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52 wonderful things happening in NYC this April

Sakura Matsuri 2014
Photograph: Laura Gallant Sakura Matsuri 2014

COOL THINGS TO DO

Apr 1-5
Full Bunny Contact; Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center
A deranged spin on a childhood classic: Hunt for Easter eggs while evil Easter bunnies try to steal from your basket. Other activities include "Shoot the Peep" and fortune-telling by a psycho rabbit.

Apr 4
Smorgasburg; East River Side Park
Nosh like no one is watching once again at the annual foodie fair full of artisanal goodies like gluten-free baked goods and oysters. 

Apr 5
Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival; Fifth Ave from 49th St to 57th St
What started as an opportunity for upper-crust ladies to show off their finery has turned into an annual procession of elaborate—and often wild—hats. Expect to see toppers constructed to look like iconic New York buildings and birds' nests, as well as beautiful vintage styles.

Apr 15–26
Tribeca Film Festival; various locations
The 14th edition of spring's essential NYC film event brings a surfeit of world premieres, along with a special 25th-anniversary presentation of Goodfellas with special guests. What—are we clowns? Do we amuse you?

Apr 25, 26
Sakura Matsuri; Brooklyn Botanic Garden 
The annual cherry-blossom fest is about much more than flowers, though: The celebration of Japanese culture past and present includes taiko drumming, a kimono fashion show, samurai-sword demonstrations, folk-dancing performances, and sets by J-pop singer Hitomi Himekawa and eight-person Okinawan pop ensemble Ryukyu Chimdon Band.

AWESOME THINGS TO SEE

Apr 2
Cry, Trojans!; St. Ann's Warehouse
The Wooster Group takes on Shakespeare’s wartime play Troilus and Cressida, shoving the obscure tragicomedy through a Native American filter.

Apr 3
Furious 7opens in theaters
Actor Paul Walker tragically died during the making of this latest film in the Fast and Furious series. He stars along with the likes of Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Early word out of South by Southwest was unexpectedly rapturous.

Apr 8
Gigi; Neil Simon Theatre
Thank heaven for Vanessa Hudgens! The ex–Disney teen star makes her Broadway debut as Lerner and Loewe’s Parisian courtesan-in-training.

Apr 9
Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2; Winter Garden Theatre
Brush up on your Tudor history, because Hilary Mantel’s double-doorstop novels are coming to the Great White Way in an epic adaptation.

Apr 10
Ex Machinaopens in theaters
Screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Never Let Me Go) steps behind the camera for this sci-fi tale starring Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac.

Dior and I; opens in theaters
In the wake of John Galliano's toxic departure from Christian Dior, soft-spoken Belgian designer Raf Simons assumed the mantle of the label's creative design, but with only weeks to complete his first collection. Frédéric Tcheng's suspenseful documentary is a study in coolheaded leadership that Project Runway wanna-bes ought to consider homework.

Clouds of Sils Mariaopens in theaters
Juliette Binoche plays a stage actor past her glory days. She agrees to a new role playing the older friend of the character she once made famous. Psychological torment—and an unusually complex turn by Kristen Stewart—ensues.

Apr 18
Speakeasy Dollhouse: Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolic; Liberty Theater
The long-abandoned Liberty Theatre in Times Square is now the home of this sinfully retro burlesque entertainment. Expect showgirls, burlesque, aerialists and plenty of spirits—plus a murder mystery!

Apr 26
Grounded; Public Theater
Anne Hathaway goes it alone at the Public Theater in this solo drama about an ace pilot who becomes a drone operator. She spends half the day bombing targets halfway around the world, then goes home to her family. Julie Taymor directs.

TASTY PLACES TO EAT

Apr 12
Brooklyn Bloody Mary Festival; Industry City
For three hours, go bottoms up with unlimited samples of the beloved brunch cocktail from Kings County's best restaurants and bars.

Apr 25
Bacon and Beer Classic; Citi Field
Join breweries and restaurants from all five boroughs at this suds-and-swine bash, where you can glug down more than 120 samples of beer and nosh on bites made better with bacon (chocolate-and-bacon-covered pretzels, anyone?).

Apr 25, 26
Hot Sauce Expo; Brooklyn Expo Center
The weekend-long fest for heat-seekers features more than 45 hot-sauce vendors slinging samples, a Bloody Mary competition and spicy-food eating contests.

Apr 25
NYC Chili Cook-Off; Historic Richmond Town
Taste your way through contestants' chili recipes ranging from spicy Mexican to sweeter, New York barbecue styles.

April 27
Taste of the Nation; 23 Wall Street
Backed by 60 restaurants and celebutoques like City Grit's Sarah Simmons, this fund-raising blowout benefits No Kid Hungry and includes book signings, an artisan marketplace, and unlimited snacks and sips.

ASTONISHING DANCE PERFORMANCES

Apr 1–4
Rashaun Mitchell: New York Live Arts
Light Years marks a new beginning: It's the choreographer's first dance without him in it. He's attempting to explore choreography "with a capital C."

Apr 7–12
Stephen Petronio Company; Joyce Theater
This season is an exciting one for Petronio, who unveils his Bloodlines series, in which he will add dances by master postmodern choreographers to his company's repertoire. The program includes Petronio's Locomotor Non Locomotor and Merce Cunningham's 1968 RainForest.

Apr 9–11
Gillian Walsh; The Kitchen
In her rigorous and cool (as in temperature) Scenario: Script to Perform, Walsh delves deeply into her ongoing investigation of formal structures alongside a sound score by Stefan Tcherepnin.

Apr 15–25
David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group; Abrons Art Center/Henry Street Settlement
What does a man on his deathbed, a meteorologist reporting from a storm and an actor who might be performing a Kabuki play about a dying man in a great storm have in common? Find out in the choreographer's I Understand Everything Better.

Apr 22–26
Mark Morris Dance Group; BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
The master choreographer presents his company in two excellent programs that include Spring, Spring Spring, as well as two of his stellar dances set to music by Lou Harrison.

FANTASTIC SHOWS TO SEE

Apr 2–Sept 7
"Gustav Klimt and Adele Bloch-Bauer: The Woman in Gold"; Neue Galerie
Klimt’s portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, serves as centerpiece for this show timed to coincide with the Woman in Gold, the story of the repatriation of Klimt paintings looted by the Nazis.

Apr 3–Aug 23
"Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks"; Brooklyn Museum
This show presents some 160 pages culled from the artist’s notebooks—sketches, the artist’s poetry and other writings—along with related paintings.

Apr 3–Sept 7
"One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North"; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Jacob Lawrence’s 60-panel series of paintings depict the story of the 5 to 6 million African-Americans who fled the Jim Crow South for Northern cities.

Apr 3–Aug 31
"Simon Denny: The Innovator’s Dilemma"; MoMA PS1
The corporate world of information technology and management is the subject of the work of Simon Denny a New Zealand native turned Berliner. 

Apr 25–Oct 12
"Andy Warhol: Campbell’s Soup Cans and Other Works, 1953–1967"; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
This show looks back on Warhol’s one-person debut at L.A.’s Ferus Gallery in 1962, in which he first unveiled his "Campbell's Soup Can" paintings. 

CONCERTS TO GO CRAZY AT

Apr 1
Twin Shadow + Lola Wolf; Music Hall of Williamsburg
Dream-pop outfit Twin Shadow celebrates its shimmery, ambitious new record, Eclipse. Expect to dance.

April 6
The Decemberists + Alvvays; Beacon Theatre
The Decemberists are back after a three-year break to gig behind their new LP, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. Make sure to show up early for superb Toronto indie-pop crew Alvvays.

Apr 12
Stevie Wonder; Barclays Center
This is your chance to hear Stevie Wonder perform his landmark double-LP Songs in the Key of Life in its entirety. Miss this gig at your own peril.

Apr 15
Liturgy; Saint Vitus
Buzzy black-metal group Liturgy shows off its latest album, The Ark Work. The new material isn't your run-of-the-mill growlfest, instead featuring copious synth orchestrations, tuneful nonscreamed vocals and even the odd hip-hop beat.

Apr 20
Waka Flocka Flame; Webster Hall
Waka Flocka Flame turns up for what's sure to be the most boisterous 4/20 party in the five boroughs. If you can stop headbanging for a few seconds and pay attention, keep your ears perked for a preview of Flockaveli 2, due in June.

INTERESTING AUTHOR EVENTS

Apr 6
Dark Sparkler; Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Amber Tamblyn celebrates her new book like a true celebrity: with a one-of-a-kind bash hosted by badass poet Dorothea Lasky and live music from Yo La Tengo. $15 gets you in and free drinks all night.

Apr 8
Helen Macdonald and Lev Grossman; Greenlight Bookstore
Macdonald’s a naturalist, a falconer and a brilliant writer; catch the fascinating, multi-talented woman in action when she talks about her new memoir H is for Hawk.

Apr 14
Thalia Book Club: Marguerite Duras’s The Lover; Symphony Space
Forget 50 Shades, The Lover is one of the sexiest books and films of all time. Kate Zambreno, Catherine Lacey and Akhil Sharma lead a steamy discussion on Duras’s classic, autobiographical book about an affair in the 1920s.

Apr 21
Eat, Drink & Be Literary; BAMcafé
Dinner and a brilliant author, what more do you want? While you binge at the buffet, graphic novelist Chris Ware talks with The Paris Review editor Lorin Stein about his work.

Apr 24
Brooklyn Poets Reading Series; BRIC House
For a more literary Friday night, don’t miss this excellent all-poetry quarterly series, featuring three talented guests (David Tomas Martinez, Tyehimba Jess and Mahogany L. Browne are on deck), plus drinks and postreading dancing.

COMEDY SHOWS TO CHECK OUT

Apr 10-12
Michael Ian Black; Carolines on Broadway
The likably smug stand-up shows off his smarts at one of the best comedy clubs in town.

Apr 16
Bob Saget; Best Buy Theater
The former Full House star is back to remind us why he has a reputation as one of the filthiest comics on the scene.

Apr 14–18
Simon Amstell; Theater 80
His onscreen persona has always been acerbic and confrontational, but onstage, the British comic is thoughtful, vulnerable and charmingly sweet. Oh, and funny as hell, too.

Apr 20
The Ted Alexandro Show; Q.E.D.
One of the New York comedy scene’s smartest, funniest mainstays interviews Zephyr Teachout at his brilliant monthly show.

Apr 28
Chloé Hilliard; Carolines on Broadway
She killed it at both of last fall’s Time Out New York’s Women of Comedy 2014 shows, and now she’s getting her own show at Carolines’ Breakout Artist Comedy Series.

WONDERFUL LGBT EVENTS

Apr 1–25
Revenge of the Popinjay; Dixon Place
This strangely compelling alt-performance piece from Canadian-American company AnimalParts returns to Dixon Place for a brief run.

Apr 3
Gay Night at Full Bunny Contact; Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center
Gays are invited to play “Shoot the Peep” and escape a cage filled with hunky bunnies at this queer edition of the immersive Easter carnival.

Apr 10
Furball; XL
The party for bearish boys fuzzes up midtown gay club XL.

Apr 13
Jenn Harris: The Moment You've Been Waiting Four; The Duplex
The star of Silence! The Musical and Gayby serves up a solo show at the Duplex.

Apr 18
William: The meWme Show; Gramercy Theatre
The only queen ever kicked off Drag Race takes the stage with his outrageous musical-comedy numbers and shameless stories.

ACE PLACES TO SHOP

Apr 1
Comptoir des Cotonniers & R13; Clothingline
Run, don't walk, to catch the last day of this sale where you can score luxe denim and fancy French duds for up to 75 percent off.

Apr 1–3
BaubleBar sample sale; 260 Sample Sale
Need new bling but don’t want to spend $40 on a pair of earrings? Snag wallet-friendly jewels for as low as $10.

Apr 4
Brooklyn Flea; Fort Greene
Antique and vintage lovers, rejoice! This hipster hang is back in action every Saturday and Sunday at Fort Greene and Williamsburg locations through November.

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Comments

6 comments
P D

Great article! I love those Greenlight Bookstore author readings, and basically any time I get to eat delicious food I'll be happy about it. I actually co-founded a website that let's you connect with new friends who want to do these types of activities in case anyone wants to do these and is looking for people to do them with. www.gofindfriends.com


Thanks!