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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Henry Hemming

20 excellent things to do in NYC this week

Jennifer P

Mon 14

NPR’s Ask Me Another The Bell House; 7:30pm; $20, at the door $25
Host Ophira Eisenberg and resident guitarist Jonathan Coulton welcome actors Dennis Quaid, Christian Cooke and Cary Elwes to the hot seat of this twisty, puzzle-prone NPR game show. 

Rockers on Broadway Le Poisson Rouge; 8pm; $25–$250
Stage stars rock out at this annual benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and other performing-arts charities charities. This year's roster of singers includes Constantine Maroulis, Roger Bart, Jarrod Spector, Wilson Heredia, Tyler Hanes, Clarke Thorell, Ryann Redmond and Bryce Ryness, plus original Rascals guitarist Gene Cornish.

The Moonual: A Magical Full Moon Ritual & Comedy Show Carolines on Broadway; 7pm; $18
Sara Armour and Jessica Brodkin host this astro-powered comedy show at Carolines, which kicks off with full moon rituals before the stand-up even begins. Enjoy $5 drink specials while perusing Eastern and mystical books and crystals, and check out tarot and palm readers and energy specialists. Then, at 7:30, enjoy sets by Carmen Lynch, Hadiyah Robinson II, Brooke Arnold, Ayanna Dookie, Carolyn Busa and Melissa Stokoski. 

Tue 15

The Prose Bowl Pete’s Candy Store; 6:30pm; free
Ready to share your writing with someone other than your roommate? Bring some flash fiction—up to 1,000 words—to this writer’s arena, where you get less than five minutes to share your work with a panel of local comedians and writers. You’ll get a critique, and the final two writers will face off in a tweet-length lightning round. The night’s winner receives a free drink, obscure prizes like a Big Lebowski puzzle, and eternal glory among the city’s literati. 

From Eggs to Apples: the Cuisine of Ancient Romans Brooklyn Brainery; 8:30pm; $15
Experience the Roman feasts of old at this lecture and tasting, where you'll learn how emperors ate, debunk the myth of vomitoriums, and sample some of the fare that defined the Pax Romana. 

Sip-n-Scribe Q.E.D.; 8pm; suggested donation $5
Comedians Jenn Wehrung and Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons inspire you to write something new in a totally different environment. Bring a pen and paper, grab a drink and jump into bizarre and stimulating prompts meant to shake up your process and get you writing, while meeting other writers to share your work with. 

Arts, Culture & Fun: Dark Nights, Bright Lights Tony Dapolito Recreation Center; 7pm; free
Join jet propulsion specialist Jaclyn Avidon for a lecture on our possibilities to finding habitable planets close to earth. After learning about our next possible home worlds, you can step outside for some full moon stargazing. Bring binoculars. 

Golden Lady Burlesque Sid Gold’s Request Room; 8pm; $5–$20
Host Essence Revealed welcomes strip-teasing pros to the stage for a boozy night of dancing and singing by the piano.

Born a Crime: Trevor Noah in Conversation 92nd Street Y; 7:30pm; $52
The Daily Show host speaks about his upbringing in an interracial family in apartheid South Africa from his new memoir.

Little Cinema: The Fifth Element House of Yes; 7pm; $30, VIP $35
You haven't really experienced Luc Besson's The Fifth Element until you've seen a blue burlesque dancer dressed as Plavalaguna singing opera. Expect burlesque, aerial insanity and other inventive shenanigans at this immersive viewing of the eternal sci-fi classic starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Milla Jovovich and Chris Tucker. After the viewing, party with other Gaultier-clad fans, but honor House of Yes' code of consent—or, as Leeloo would say, ecto gammat! 

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. 

Wed 16

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 CP 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!

Breckenridge Brewery Celebrates Opening Day American Beauty; 7pm; free
Kick off the winter sports season and celebrate the release of a limited edition snowboard at this free party featuring ice sculpting by Okamoto Studio and live music from the Henhouse Prowlers and Cropdust. You'll also get a chance to win one of the slick new boards, designed by artist Nick Hughes.

Thu 17 

Pop-up Magazine Kings Theatre; 7:30pm; $35
The best elements of your favorite magazines come to life onstage, with a mix of music, photography, film and more. This year's one-night-only performers include This American Life's Ira Glass and Stephanie Foo, documentarian Jamie Meltzer and MTV's Jessica Hopper, with live music by Magik*Magik Orchestra. 

Essay Panel Featuring Kirsty Gunn Astoria Bookshop; 7pm; free
Get some literary insight at this panel discussion on essay writing moderated by Michele Filgate and featuring award-winning author Kirsty Gunn, cultural commentator Daniel Mendelsohn and novelist Phillip Lopate. The event also celebrates the US launch of Gunn's book My Katherine Mansfield Project.

Guerilla Science Presents: Sensory Speed Dating House of Yes; 7:30m; $30, non-participants $100
Strap on a blindfold and meet your mate without the aid of dating profiles or assumptions based on looks. Guerilla Science will lead you through a sense-driven arena with aphrodisiacal foods, touching exercises and more until you've found your match. Unlike many other speed dating gatherings, this event is open to LGBTQ, partnered, single and polyamorous daters.  

Creepy Girl Travels Horror Show Freddy’s Bar; 7:30pm; free
Creepy Girl Travels, a website dedicated to alternative travel (often including graveyard visits), hosts this monthly trivia and movie night focused on horror flicks, the occult and all things creepy.

Pat Union Pool; 10pml free
JD Samson’s queer hootenany brings in a vast range of Brooklynites to drink and dance in Union Pool’s expansive backyard. Look out for sweaty grinding, trippy video installations and alcohol in red cups. 

Drunk Science: Conservation Biology; Littlefield; 8pm; $5–$8
Join your hosts Joanna Rothkopf (Jezebel staff writer), Shannon Odell (neuroscience PhD student) and Jordan Mendoza (took some science classes), along with comedians Abbi Crutchfield, Nicole Silverberg and Zach Cherry, as they proceed to get wasted and compete to present their very best population genetics treatise to actual scientist Dr. Evon Hekkala. The more you drink, the more their dissertations will make sense. 

Dinner with the Divas Lips; 7:30pm; free
NYC's 20-year-old drag hub Lips welcomes you to enjoy a night of old-school dinner theater while master impersonator Jesse Volt buzzes on and off stage as Joan Rivers, Cher, Dolly Parton, Katy Perry and more. Try not to blink: you may miss a costume change. 


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