20 wonderful things to do in NYC this week

Written by
Jennifer Picht
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Phil Roeder

Mon 30

A Night of “Bad” Theater Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; 9:30pm; $20–$45
Random Access Theater hosts this mad fundraiser for its 2017 season, featuring self-aware performances of original performance garbage written ironically by Caroline Prugh and Robert Price. After the terrible shows, get down to live music from DD White. 

Winter Carnival at Bryant Park; noon; free
Rooftop igloos are pretty cool, but an ice castle is way cooler (pun intended). Well, guess what? There will be a frozen fortress at Bryant Park Winter Village's upcoming Winter Carnival on January 27! The formally weekend-only festival has been extended to a nine-day, frosty celebration that is jam-packed with entertainment including free curling lessons, a silent disco, a cozy sweater pup meet-up, an outdoor winter brew house and more. 

We Might Just Kiss: A Female Improv Event Magnet Theater; 10:30pm; $7
Seasoned improvisers Megan Gray and Christina Dabney host this ongoing night of girl-on-girl comedy at celebrated improv haven Magnet Theater.

Roy Hargrove Blue Note; 8pm and 10:30pm; bar $30, tables $45
Fiery trumpeter Roy Hargrove has been doing double duty for years now, spending half his time as a funkster with his slick combo RH Factor and the other half as a soulful neobopper. You'll be hearing him in the former mode tonight, so wear your dancing shoes.

Tue 31

Little Cinema: The Neverending Story House of Yes; 7pm; $30, VIP $45
Step out of Bushwick and into the magical land of Fantasia at this rad immersive screening of the ’80s camp classic. During the big screen viewing of the movie, you'll see musicians, dancers and aerialists come alive in costumed tributes to Falkor, Gmork and that dope Empress. After the show, get down to ’80s dance music and legendary remixes of the classic Neverending Story theme song from DJ Dropkat. Show up in your fiercest Atreyu tunic or stone cold mountain creature realness. 

Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell Mid-Manhattan Library; 6:30pm; free
Scientist and Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know author Alexandra Horowitz shows you the spectacular olfactory world that dogs inhabit, as studied in her new book. Find out what secrets humans can learn from dogs at this revealing illustrated lecture. 

Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin Barnes & Noble Union Square; 7pm; free
Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin speak about the death and influence of their son in their poignant memoir. 

New York Philharmonic: Chinese New Year Celebration David Geffen Hall (at Lincoln Center); $35–$110
The New York Philharmonic is known for its exceptional New Year’s Concert and, for a sixth year, the renowned symphony kicks the Lunar New Year into high gear as well. The special Chinese New Year Gala Concert features Puccini’s Turandot as well as Chinese folk songs such as “Jasmine Flower” and a new trumpet concerto, Joie Éternelle. 

Tacky Tuesdays Boots and Saddle; 8pm; free
A drag show that starts during the last hour of happy hour sounds like a great idea for a Tuesday. Come for the alcohol, stay for the fantastic performances by Ari Kiki.

Isaiah Rashad Highline Ballroom; 7pm; $15–$70
Rashad, part of the same Top Dawg Entertainment crew that includes Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, makes nuanced R&B-soaked hip-hop on his debut LP, The Sun's Tirade. Like his excellent 2014 mixtape Cilvia Demo, its a heady, hazy collection of emotionally all-in verses.

Wed 1

First Time Out: A Variety Show Le Poisson Rouge; 7:30pm; $5–$8
Artists get on stage for the first time at this supportive variety show featuring comedians, musicians, dancers, storytellers, jugglers and more. Come applaud these promising creatives and wish them many happy returns.

Harlem’s Historic Faces and Places location TBA; noon; $41.50
Taste Harlem offers food and cultural tours of one of New York’s most celebrated nabes. The History & Architectural Landscape Tour explores the most spectacular features of notable theaters, religious buildings and residential homes, as well as the history of Harlem’s transformation from one of the largest Jewish neighborhoods in the world to the home of its current mixed population. Location disclosed after ticket purchase. 

Quiet Mornings Museum of Modern Art; 7:30am; $12
Get to MoMA for a morning of art and meditation before the hordes of tourists take over at 10:30am. Peruse the museum's collection, which includes Claude Monet's Water Lilies and works by Mark Rothko and Agnes Martin, plus select new exhibitions. After the guided meditation session in the sculpture garden at 8:30am, you'll be ready to start your day feeling refreshed—and inspired.

Comedians You Should Know The Gutter Bowling Alley; 9pm; $5
This weekly showcase began in downtown Chicago in 2008 and has since branched out to West Hollywood and NYC. The theme: local names who are about to make it big. Past guests have included The Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. and Comedy Central regular Liza Treyger. Catch these rising stars in an intimate venue, while you still can. This week's lineup includes Dan Soder, Jo Firestone, Mike Lebovitz and more. 

Cloud Nothings Webster Hall; 8pm; $20
Cloud Nothings play the sort of scruffy fuzz-pop you've heard a million times, but thanks to the vocal pathos and songwriting smarts of frontman Dylan Baldi and the wiry muscle of bassist TJ Duke and drummer Jayson Gerycz, this Cleveland crew achieves a rare resonance. The band follows up its debut and a Wavves collaboration album with a wearier, more introspective collection of tunes, Life Without Sound.

Thu 2

Black Panther Got Loose from the Bronx Zoo Center for Jewish History; 6:30pm; suggested donation $15
Ido Michaeli's Black Panther Got Loose from the Bronx Zoo, a hand-woven tapestry and video piece based on a 1902 New York Times article about an actual panther, opens with poetry performances commenting on Michaeli’s work and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther movement and the 45th anniversary of the Mizrahi Black Panther movement. Featured performers include Miri Gabriel, Boni Joi, Maryam Parhizkar, Jayson P. Smith, Candace Williams and Sami Shalom Chetrit.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Museum of the American Gangster; 6pm; $25-$29
Take a private tour of this museum located in an old speakeasy, where you can view prohibition-era objects like a Tommy gun and the death mask of John Dillinger, explore hidden spaces, including the basement where the owner once stashed millions in illegal profits, and cap it all off with a cocktail. 

Rubblebucket + Sam Evian Warsaw at the Polish National Home; 8pm; $20–$22
Rubblebucket funnels Afrobeat, funk and electronica into good-natured grooves, which have lately veered into offbeat avant-rock territory. With its most recent release the gloriously weird 2014 LP, Survival Sounds, this whimsically named group promises to bring the heyday of soul into our hipster times.

Showgasm Ars Nova; 7pm; $5–$20
Joel Kim Booster hosts this eclectic neovaudevillian variety show, which features a lively mix of music, comedy and burlesque. This edition features performances by Amber Alert, Sonia Denis, Mo Fry Pas, Mitra Jouhari, Talkboy and Jaboukie Young-White. The show starts at 8pm, but we recommend arriving early for Foreplay, the pre-show happy hour from 7–8pm with killer specials ($20 gets you two drinks, a slice of pizza and a ticket to the show). As with all Showgasm shows, you never know when a famous face will drop by for a wild and queer night. 

The Lumineers + Andrew Bird Madison Square Garden; 8pm; $34.50
The Denver-based Lumineers hit the road behind a second album, Cleopatra, of Mumfordesque, rootsy indie folk. On it, the band harmonizes through destiny-driven stilted chants, with Neyla Pekarek’s melancholy cello weeping alongside Wesley Schultz’s lovelorn lyrics. In its songs and trajectory, the young trio has melded assurance and catchiness to surge, ever so swiftly, to the top.

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