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20 marvelous things to do in NYC this week

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Mon 2

NYC Undiscovered The Living Room W Hotel 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. 

The Moth StorySLAM The Bell House; 8pm; $10
Ten stories. Three teams of judges. One winner. The outrageously (and deservedly) popular storytelling series pits local yarn-spinners against one another, challenging them to deliver an impressive tale based on a specific topic. This edition: Seduction.

Fly, You Fools! Peoples Improv Theater; 8pm; $15
The irreverent goons behind Hold On To Your Butts and the director of the Harry Potter parody show Puffs present this "shot-for-shot" reenactment of the gloriously dramatic The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Expect wigs to fly as this four-person crew plays the roles of a nine-man cohort of misfits, a sentient astral eye and Elven princess with hilarious dedication.  

Side Ponytail Over the Eight; 7pm; free
Carolyn Busa used to call her monthly stand-up show "Williamsburg's cutest," but now that it's two-years old and weekly at Over the Eight, Side Ponytail has become a reliable night for solid sets and surprise stars. Check out sets from guests like Josh Gondelman, Carmen Lynch and Corinne Fisher at this Monday night staple. 

PoetNY Open Mic & Bowery Slam Bowery Poetry Club; 6:30pm; $10, PoetNY and Bowery Slam $15
Bowery Poetry packs a doubleheader every Monday night, with the wild and unpredictable PoetNY Open Mic at 6:30, followed by the competitive, rowdy Bowery Slam. Whether you’re a weekly regular or just coming in for your annual poetry fix, you’ll be more than satisfied by the local talent and unexpected guests this night brings.  

Tue 3 

Mad. Sq. Eats General Worth Square; 11am; free
Twice a year, this outdoor food fest brings buzzworthy bites from the city’s best restaurants to Worth Square in the Flatiron District—think chef Angie Mar’s delicious burgers from the Beatrice Inn and Roberta’s sensational pizza. The one-stop shop for the tastiest grub in town will be available every day until May 27, so make sure to wear your stretchy pants. 

Punderdome 3000 Littlefield; 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.

Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic Peoples Improv Theater; 8pm; $20
The creative minds behind Kapow-i GoGo bring you a Harry Potter parody of epic proportions. The gentle Hufflepuffs often live in the shadows of J.K. Rowling's universe, and this show follows the forgotten lives of the students sitting next to the hero. Wayne Hopkins was just a boy from New Mexico till he found out he was a wizard. Find out how he and other mediocre Puffs fare at the school of Magic and Magic.

Queens Taste New York Hall of Science; 6pm; $125
More than 50 Queens-centric restaurants and distillers — including the Astor Room, Rose House Tea Room and Queens Courage—serve up all-you-can-eat tastes of their best. 

Paramour Lyric Theatre; 7:30pm; $55–$145
Global phenomenon Cirque du Soleil mounts its first Broadway extravaganza in one of the Great White Way's biggest houses. A 38-member corps of actors, dancers, aerialists, acrobats and jugglers unite for a tale of love and art in Hollywood's golden age. 

Wed 4 

Understanding at Brooklyn Park East River; various times; free
Spring showers bring new public artworks to the city, and this one is sky-high. On Wednesday 4, artist Martin Creed’s 50-foot-tall, ruby-red work of art gets installed on Pier 6, with giant letters that rotate at varying speeds, spelling out the word understanding. An ode to human communication, it’s only one of the many exciting (and free) things to check out in the park’s sprawling space, including Movies with a View, the Books Beneath the Bridge reading series and outdoor fitness classes. 

Opening Night Ball at Bryant Park; 5pm; free
Bryant Park’s festive season of free programming kicks off with a dance extravaganza. Learn how to bust out the Charleston, the fox-trot and the jitterbug with accompaniment from three live bands. Come back every Wednesday night through June to learn different dance styles, from bachata to swing, and don’t forget about the park’s free Shakespeare performances, workout classes and more. 

St. Lucia Irving Plaza; 7pm; $27.50
Jean-Philip Grobler—originally from Johannesburg, not St. Lucia, thanks very much—recently released his second thumping, euphoric album of synth-driven electropop, Matter, and while the new tunes are certainly retro they're also refreshingly unkitschy. 

The Front Room Knitting Factory; 9pm; free
Each Wednesday, Ryan Beck, Anthony DeVito, Megan Gailey and Joyelle Johnson introduce the best local and international stand-ups in the front room of this Brooklyn venue.

Justin Bieber Barclays Center; 7:30pm; $50.50–$126
Pint-size pop idol Justin Bieber hits NYC in support of his latest one, Purpose, which sees him veering into tropical house and hazy R&B territory via production from MdL and Skrillex. But that's not his only change of course: Biebs has also reportedly vowed to clean up his act and tone down the bad-boy antics. Could his days of monkey smuggling be behind him? Go ahead Justin, make Beliebers out of us.

Thu 5

Frieze Art Fair Randalls Island Park; 11am; various prices
Art lovers flock to Randalls Island Park for this dreamy display of works from 130 international galleries—and the view of Manhattan ain’t bad either. Take the ferry or the bus over to the island (buy advance tickets online if you can), and plan to spend some serious time immersing yourself in the imaginative projects found both indoors and out. Hear discussions from artists and curators such as Andrea Crespo and the Museum of Modern Art’s Paola Antonelli; explore soundscapes, including Liz Magic Laser’s ventriloquist staging of a conversation between Donald Trump and a reporter; and take in fantastical projects like Alex Da Corte’s inflatable balloon installation imitating the island, which you’ll have to look to the sky to see. 

Bronx Week various locations and times; various prices
Celebrate the Boogie Down with 11 days of fun activities. Take a trolley tour, paddle on the Bronx River, hear some stand-up and much more at this annual festival.

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 over four years of weekly shows, Lasers has quite a rolodex of comics to call. You never know who might show up at a performance. 

A Night of Thrill-Via The Creek and the Cave; 7pm; free
Finally—a thrilling round of trivia, where quiz master and host Marvin Lattimore spits out the questions everyone—or, at least, everyone should—know! Three contestants will be chosen at random to rack their brains on topics like rap, video games and soda brands while guest comedians—think Adam Thomas (Carolines) and Kevin Gootee (Comics Watching Comis) join in with their own quirky questions. 

Daybreaker: 90s Throwback Edition Irving Plaza; 6pm; $25–$35
Have a slammin’ morning at this early-hours dance party. Wear decade-appropriate duds for a workout with yoga-intervals mash-up the Class at 6am, then dance it out with free coffee till it’s time to go to work.

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