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23 awesome things happening in New York this week

By Jaz Joyner

Aug 18

Central Park Conservancy Film Festival; Central Park
People love films. And people love the outside. Hey, wait a second, why not play films outside? That's a great idea. In Central Park? Even better. The Royal Tenenbaums, Coming to America, and Rear Window? People will love that. Good thing this festival is happening.  

Life's a Picnic; Grand Central Terminal; Vanderbilt Hall
Food in a train station doesn't sound appealing, but Life's a Picnic will give Grand Central some much needed foodie clout. 

The New York International Fringe Festival; various locations
It's the annual flea market of the brilliant, the banal, the batshit insane theater performances. Nearly 200 shows in 20 downtown venues, all dying for your attention.

The Poet in New York; Bowery Arts and Sciences
Open mic poetry / yes it's free / if you go to / The Bowery.

Downtown Dance Festival; various locations
Do you wanna dance downtown? This festival promises that you will do that at least once. 

Celebrity Autobiography; Stage 72
Celebrity autobiographies are usually the worst, which is why this stage show has a whale of a time re-enacting them…with celebrity guests.

Aug 19

Drake vs. Lil Wayne; Forest Hills Tennis Stadium
One is a very tattooed young fellow who has made a career out of being a weirdo. The other wears sweaters and used to be on Degrassi. They are touring together and we are supposed to pick a side. 

Justin Taylor: Flings; BookCourt
Taylor launches his superb new book, yet again demonstrating the wit and insight that make him one of the most exciting young masters of the short story.

TinyRhino: World Tour; Littlefield
Drinking and theater. They go together like…drinking and theater. Good thing it's the audience that'll be drinking at this interactive theater drinking game! 

Bareburger Comedy Show; Bareburger
How good are burgers? How good is comedy? The two meet in the middle and you get to eat while you laugh. 

Aug 20

Punderdome 3000; Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Jokes are pretty good and all…but jokes in a book store where the proceeds go towards charity? Perfect. Welcome to the Punderdome. 

All Jazzed Up Performance Series; Children's Museum of Manhattan
In conjunction with its exhibit "Jazzed! The Changing Beat of 125th Street," the Children's Museum of Manhattan—in partnership with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem—presents a series of solo tap performances.

Friends of Single People BKCF Edition; Littlefield
If you're in a couple you get to go up on stage and represent your single friend in a dating game. Saucy! 

Robyn + Royksopp; JGL Live; Pier 97
The stupidly good Robyn is touring with the highly underrated (in America, anyway) Royksopp. A must-see if you're into spike-y poignant pop music. 

AMW Live; Gotham Comedy Club
AMW stands for 'America Meet World,' which basically showcases the world's best stand-ups on a NYC stage. Pretty great if you're into diverse jokes from around the world! 

Renegade Reading Series; Cool Pony
Emerging writers get to get up on stage and read their little hearts out. Bless 'em.  

Francis Cone + The Novel Ideas; Knitting Factory
Awesome name for a band. Good thing they can back it up with cool music. 

Aug 21

15th Annual Taste of Tennis; W Hotel
Celebrate the U.S. Open with small plates and signature cocktails from New York's top chefs, and mingle with tennis pros like Serena and Venus Williams. Combined, they are Serenus.

Seaport Film & Food Festival: Amélie; South Street Seaport
Amélie is possibly the most whimsical adventure ever directed. Of course it would be French.

Spanking the Lower East Side; Nurse Bettie
Burlesque is sort of like shellfish: if you're not squeamish, you'll discover a world of delight. Nurse Bettie is a great place to start with some NYC's coolest and most eclectic acts. 

Courtney Act: Boys Like Me; Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café
Australian Idol semifinalist and RuPaul's Drag Race graduate Courtney Act is back with this solo show filled with popular tunes, song parodies and wacky tales of gender-bending international adventures.

Brooklyn Comedy Festival; various locations
Witness up-and-coming Brooklyn comics before they blow up (as in more people find out about them, not actually blowing up in their demise).

Movies with a View: The Birds; Brooklyn Bridge Park
Disgusting birds hovering too close for comfort? We New Yorkers can relate.


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