Get ready to use our NYC events in August calendar as your guide for ending the summer with a bang! Now that we’re stuck in a heat dome, now’s the time to take advantage of New York beaches before they close for swimming next month. There are many more things to do outside this month, like incredible summer concerts, festivals and delicious alfresco food and drink opportunities too. And use August as your last change to take advantage of all the outdoor movies at the best NYC parks. This is the last full-month of summer—make it count!
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Featured NYC events in August 2018
The Jazz Age Lawn Party 2018 is a spectacular summer tradition on gorgeous Governors Island. Step onto the ferry, and back in time, with thousands of others dressed to the 1920s nines and enjoy music from Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra, learn the Charleston and sip on cocktails in the sunshine.
For two weeks, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park will be the tennis capital of the world for the U.S. Open tennis tournament. While Wimbeldon has its white, New Yorkers bring the party to the National Tennis Center with a celebrity-studded crowd, international food vendors and live musicians performing on the grounds—not to mention tennis's top pros.
Afropunk Festival is an annual event that takes place in August at Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park (City Park). Over the course of a weekend, the outdoor summer music festival—which celebrates multicultural arts—hosts a wide array of well-known musical artists (including some of the biggest hip-hop artists), as well as “BITES & BEATS” food trucks, live artworks and the SpinThrift Market. Additionally, Afropunk strives to raise multicultural awareness in New York City with its Activism Row initiative.
Created by the late Joseph Papp in 1962, the Public Theater’s series offers free, large-scale productions of works by William Shakespeare (as well as the occasional musical or non-Shakespearean drama). The productions often feature some of the most talented actors of our day. Past casts have included including Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Al Pacino, Blythe Danner, Philip Seymour Hoffman, George C. Scott and Denzel Washington.
Selling Fast in August 2018
Once a Harry Connick Jr.–inspired entertainer, Star Search finalist and dreamy crooner, Spencer Day has become a compelling and quirky singer-songwriter, whose tunes are touched by jazz, classical, country and German cabaret. In his new set, he celebrates the release of his seventh album, Angel City.
Pro trainers Ludnie Faustin and Joe Hannon melt your body into shape at this intense, high-energy weekly training session in the park. Join a lively group on Saturday mornings for cardio and resistance training in the sunshine. Eventbrite link updates every week. Embrace the pain.
The astonishing, totally fearless Bridget Everett has had a bona fide breakout year in film (Patti Cakes) and TV (Lady Dynamite), culminating in the pilot of an Amazon series of her very own, the endearingly raunchy Love You Too. The towering sex goddess's triumphant set at her usual stomping grounds, Joe's Pub, finds her belting and oversharing as only she can, and she never fails to shake up the room with hits like "Boob Song." Not to be missed.
With the start of a new season comes a new wave of young powerhouses ready to risk their reputations for a chance at eternal glory on the iconic Apollo stage. Your cheers (or boos) will decide who receives the night’s biggest honor—Top Dog—along with a cash prize of $20,000. Consider this your chance to see legends in the making before they become household names.
Errico is a smart-edged musical-theater leading lady with a silvery voice; Silverman is an amiable Canadian baritone. Their prominent careers in musical theater have led them to share the stage twice before, in Passion and Finian's Rainbow; now they get to choose their own show-tune adventures in a concert evening of solos and duets.
This immersive, totally-safe tantra course brings you and your prospective partners closer together with fast-paced communication techniques, improv and yoga. You'll have the chance to connect with over 20 mates in an organic, surprising environment. The August 2 edition offers a course for guests ages 25–39, and the August 11 edition if for participants ages 40 and up.
The unbeatable duo of Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin have grounded their world-touring record label and Mister Sunday dance party at the stunning Nowadays space in Ridgewood. Join them every Sunday for jubilant dancing, food truck bites and beyond. The Memorial Day rager promises a packed dance floor and cute looks from guests of all ages. And LGBTQ revelers will serve their cutest looks for the June 24 Pride edition with DJ Ciel and DJ Python, which benefits the Ali Forney Center.
Dubbed OTR II (a nod to their 2014 On the Run tour), this stadium showcases music’s ultimate power couple at the peak of their craft. JAY-Z’s raw 4:44 is his best album in decade, and Bey’s headlining set at Coachella made every other music festival look like a county fair. We’re not worthy.
Theater events in August 2018
Hamilton: Theater review by David Cote What is left to say? After Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s prodigious quill scratched out 12 volumes of nation-building fiscal and military policy; after Lin-Manuel Miranda turned that titanic achievement (via Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography) into the greatest American musical in decades; after every critic in town (including me) praised the Public Theater world premiere to high heaven; and after seeing this language-drunk, rhyme-crazy dynamo a second time, I can only marvel: We've used up all the damn words. Wait, here are three stragglers, straight from the heart: I love Hamilton. I love it like I love New York, or Broadway when it gets it right. And this is so right. A sublime conjunction of radio-ready hip-hop (as well as R&B, Britpop and trad showstoppers), under-dramatized American history and Miranda’s uniquely personal focus as a first-generation Puerto Rican and inexhaustible wordsmith, Hamilton hits multilevel culture buttons, hard. No wonder the show was anointed a sensation before even opening. Assuming you don’t know the basics, Hamilton is a (mostly) rapped-through biomusical about an orphan immigrant from the Caribbean who came to New York, served as secretary to General Washington, fought against the redcoats, authored most of the Federalist Papers defending the Constitution, founded the Treasury and the New York Post and even made time for an extramarital affair that he damage-controlled in a scandal-stanching pamp
In this captivating original musical, Hello, Dolly! scene-stealer Taylor Trensch now plays the title role of a high school student thrust into social relevance after a classmate's suicide. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's score combines well-crafted lyrics with an exciting pop sound, and Steven Levenson’s book gives all the characters shaded motives. Read the full review.
If theater is your religion and the Broadway musical your sect, you've been woefully faith-challenged of late. Venturesome, boundary-pushing works such as Spring Awakening, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Next to Normal closed too soon. American Idiot was shamefully ignored at the Tonys and will be gone in three weeks. Meanwhile, that airborne infection Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark dominates headlines and rakes in millions, without even opening. Celebrities and corporate brands sell poor material, innovation gets shown the door, and crap floats to the top. It's enough to turn you heretic, to sing along with The Book of Mormon's Ugandan villagers: "Fuck you God in the ass, mouth and cunt-a, fuck you in the eye." Such deeply penetrating lyrics offer a smidgen of the manifold scato-theological joys to be had at this viciously hilarious treat crafted by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, of South Park fame, and composer-lyricist Robert Lopez, who cowrote Avenue Q. As you laugh your head off at perky Latter-day Saints tap-dancing while fiercely repressing gay tendencies deep in the African bush, you will be transported back ten years, when The Producers and Urinetown resurrected American musical comedy, imbuing time-tested conventions with metatheatrical irreverence and a healthy dose of bad-taste humor. Brimming with cheerful obscenity, sharp satire and catchy tunes, The Book of Mormon is a sick mystic revelation, the most exuberantly entertaining Broadway musical in years. The high
2018 review by Adam Feldman Derek DelGaudio’s highly original stage show, which concludes its long run in August, is in a class of its own. The performance includes several marvelous effects and a sequence that highlights its star’s total mastery of card tricks; it is a joy to watch him shuffle through his legerdemain events. But In & Of Itself, directed by Frank Oz, has ambitions beyond wowing you; it uses its illusions in the service of a serious-minded investigation into identity. It is the most personal and emotional magic show I have ever seen—it makes people cry—and DelGaudio’s performance has only deepened during the run. To describe what he does as a magic show at all seems almost like a form of misdirection. It’s not just magic; it’s magical. Original 2017 theater review by Raven SnookDepending on your perspective, illusionist Derek DelGaudio's solo outing is either a transcendent meditation on the malleability of identity, or a bunch of pretentious hooey. Objectively speaking, it's both—which beautifully illustrates this two-time Academy of Magical Arts Award winner's point. People (and things) are seen differently in our own mind and the eyes of other beholders. True, some folks walked out on this deliberately slow-paced show, though many more of us stayed, entranced. If you come expecting a succession of quick, flashy routines and exuberant showmanship, In & Of Itself will confound. But give yourself over to its subtler brand of magic and you should emerge
Theater review by Adam FeldmanThe secret of Dolly Levi’s success is revealed at the top of Hello, Dolly!’s unstoppable title song. The number is usually recalled as a paean to the star, sung by the adoring waiters of the ritzy Harmonia Gardens Restaurant as she descends a staircase in triumph and a bright red dress. But it begins, tellingly, with Dolly singing to them: “Hello, Harry / Well, hello, Louie…” It’s been years since her last visit, but she remembers them all and greets them by name. No wonder they love her. She makes them feel loved.In the musical’s blissful Broadway revival, the same thing happens between Bette Midler and the audience. Midler fans out her performer’s wares with expert self-assurance—she delivers her jokes at a steady vaudevillian clip, like Mae West in a hurry—but she also seems like she couldn’t live without us. And the part of Dolly, a matchmaker in late-19th-century New York, is exquisitely suited to Midler’s enormous warmth, savvy and drive. (She cuts her schmaltz with zest.) It’s hard to imagine a better match of actor and role: It is, in a word, perfection.Adapted by Michael Stewart from a Thornton Wilder comedy, Hello, Dolly! may be a vehicle for its star, but this revival treats it like a vintage Rolls-Royce. From the rousing overture on, everything about the production, directed with joyful aplomb by Jerry Zaks, gleams with old-fashioned charm. David Hyde Pierce brings droll dignity and adorable flashes of cartoon clowning to his performa
Theater review by Adam Feldman The world of Harry Potter has arrived on Broadway, Hogwarts and all, and it is a triumph of theatrical magic. Set two decades after the final chapters of J.K. Rowling’s world-shaking kid-lit heptalogy, the two-part epic Harry Potter and the Cursed Child combines grand storytelling with stagecraft on a scale heretofore unimagined. Richly elaborated by director John Tiffany, the show looks like a million bucks (or, in this case, a reported $68 million); the Lyric Theatre has been transfigured from top to bottom to immerse us in the narrative. It works: The experience is transporting. Jack Thorne’s play, based on a story he wrote with Rowling and Tiffany, extends the Potter narrative while remaining true to its core concerns. Love and friendship and kindness are its central values, but they don’t come easily: They are bound up in guilt, loneliness and fear. Harry (Jamie Parker) is weighted with trauma dating back to his childhood, which hinders his ability to communicate with his troubled middle son, Albus (Sam Clemmett); it doesn’t help that Albus’s only friend is the bookish outcast Scorpius Malfoy (the exceptional Anthony Boyle), son of Harry’s erstwhile enemy, Draco (Alex Price). Despite the best intentions of Harry’s solid wife, Ginny (Poppy Miller), and his friends Hermione (Noma Dumezweni) and Ron (Paul Thornley), things turn dark very fast. Set designer Christine Jones and lighting designer Neil Austin keep much of the stage shrouded in
Theater review by Adam Feldman “I'm no hero, that’s understood,” sings Bruce Springsteen in “Thunder Road,” self-effacingly but also with the knowledge that a cardinal rule of heroism is denying it. He's got the dirty hood, sure, but it’s a hoodwink of a kind, and in the extraordinary concert show Springsteen on Broadway he is candid about that: Rock stardom, he says, is partly “a magic trick.” He's the young man without a driver’s license writing songs about the road; the artist costumed in the “factory clothes” of his emotionally withholding father; the working man who is also always the Boss. For more than four decades, Springsteen has maintained a sturdy performance of authenticity. He writes unforgettable character songs and sings them, essentially, as an actor; between them, he recites eloquently plain-spoken monologues—full of lists that touch on joy and sex and pain—that he writes for the character of Bruce. So Springsteen on Broadway is less of a contradiction in terms than it may seem. Dressed in simple black with no band (though his wife, Patti Scialfa, joins him for two duets), he performs what amounts to a two-hour solo musical about himself, a rock-star cabaret act. The hits are here, including “Born to Run” and “Dancing in the Dark,” but stripped down and edged with wistfulness; “Born in the U.S.A.” is pared into a skeletal, nearly a cappella blues. It’s an intimate show and a generous one, not just to past friends and collaborators but also to the audience,
[Note: The review below is for a 2014 version of this show, which was then titled The Imbible. A revised version now plays at New World Stages. A different, brunch-theater edition, titled Day Drinking, plays on weekend matinees.] Remember Bill Nye the Science Guy? Great! Now imagine him as a bartender who is deeply interested in the history of ethanol alcohol, really likes wigs and costumes, and just joined a coed barbershop quartet. That description of Anthony Caporale’s The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking may sound far-out, but the show is both educational and entertaining. (It's also a fine showcase for a cappella classics arranged by Josh Ehrlich and performed by a gifted ensemble that includes the show's director, soprano Nicole DiMattei.) Mixing whimsy and information, Caporale makes the story of our relationship with alcohol remarkably compelling. And the show's lessons—on subjects like the drinks served at Prohibition-era speakeasies, the origin of the gin and tonic, and the difference between a cocktail and a mixed drink—can be washed down with complimentary, thematically appropriate beverages. As Caporale says, “Trust me, I get funnier with every sip.” That makes the show a must-see for anyone who enjoys free booze, which is probably nearly everyone.—Amelia Bienstock
This musical prequel to The Wizard of Oz addresses surprisingly complex themes, such as standards of beauty, morality and, believe it or not, fighting fascism. Thanks to Winnie Holzman’s witty book and Stephen Schwartz’s pop-inflected score, Wicked soars. The current cast includes Jackie Burns as Elphaba and Amanda Jane Cooper as Glinda.
Theater review by Diane Snyder For seven Harry Potter novels, the mediocrities of the Hogwarts house Hufflepuff lived in the shadow of their overachieving schoolmates. Matt Cox’s Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic gives them their due. In this funny and affectionate homage to J.K. Rowling’s world of wiz kids, Harry, Hermione and Ron take a back seat to average American wizard Wayne (Zac Moon), goth gal Megan (Julie Ann Earls) and math genius Oliver (Langston Belton), who is stuck at a school that doesn’t even teach his subject. They may not be at the top of the class, and they’re not wild about Harry, but they persevere through adversity and find power in friendship. A press release asks that the word parody be avoided in describing Puffs, but much of the show’s comedy is clearly aimed at Potterphiles. The 11 cast members play an assortment of characters, from a mumbling potions master to a squeaky house elf, and some of the jokes will be lost on those with no knowledge of the films or books. But even Potter virgins will enjoy the show’s witty wordplay and well-executed physical comedy. At times, the pacing is so frenetic that jokes can’t find a place to land, but there’s heart as well as humor here. In the past two years, Cox and director Kristin McCarthy Parker have shepherded their silly, subversive show from the People’s Improv Theater to Off Broadway’s New World Stages. Like its main characters, Puffs illustrates the heigh
Music events in August 2018
Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews grew up playing alongside New Orleans' nimblest brass men. Now he's developed into one of the Big Easy's best, playing trumpet and composing, as well as continuing with the ’bone. For all his refinement, his powerhouse band, Orleans Avenue, pumps out the raw grooves for maximum ass-moving. At this Voodoo Threauxdown the group is joined by a legion of funky cohorts including the Meters' Cyril Neville, singer-guitarist Walter “Wolfman” Washington and trumpeter Kermit Ruffins.
To call Dark Star Orchestra a Grateful Dead tribute band doesn't quite capture the depth of its obsession with the classic outfit. DSO copies its heroes (and recently spin-offs like Jerry Garcia Band) down to the set list. On the road since 1997, the band has surpassed the number of gigs the original Dead itself played, so there's no question as to these guys' road credentials.
Delectably dreamy Baltimore duo Beach House, comprised of guitarist Alex Scally and husky-voiced singer Victoria LeGrand, are masters of lush-yet-intimate synthscapes. The group's brand of electronic relaxation, which it's been honing since 2006, returns this year with 7, its aptly titled seventh full-length that adds a jagged edge to its synthy pastures.
Like the rest of this globe-spanning, fashionable festival franchise, the original Brooklyn edition is a celebration of forward-thinking black music that’s come to span genres far outside punk. This year’s bill is a doozy, including soul singer Erykah Badu, rapper Tyler the Creator, pop visionary Janelle Monáe and much more.