Featured events in April 2018
Easter Sunday: The day of pastels, egg rolling, and rabbity propaganda doesn’t seem very “cool New York” at first blush, but as with all things to do in spring, they’re as entertaining as you make them. You can gawk at the Easter Parade, seek out the best brunch NYC serves or use this as an excuse for some leisurely day-drinking at an outdoor bar.
Robert De Niro and co.’s Tribeca Film Festival has long shown a spotlight on local indie features, documentaries, foreign films, the latest from big-name talent and the greatest from up-and-coming filmmakers. We’ve got your complete one-stop-shopping guide to this year’s festival: our personal must-see picks, showtimes, ticket info, a list of nearby bars and restaurants and oh-so-much more.
Not to be confused with the season’s other stupendous garden party, the Macy’s Flower Show, the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show NYC exhibits thousands of species of beautiful blossoming orchids. Learn about the “Orchid Delirium” of the 19th century and view movie screenings and performances while enjoying the lush scents and sights of one of the best gardens in NYC.
The Macy’s Flower Show is an annual presentation of flower arrangements, bouquets and gardens in Macy’s Herald Square. This year’s theme is America the Beautiful, and the show will display native flora found across the country.
The Brooklyn Folk Festival, which has inhabited Kings County live-music venues like the Jalopy Theater and the Bell House in past years, returns to St. Ann’s Church for its ninth-annual iteration. With its cavernous ceilings, the capacious church nave of the historic Brooklyn Heights venue is a great place to hear acoustic music of any genre. Don’t be fooled by the fest’s name: The gathering brings together acts that deal in Americana and blues as well as global sounds from places like the Middle East and Guinea.
Your feed is going to blow up with shots of this weekend-long bash that celebrates Japanese culture—so why miss out on the fun? To celebrate the end of Hanami (read: the season of Japanese flower porn), Brooklyn Botanic Garden unveils cherry blossoms at their picturesque peak for two glorious days. But that’s only part of the draw. There’s also a Japanese tea room, an art gallery and a mini flea market hawking loot such as mouthwatering Raaka chocolates, wall scrolls and silk wraps. Stay for the jam-packed schedule of entertainment, which includes taiko drummers, cosplay actors, samurai sword masters, J-rock bands, stand-up comics and dance parties.
Free NYC events in April 2017
Theater review by Adam Feldman “If music be the food of love, play on,” the pining duke Orsino famously says at the start of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. What he says next is quoted much less often: “Give me excess of it that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die.” There’s no room for so gloomy a sentiment in Shakespeare in the Park’s crowded, colorful, free-wheeling musical adaptation of the play, conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and songwriter Shaina Taub. The line is cut, and Taub, who plays the accordion-toting fool Feste, instead leads the citizens of Illyria in a jubilant paean to the power of song (“Clap your hands, start to sway / ’Til your worries melt away”). And there are so many citizens to lead! A spin-off of the Public Theater's Public Works wing, the production has partnered with community groups from all five boroughs—including the Fortune Society, Children's Aid and Domestic Workers United—to fill the stage with 70 nonprofessional actors in a pageant of inclusivity. Whereas Shakespeare in the Park's first offering this summer, Othello, was conventional to the point of stuffiness, this one airs everything out and gives it a good shake. Directed by Public honcho Oskar Eustis—assuming the reins from Kwei-Armah, who steered a version of it in 2016—this Twelfth Night is as fast as it is loose: It has been trimmed to a fleet 90 minutes, including the many musical numbers. Not very much of Shakespeare's language remains, but the storytelling is lean and
Take in some sun on Dream Hotel’s PHD Terrace while sipping Italian cocktails and nibbling complimentary treats at this afterwork shindig. Tunes from the ’60s come courtesy of the Nick Palumbo Band.
This year’s edition of the city’s roaming ode to Bird features another boundary-pushing bill, which includes the new lineup of jazz trio the Bad Plus (with Orrin Evans on keys), R&B-inspired trumpeter Keyon Harrold and Adam O’Farrill, the postbopping son of bandleader Arturo (and grandson of the equally legendary Chico).
If you’re getting baked on the beach, time your sunbathing to coincide with Carter Van Pelt’s monthly skankathon, which welcomes local selectors and legends. Stake out a spot on the sand and you’ll still be able to hear the ska, rocksteady, dub, lovers rock and early dancehall emanating from the booming speaker stack.
Whether you're visiting town and looking for laughs or a jaded New Yorker who needs a break, you can count on Jeffrey Emerson and Jill Weiner to deliver excellent comedy at this free weekly East Village stand-up night. Look out for some of our favorite all-star performers to hit up the low-key show.
The Mobile Monday's crew takes over Thursday nights with a free outdoor dance party. DJs play funk, soul, disco, pop, house, hip hop and salsa while you cut a rug to nonstop vinyl on the street. Look out for apperances by storied DJs like Joey Carvello, Woof, Misbehaviour, Natasha Diggs, Operator Emz, host Rebecca Lynn and many others.
It’s a free comedy show...with crêpes. Need we say more? Fumi Abe and Michael Nguyen bring together some of the city’s most diverse and reliably solid lineups every month at this sweet show. August's edition is a banger, with Atheer Yacoub, Amy Shanker, Akaash Singh, Chris Cheney, Jordan Mendoza and Nore Davis hitting the stage.
This free weekly getdown from Carolyn Busa, Julia Shiplett, Ben Wasserman and Emily Winter is a reliable night for solid laughs and surprise stars in Crown Heights. August 20's edition is a banger, with Ziwe, Moon Choe, Lucas Connolly, Perri Gross and Claire Parker hitting the stage.
This Lower East Side flea hosts one of Manhattan’s best collections of vendors, with more upstarts joining the fray every week. Standouts from recent years that have gotten their start at the fair include Macaron Parlour, Petee’s Pie Company, Melt Bakery, La New Yorkina, Arancini Bros and Cheeky Sandwich.
Music events in April 2017
This blowout show plucks three unlikely, yet strangely fitting, stars from their respective musical spheres and joins them on one stadium stage. Leave it to New Zealand's pop princess Lorde to assemble such a luminous lineup. A singer with a penchant for the first-person plural ("And we'll never be royals"), she's not one to shirk sharing the throne. In the opening sets, the crown jewel of hip-hop duos, Definitive Jux hero El-P and quick-witted Atlanta MC Killer Mike, spit their braggadocio and cutthroat takedowns, while Mitski Miyawaki bares her talents with dreamily yearning indie rock and pointed lyricism.
Connecticut's positively cathartic Sorority Noise writes mature lyrical exorcisms of addiction, depression and suicide that skyrocket into scream-along choruses and make key changes sound somehow punk rock, rather than Bon Jovi-cringeworthy. You'll hear from last year's commanding You're Not As ____ As You Think at tonight's show.
Argentine singer Juana Molina’s soft songs are worldly, intrinsically musical and, at times, even funny. On her latest effort, Halo, her songs roll forth placidly, circling back on themselves as if Molina is soundtracking a dream. It's a superb addition to her catalogue and will make for transfixing live fare.
Montreal standouts Ought craft homespun post punk with ticking-time-bomb urgency and arty impulses à la the Talking Heads, thanks in no small part to charismatic maniac frontman Tim Beeler. The band performs behind its latest, Room Inside the World.
As beloved an indie-rock institution as Hoboken has ever spat out, Yo La Tengo is known for employing its compendious knowledge of covers in its live shows (and also on 2015's Stuff Like That There), so it's possible you'll hear anything from Hank Williams to Sun Ra at this outing. Here the group celebrates its latest triumph, There’s a Riot Going On.
Superchunk’s importance has been eclipsed by that of Merge, the indie-rock label launched by two of its members to release their band's records, and later the home of Neutral Milk Hotel, the Magnetic Fields, Arcade Fire, etc. But Superchunk itself—which returns this year with its 11th album, What a Time to Be Alive—remains beloved as the living embodiment of the American indie-rock dream.
Adam Granduciel's ability to channel the holy trinity of Dylan, Petty and Springsteen means his music often begs to be played on a road trip or on a sunny back patio. But we suppose a springtime evening under the cavernous ceilings of Brooklyn Steel will do, too. Expect some tunes from the band's recent album, A Deeper Understanding.
Years before the greater rock world identified Detroit with garage rock, the Gories made ferocious noise in their hometown. Mick Collins went on to lead the ever-cool Dirtbombs and Dan Kroha gained recognition with the Demolition Doll Rods, but three decades on, the trio still manages to reconvene for a show every now and again. Catch the seminal garage punks when they take the stage at Elsewhere.
As U.S. Girls, multidisciplinary artist Meghan Remy crafts a warped brand of lo-fi soul that is both inviting and disconcerting. She takes the stage in the wake of her second album for 4AD, In A Poem Unlimited, which finds Remy trading her previous sample-based compositions for live instrumentation courtesy of Toronto-based instrumental collective the Cosmic Range. She takes the stage at Baby's All Right backed by a seven-piece band. Remy has always been a compelling performer; this expanded live incarnation will only increase her appeal.
Dwelling comfortably within the framework of a bygone era, singer-songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra, who performs as Hurray for the Riff Raff, doesn’t directly reimagine roots music—she sings with a worn-denim beauty that evokes Gillian Welch and Lucinda Williams. But the radical women-to-the-front ethos of the riot-grrrl shows Segarra used to attend on the Lower East Side is also embedded in the songs. It's a spirit shared by opener Katie Crutchfield, whose DIY punk scene roots wield a clear presence in her confessional solo project, Waxahatchee.
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