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20 excellent things to do in NYC this week

20 excellent things to do in NYC this week
Photograph: Johannes Heuckeroth

Mon 22

Drunken Shakespeare Bar Nine; 8pm; free
The Night Shift, which describes itself as a “working class theater” group, hosts this inebriated reading of Shakespearean monologues. Want to see if you can recite Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” after a few brews? Step up to the mike, or just sit back and soak in the iambs. 

Find Your Park Event Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1; 1pm; free
This is every science lover’s dream come true! In honor of the National Park Service’s birthday centennial, the National Park Foundation wants you to party like it’s 1993 with Bill Nye, the Science Guy (and other awesome guests) during it’s first-ever Find Your Park event at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The outdoor bash is bursting with free entertainment, including a bumpin’ DJ set by the loveable Questlove (8pm), a surprise musical performance (5:45pm), family-friendly games like corn hole, sand art and interactive stations , where you can learn about saving NYC’s parks, and free ice cream—bring your appetite—courtesy of Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (1pm). We’re most excited for the event’s supercool experiment, in which New Yorkers can actually control the One World Trade Center’s spire by changing the color of the lights via a giant digital circuit board with help from Bill Nye (7:45pm). Disclaimer: We’re not entirely sure how Nye is able to achieve this from Brooklyn Bridge Park, but we do know that it involves science

Dreams Are Colder Than Death Ingersoll Community Center; 6pm; free
Arthur Jafa examines the epistemological roots of being black in America in this 2014 documentary featuring narration from Kara Walker, Hortense Spillers, Fred Moten, Kathleen Cleaver, Charles Burnett, Wangechi Mutu, Saidiya Hartman and Melvin Gibbs. A discussion follows the free screening.

Broadway Sings the Beatles Highline Ballroom; 8pm; $30–$35, VIP $65
More than a dozen Broadway up-and-comers perform new arrangements of Fab Four classics, backed by piano man Joshua Stephen Kartes and a jazz orchestra, in the latest edition of Corey Mach's concert series. The lineup includes Alysha Umphress, Drew Gehling, Emily Padgett, Ciara Renée, Steel Burkhardt and Michael Wartella.

Carol Woods: Ain’t We Got Fun Metropolitan Room; 8:30pm; $30 plus two–drink minimum
Carol Woods has the kind of big blues voice that can move audiences to their feet or to their knees, and has deployed it often on Broadway (including in multiple stints as Mama Morton in Chicago). Now she invites cabaret audiences to come get lost in the Woods in a show devoted to the songs of Tin Pan Alley tunesmith Richard Whiting. 

Tue 23

The Dump! Open Mic Storytelling Show The Creek and the Cave; 8pm; free
The Creek and the Cave gives you eight minutes to rid yourself of some of your most ghastly memories at this cathartic storytelling event. With no prompts or judges, you can finally share your secret tales of summer camp heartbreak and music festival STDs among tipsy friends and fellow shameless storytellers.

Central Park Conservancy Film Festival Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater; 6:30pm; free
We love outdoor movies—especially in Central Park. The weeklong festival kicks off with a School of Rock screening, so do your best air-guitar move while you watch under the stars. Check Central Park's website for the other flicks on the lineup. 

Trivia Tuesdays The Sackett; 8pm; free
Don't let the Sackett's stacked drink menu blur your trivia skills, because you'll need to bring your A-game for five rounds of unpredictable trivia. You'll have to keep up with music, visual, mystery rounds and more if you want to win eternal glory (at least, until the next game two weeks later). 

Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White Barnes & Noble Union Square; 7pm; free
Basketball champion turned political writer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar launches his new collection of essays about the intersections of race, religion and politics in America. 

Soft Spot: A Comedy Show Threes Brewing; 8:30pm; $5
Claudia Cogan and Brendan McLaughlin host this monthly gathering of their favorite comedians in a charming Gowanus brewery. Get there early to nab a seat before they're all taken.

Bears at the Beach Jacob Riis Park Beach; noon; free
Burly, beefy, buff or brawny men and those who adore them should head past the last lifeguard station to the left of the beach for a weekday chill out by the water, with drinks, music and furry revelry guaranteed. 

Wed 24

Accordions Around the World Bryant Park; 6pm; free
A half-dozen bellows-pumpers infiltrate the park for the first hour of this weekly performance. Each night, a different style of band, complete with its own accordion aficionado, closes out the affair. Genres covered include klezmer, cumbia, jazz and pop.

Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater; 7:30pm; $15–$35
It’s an NYC rite of passage to watch hopeful performers rub the Tree of Hope and give their all to make Top Dog status. Whether the acts dazzle the crowd or are literally swept offstage by C.P. Lacey, they’re guaranteed to produce an unforgettable show. This season’s series of dance, music, comedy and performance showdowns builds up to November’s finals, at which one Super Top Dog wins $10,000 and eternal glory. Be good or begone!

Barely Making It The Creek and the Cave; 8pm; free
Meghan O'Malley, Erick Hellwig and Adrian Davidson invite comedians to Long Island City every week to try out their freshest material. Past guests have written and appeared on Broad City, Master of None, The Daily Show and more. 

Thu 25

Tainted Love: 80s Dance Party with DJ Jane Elizabeth The Bell House; 10pm; free
Every month, DJ Jane Elizabeth revives gems—or, technically, jams— from the annals of synth-pop, new wave, glam rock, old-school hip-hop and more at this party for fans who still want their MTV. This is your chance to tease your hair, paint on eyeliner and worship some of the U.K.’s finest artists-—including Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, and Siouxsie and the Banshees—before celebrating the USA all weekend long. 

End of Summer Luau Skate Brooklyn Bridge Park; 7pm; $3, skate rental $6
You might not want to celebrate the end of summer, but Brooklyn Bridge Park Roller Skating's end of the season bash certainly makes goodbye seem, well, pretty arlight. Head to pier and skate your heart out to tropical beats. With the East River in the background, you can almost pretend like you're in Hawaii. (We know, it's a stretch). Bonus: Everyone gets lei'd. 

Ja Rule and Ashanti PlayStation Theater; 8pm; $35
Flashback to 2002! Ja Rule's heartfelt collaboration tracks with Murder Inc labelmate Ashanti cemented the duo's legacy as legends of the early aughts. As the two join forces here for a comeback tour, you can bet on hearing golden hits like "Mesmerize," “Down 4 You,” “Happy” and "Always on Time."

What Are You Afraid Of Q.E.D.; 7:30pm; $8, at the door $10
Sharks. Elevators. Airplanes. Bears. We’re all scared of something. At What Are You Afraid Of?, New York’s best comedians and storytellers hilariously grapple with a wide array of fears onstage. Watch as Mara Wilson, Joe Firestone, Lyssa Mandel and Will Miles spin tales of what most frightens them. You'll feel comforted that your weird fears aren't that weird after all.

Housewives of Secaucus: A Suburban Tragedy Broadway Comedy Club; 10pm; $20
Join the demented ladies of New Jersey's classiest region as they throw drinks, pull hair and air grievances at a combination talent show/fashion show/fundraiser, all in the name of sisterhood and family. 

LE1F + Ash Koosha Rough Trade NYC; 8pm; $18
Local indie-rap sensation LE1F has come a long way since going viral in the summer of 2012 with the video for "Wut." The impish MC's matured recent studio debut, Riot Boi, features his quicksilver vocal-fry flow over production from bubblegum hyper-pop duo Sophie and indie luminary Dev Hynes among others.

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