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24 exceptional things to do in NYC this weekend

By David Goldberg
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October 16

Bridge of Spies opens in theaters
Tom Hanks and Amy Ryan star in this tense drama about an everyday lawyer recruited to negotiate a prisoner trade between the U.S. government and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. If you can’t handle scary movies but still want to grip your seat, this thriller will keep you from blinking without conjuring up a single monster. 

Crimson Peak opens in theaters
Embrace the full gothic glory of Halloween and see this marvelously arch camp horror spectacle starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain and some fabulous period piece nightgowns. It’s likely Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro knows his way around a haunted house. 

Kerry Butler Feinstein’s/54 Below; 7pm; $40–$85 plus $25 minimum
Hear the Broadway veteran chirp and boom through classic musical numbers and hopefully deliver some of her own showstoppers from past performances in Hairspray and Xanadu.

Rosie O’Donnell Gotham Comedy Club; October 16, 17; 7:30p, 9:30pm; $35–$125 plus two-drink minimum
The brassy comic and no-bullshit personality will have plenty to say about same-sex marriage, Joy Behar and Donald Trump at her latest gig. Catch the stand-up veteran at her fiercest as she performs in her favorite city.

Breakin’ Convention Apollo Theater; October 16–18, 7:30pm; $28.50–$48.50
B-boys and B-girls, stage and street performers, and an international host of outstanding hip-hop dancers assemble to tear the Apollo’s roof off at this weekend-long festival. Don’t miss retro and experimental dance styles that will have you leaping out of your seat.

’90s One-Hit-Wonder Sing-Along Union Hall, Brooklyn; 9:30pm; $10
Gina G, the Verve Pipe and Len finally get the adoring tribute they deserve at this nostalgic night of communal karaoke. You’ll be able to party like you just got your first CD and enjoy pre-Y2K delicacies like Ring Pops at this Clinton-era celebration. 

Premiere: The Improvised Musical Magnet Theater; 10pm; $10
Watch a seasoned crew of improv players assemble a Sondheim-style musical with absolutely no script or rehearsal at this zany New York Musical Improv festival show. 

October 17 

Open House New York at various venues; 8am–5pm; free
Stop complaining about your windowless living room and bleak local subway station and see some of the city’s most phenomenal architectural sites. Venture to spots like the New York Hall of Science and the brand new Kickstarter headquarters, and make your Instagram followers think you’re the most cultured person in the city. 

Circle of Sisters Expo Jacob K. Javits Center; October 17, 18; 10am; $20/day, at the door $25
One week after Comic Con, the Javits Center hosts this massive convention for women of color, with shopping, panels, gatherings and workshops tailored to delight and inspire participants. The empowering expo ends with a showstopping Gospel performance with Tasha Cobbs, Tina Campbell and Casey J. 

NYC Cupcake Run Astoria Park, Queens; 11am; $50–$55
Eat rich cupcakes without a shred of guilt at this 5K, which rewards runners with irresistible confections at three different stops. Proceeds benefit New York Cares, making you a truly selfless glutton.   

Super Sàbado El Museo del Barrio; noon; free
Head to El Museo for a free day of art and performance in celebration of Día de los Muertos. Get your face painted like a candied skull, check out exhibits like “Rodriguez Calero: Urban Martyrs and Latter Day Santos,” and join a wild procession through Central Park with dancers and musicians. 

Dionne Warwick B.B. King Blues Club & Grill; 8pm; $79, at the door $85
The celebrated diva and unstoppable chart-topper delivers saucy anecdotes and classics like “Say A Little Prayer For You” to unwavering NYC fans. Just don’t bring up her namesake in Clueless around this crowd. 

Freedom Party NYC: One Step Beyond Rose Center for Earth and Space, American Museum of Natural History; 9pm; $25, at the door $30
Party under the lights of the planetarium at this classy rager, where Freedom Party DJs Herbert Holler, DJ Cosi and Marc Smooth will have you dancing all night to everything from Diana Ross to Fetty Wap. 

Lord of the Bowies Q.E.D., Queens; 9:30pm; $10
Bring your most minute knowledge of David Bowie (remember when he played Nikola Tesla in The Prestige?) to this boisterous rock & roll trivia showdown. Stand-up star Christian Finnegan and Bowie biographer Chris O’Leary will be onstage to keep you under pressure throughout the celebration.  

Mr. Choade’s Upstairs Downstairs Slipper Room; 9:30pm; $15
Trust burlesque mainstay the Slipper Room to assemble some of the finest, silliest and most elastic performers in the city for this outrageous showcase. Sir Richard Castle (Bradford Scobie) welcomes Jo Boobs, juggler Michael Karas, Madame Rosebud and other sensational dancers, aerialists and stage sirens for an unforgettably naughty night.

Party Like It’s 1999 The Bell House, Brooklyn; 10pm; free
Celebrate the five-year anniversary of this nostalgic dance party, where you can wear your finest grunge or Clarissa Darling looks, or just show up as your totally unironic new-millennium self. Why bother with current club-bangers when you can lose your mind to TLC, Whitney Houston and the Backstreet Boys?

October 18

Food Truck Rally Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn; 11am; free
It’s your final chance to indulge in a Sunday morning of stupendous ambulatory eats from Coolhaus, Red Hook Lobster Express, DUB Pies and more. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to dig into an ice cream sandwich while hungry runners ogle at you bitterly, set your alarm for Sunday morning and head toward the park.  

7th Annual Marco Polo Festival Mott Street between Bayard and Canal Streets; 11am; free
From the Silk Road to Mott Street, Italian and Chinese communities have a rich history of cultural friendship. Celebrate the special bond with a spectacular parade, featuring enormous marionettes and opera and dance performances. Then, top the whole party off with treats from some of the city’s finest restaurants. 

Halloween Howl Carl Schurz Park; 1pm; free
Did you know that all dogs love being shoved into tight polyester costumes with cardboard attachments glued on at the last minute? Make sure your Imperator Dogiosa and Max Barkatansky duo ensemble is ready for this all-day canine celebration, where your pup has the chance to win treats from the Freshpet Truck and other prizes.

Mister Sunday Industry City, Brooklyn; 3pm; $15
The summer day-party staple will soon be gone, so head to Industry City and rapture in the last embers of warmth with other sun-lovers while you still can. Unbreakable DJ duo Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin will roll out a stupendous set of funk, dance, disco and more, sending your weekend off with a definitive bang. 

NYC Zombie Crawl Twins Pub, Museum of Sex, Slake; 4pm; $15
Live your dream of literally scaring tourists away at this march of the undead, where you can have your face made to resemble an unusually perky corpse and then walk the streets like a fiend. You’ll get to make stops at the Museum of Sex and Slake for drinks, culture and dancing between all the brainless stomping.

Barracuda Lounge’s 20th Anniversary; 7pm; free
Celebrate the evolution of this Chelsea staple and the men who have frequented it with a raucous party featuring special performers like Sherry Vine, Candis Cayne and Jackie Beat. 

Scream Trivia Videology, Brooklyn; 7pm; free
Too smart to run up the stairs when you should be going out the front door? If you have what it takes to outwit Ghostface, you and your team may stand a chance against trivia mastermind Maggie Ross. You wouldn’t want to disappoint Gail Weathers, would you?

The Fabulous: A Trans-Formative Experience Pianos; 9pm; $10
Experience the singular wonder of half-alien, half-human, transsexual musical cabaret at this spectacular hot mess of a show. Psychedelic drag band Amerigogo promises to have you speaking its language by the end of the night. 

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