sprawling book, zine and comics fair and a packed day of creator panels. Check out talks from Adrian Tomine, Richard McGuire, Charles Burns, Dame Darcy and more.  

Urban Graffiti: Street Art & Street food of Brooklyn Aleef Coffee House; noon; $39 with bike $79
Ride down the Brooklyn Bridge and through Bushwick at this immersive tour through Brooklyn, where you'll see some of the borough's most striking street art and dish on food truck fair with a group of eight riders. Local architect Allen R. Phillips leads the 20-mile tour, and will be sure to keep you out of the way of tourists.  

Election Night Watch Q.E.D.; 7pm; $12
Drown your worries in drink specials from this Astoria bar, along with classic deli bites from Andrew & Frank’s (included with cover). Comedians Mike Gregorek and Rory Scholl keep you upbeat as the results pour in. 

Trump: A Theatrical Concerto by Gene Pritsker Le Poission Rouge; 7pm; $20, at the door $25
Violinist Philippe Quint, conductor Kristjan Järvi, Absolute Ensemble, multimedia DJ Graham Elliot and other stage artists perform in an operetta about the presidential candidate, featuring the Devil, Ben Franklin and Melania Trump. 

Election Night Hootenanny Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; 8:30pm; $30
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater keeps you from losing your mind at this night of commentary and debate. While the ensuing drama unfolds onscreen, listen to parodies from composer Michael Friedman, join debates with critics, and catch performances from Fun Home cast members.  

Harold Night Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre; 7:30pm. 9:15pm; $5
The Harold is a classic structure pioneered by improv legend Del Close, and this show sees three of the UCBT’s top house teams take turns in proving they have it down to a fine art in a series of fast-paced, 30-minute sets. 

Wed 9

Unlimited Champagne & Good Eats at Champagne Piaff’s Launch Party The Loft in Flatiron; 7pm; $75
Break out the bubbly, it's time to party! Champagne Piaff is launching for the first time in New York City with a blow-out party in celebration of NY Champagne Week. A ticket gets you all the champagne you can drink, sliders via Pinks NYC and sparkling wine-infused dessert from sommelier Sara Lehman. There will also be music throughout the evening along with a photo booth, games, giveaways, and much more. So come and hear the pop of the cork at this foam-worthy event. 

Dead Darlings Judson Memorial Church; 8pm; $20
Watch beloved NYC performers and writers share their favorite unrealized work in Amanda Duarte's free monthly forum for abandoned projects, sidelined ideas or scrapped gems from writers' notebooks, hard drives and beyond. The all-star November postelection edition, "Let's Dance," features Isaac Oliver, Michael Cyril Creighton, Jenn Harris and the Gay Agenda; proceeds from the suggested $20 donation go toward cancer treatment for cabaret singer Raquel Cion.

Thu 10 

Home Brew Opera Freddy’s Bar; 9pm; free
There'll be nary an evening gown or tux in sight during this evening of theatrics, where performers with the collective Opera on Tap share scenes and songs with the audience while wearing jeans and sipping Stella. Attendees are encouraged to get into the comical, laid-back spirit, so feel free to throw on that Viking helmet you bought for Halloween.

Anyone Can Be President, Even Us Carolines on Broadway; 9:30pm; $16.50
If you need a little something to take the edge off this election season, and of course you do, Brendan Fitzgibbons and Lance Weiss are here to help. Each week, they invite comedians, writers and news contributors to help us laugh—when we might otherwise feel like crying. 

John Sharp Sings! Live! Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; 9:30pm; $15
Rising New York funnyman Sharp, whom we named "Comic to Watch" in 2014, sits at the helm of this stand-up and storytelling show. The hour long performance features a full set from the UCB performer himself, plus appearances from Aparna Nancherla (Conan), Lilli Cooper (Wicked) and Jo Firestone (Punderdome 3000), all wrapped up "inside of one long D'Angelo song." Experimental comedy and sultry tunes? Sign us up.

Yum’s the World; Shiksas Le Poisson Rouge; 7:30pm; $20, advance $15
This ongoing storytelling series, produced and hosted by Robin Gelfenbien, is also a party: audience members are invited to feast on her multiple homemade ice-cream cakes. In addition to stories from Broad City writer Naomi Ekperigin, UCB's Gastor Almonte, three-time Moth Story Slam winner Danny Artese and more, this edition features both Clinton and Trump impersonators to help you laugh off any post-election anxiety.

Mortified Littlefield; 8pm; $10
Most of us wouldn’t relive our teenage years if you paid us. But at this reading, bold volunteers share their most embarrassing—and hilarious—childhood diary entries, poems, songs and home videos.


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