NYC events calendar for 2018
After a monastic January (giving up all your vices and spending nothing since the holidays cleared you out), it’s time to cut loose and take advantage of all the NYC events in February. Use our events calendar to guide you to the best things to do in the winter this month. Get a delicious meal during NYC Restaurant Week, re-tox yourself at during New York City Beer Week with some of the best beer crawls and check out romantic things to do during Valentine’s Day.
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar
Featured events in February 2018
Every year, New York’s usual anxiety and chaotic charm turns laissez-faire via The Crescent City for Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras in NYC is a typically rambunctious affair, featuring jazz music performances, funky shows, rich cajun cuisine, king cake and some of the best parties in New York. So, for your celebratory pleasure, here's our roundup of the city’s best Big Easy events.
This month, Chinatown gets stormed by dragons, dancers and some of the best Chinese food the city has to offer in celebration of the Lunar New Year. But before you get lost in the bang of firecrackers, check out some of the best things to do in Chinatown, NYC. Brace yourself for what’s sure to be a wild celebration with the Chinese New Year Parade!
The twice-annual discount dining event NYC Restaurant Week offers cheap dining deals at more than 300 restaurants in New York. From trendy newcomers to fine-dining standbys, the event draws bargain-hunting New Yorkers to try out new restaurants and revisit old favorites serving cheap eats.
Throw on your shoulder pads, perform your weird football ritual and get into the game with our guide to the best bars in NYC to watch the Super Bowl, plus how to chow down like a champion. And if you couldn’t give a hoot about the game, fear not! We’ve put together a list of the best football movies (and overall sports movies) to watch instead. Plus we’ll take you on a trip down memory lane with the greatest Super Bowl commercials of all-time.
No ticket to the shows? Don’t worry—feel like a fashion insider with our ultimate guide to NYFW. Tickets to the runway shows aren’t available to the general public, but newsflash: you don’t have to be part of the elite fashion world to feel like an insider. Maybe you don’t have a front-row seat to the shows or a spot reserved next to Anna Wintour, but don’t fret—we’ve got you covered. From free New York Fashion Week events you can actually attend to tips on how to get noticed by street style photographers, we’ll make sure to keep you in the loop.
Free NYC events in February 2018
It’s a comedy show...with free 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. February's edition boasts Kenice Mobley, Kenny Warren, Gabe Pacheco, Chris Calegero and Eman El-Husseini.
This city tradition feels fresh every spring when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. Hundreds of exhibitors, from NYU students to artists who remember the Village as a creative enclave, display their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and woodcraft. The show takes place on University Place starting at E 13th St.
One of our favorite parties in NYC continues its total domination of Friday nightlife with a new residency at Drom. Step into a wicked, wild arena for women-identifying revelers and their queer buddies, featuring aerialists, dope DJs, late-night food and drink specials and go-go dancers of different genders ready to entice you.
As part of her unstoppable conquest of NYC's comedy scene, Sydnee Washington reigns supreme over this well-curated, sharply-attired monthly stand-up night. This time, she welcomes Roy Wood Jr., Joyelle Johnson, Aminah Imani, Paris Sashay and Crystian Ramirez to join her at the throne.
Every month, Brooklyn Museum opens its doors for a free day of talks, performances, art workshops and curator-led tours of exhibitions. This installment celebrates women of color with performances from Michiyaya Dance and Sabine Blaizin, book talks on Black Girls Rock! and on Janet Mock's Surpassing Certainty, curator tours and more.
Selling Fast in February 2018
Talented singers from the Broadway and cabaret worlds sing side by side in this monthly tribute to the master of musical theater that has often featured former cast members of Sondheim shows. Guests in February include George Dvorsky, Annie Golden, Sally Mayes, Sarah Rice, Bruce Sabath, Marissa Mulder, Courter Simmons, Lucia Spina and Alton Fitzgerald White.
Amanda Green hosts the latest edition of the 92nd Street Y’s estimable Lyrics & Lyricists series. This episode is devoted to the wordsmiths (include Green's parents, Betty Comden and Adoph Green) who worked with Leonard Bernstein on such shows as On the Town, Wonderful Town, West Side Story and Candide. The singers are Mikaela Bennett, Andréa Burns, Darius de Haas, Howard McGillin and Tony Yazbeck.
In plays including Six Degrees of Separation, The House of Blue Leaves and Landscape of the Body, John Guare has measured and reported the pulse of American culture for more than 50 years. At this Queens College event, he discusses his career with Time Out New York's own Adam Feldman, and reads selections from several of his works. (A Q&A sesssion will follow, so bring a few queries of your own.)
Whether attracting or repelling her audiences, international chanteuse Lemper is never less than magnetic. Her style is perversely polymorphic: One moment she might tear into a song with predatory hunger, then she might purr out a dreamy croon or toss back her head for a brassy squeal of jazz. Her newest set is inspired by a long conversation she shared with languid legend Marlene Dietrich in 1988.
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.
Scott Siegel’s valuable concert series opens time capsules to some of the Great White Way's most memorable seasons. The February edition devotes its first act to shows from 1930 (e.g. Strike Up the Band, Nina Rosa, Girl Crazy and The New Yorkers) and its second act to shows from 1964 (e.g. Fiddler on the Roof, Funny Girl, Golden Boy, Hello Dolly!). The cast includes Chuck Cooper, Tonya Pinkins, Emily Skinner, Danny Gardner, Kerry O'Malley Scott Coulter and Pedro Coppeti.
Make your own miniature landscape in this terrarium workshop. Carefully choose succulents, air plants, moss, bark and other natural materials to arrange in a 6-inch glass container. It's an ideal introduction to gardening for New Yorkers who aren't natural green thumbs.
Twenty-five Marvel characters, including epic superheroes and Avengers members like Spider-Man, Captain America and the Hulk, come to life in this action-packed show. Fans will totally nerd out over the chance to see their favorite heroes and villains on stage—not to mention the sweet special effects and aerial stunts.
Decked out in sequined splendor, Jones is a paradigm of R&B-diva grandeur circa 1982, with impeccable posture and elocution that bespeak an old-school black-star dignity. Created and performed by Daniel Alexander Jones, Jomama has starred in a series of shows, most recently the fascinating Duat; now she joins forces with young pianist Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes for a night of original "Afromystical" songs.
Theater events in February 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
The Mad Ones' bittersweet comedy, about 1989 high-school faculty members organizing a telethon in the name of a much-missed student athlete, stuns us with period particulars and cleverly conceals its plot under a welter of naturalistic conversation. The company's hugely collaborative process pays off in precision, invention and richness. It was pure delight in 2016, and now returns for an encore run at Playwrights Horizons, directed again by Lila Neugebauer and with the entire original cast. Click here for the full 2016 review.
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 “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
Theater review by Helen Shaw When you walk into Say Something Bunny!, you enter another time. You might not notice that at first, because the brick office space where it takes place is so determinedly ordinary-looking. The small audience sits around a doughnut-shaped conference table, and as Alison S.M. Kobayashi begins her multimedia docuplay, some spectators are already paging through the scripts that have been placed in front of each chair. The text turns out to be the full transcript of a real, unlabeled 65-year-old recording that Kobayashi found hidden in an antique wire recorder: the audio relic of a teenage boy in Woodmere, Queens, enthusiastically taping two dozen family members and neighbors. Kobayashi has listened to the recording hundreds of times and has a seemingly boundless interest in the people whose voices it preserves, including amateur recordist David, mother Juliette and neighbor Bunny. She conducts us through a pair of after-dinner conversations, the first in 1952—she deduced the date from song lyrics mentioned on the wire—and the second in 1954. Aided by coauthor Christopher Allen, she pursues hints and half-heard jokes to determine who these people were and what befell them; she shows us the census records she used to find their old houses. The play unspools unhurriedly, leaving space for Kobayashi to make jokes, play short films and highlight points of historical interest. It takes a while for it to sink in that—of course—many of these vibrant people
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
After many years, the sassy and clever puppet musical doesn’t show its age. Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx’s deft Sesame Street–esque novelty tunes about porn and racism still earn their laughs. Avenue Q remains a sly and winning piece of metamusical tomfoolery. Running time: 2hrs 15mins. One intermission.
Music events in February 2018
Ghanaian artist Jojo Abot proffers a blend of African rhythms, R&B and rap on her two EPs, 2015's Fyfya Woto and 2017's NGIWUNKULUNKULU. Considering Abot's fiercely individual sound, not to mention her inescapable charisma live, we hope there are many more to come. She presents her multi-media show, "Power to the God Within," as part of her residency at National Sawdust.
Enthralling local punk-cabaret chanteuse Shilpa Ray celebrates her recent album, Door Girl, inspired by her stint working the door at Manhattan venue Pianos. Dig into new tunes like "You're Fucking No One" and "Manhattanoid Creepazoids," which hopefully don't hit too close to home.
This Swedish indie-pop band unfortunately spent the majority of its years following 2010's celebrated Clinging to a Scheme embroiled in unsuccessful legal battles with its record label rather than making music. The turmoil, however, inspired a host of darker, matured songs on the crew's long-awaited followup, Running Out Of Love, a self-described "dystopian album" released last year that addresses the many conservative, reactionary threads circulating in the world's current political climate. Catch the lo-fi pop obscurists return to the city or risk waiting another half-decade for their next appearance.
As folk-punk duo Girlpool, high school friends Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker weave complex vocal interplay—unison shouts along with lilting harmonies—above spare guitar melodies. Performing now as a larger ensemble, the band adds a fuller sound and the jolt of live percussion to the stark songs of its sophomore album, Powerplant.
Like many producers, avant-dance producer Sophie initial days were shrouded in mystique: hyper-saccharine singles like "Bipp" and live shows veering on veritable performance art—faux soda advertisements included—bespoke not only a keen ear for radio pop sensibilities, but a complex anti-capitalist critique of the form as well. Fast-forward to 2017 and the producer's new music video "It's Okay to Cry" demolishes those barriers—between her visage and her name, synthetic and organic, virtual and real—in a captivating performance of vulnerability, her face front and center, singing behind fantastical, digitally-rendered landscapes. Just like she did in 2013, Sophie is poised to transform contemporary electronic music scene yet again, and she knows it: the upcoming debut is called Whole New World.
George Clinton—the one and only Uncle Jam and author of (deep breath) Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?—lands the mothership for a night of ass-liberating funk. Here the funk innovator hosts what's become an annual Mardi Gras celebration for a sixth straight year.
Mixing bubblegum-snapping, cheerleader aesthetics and AC/DC hard-rawk brashness, this bombastic noise punk duo sounds like no one else. Expect to hear songs from their most recent release, Jessica Rabbit, which includes standout track, the spacey, subdued synth ballad "Hyper Dark."
Show up for an evening of expansive sounds spanning classical, electronic and rock music at this genre-melding show. Baltimore indie duo Wye Oak teams up with Metropolis Ensemble and Brooklyn-based composer William Brittelle to present orchestral versions of songs from its 2014 effort, Shriek. Also on the program is the world premiere of Brittelle's song cycle, Spiritual America, performed by Wye Oak, Metropolis Ensemble and Brooklyn Youth Chorus.
Cold Cave's dark prince of neo-new-wave, Wesley Eisold, resurrected his storied hardcore outfit in 2015, and this year sees American Nightmare releasing its first album in 15 years. The self-titled effort, which features bassist Josh Holden, guitarist Brian Masek and drummer Alex Garcia-Rivera, sees daylight February 16. You'll hear from it here, when the band shares a bill with rowdy Pennsylvania noise punks Pissed Jeans.
Arts events in February 2018
In 2005, legendary cinéaste Jean-Luc Godard conceived an exhibition to accompany his upcoming film retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He envisioned nine themed rooms—walk-in installations incorporating film, video, blown-up movie stills, artworks, photographs, books, printed quotations and objects—leading visitors through the history of cinema and, by extension, the 20th century. Plans went as far as the construction of detailed maquettes, but Godard’s epic proposal ultimately collided with budgetary constraints and bureaucratic cold feet. The resulting 2006 show occupied a paltry three rooms, the last of which featured the models stacked haphazardly atop one another. Displayed here on a variety of informal supports—cardboard boxes, shipping pallets and an old trunk—the restored maquettes seem less like the relics of a failed project than they do intellectually and visually compelling artworks translating Godard’s ideas and methodologies into three dimensions. Myth, for example, includes a picture of Mickey Mouse in cowboy drag. The Camera features two spinning disks, a pile of nuts and bolts and an iPod playing an excerpt from a pornographic film. Murder, with repeated images of knives and scissors, alludes to the editing process while The Bastards juxtaposes images from John Ford’s film The Searchers, set during the Texas–Indian wars, with real-life pictures of wartime atrocities. Walking through the show is a bit like being inside Godard’s head, observing his
The lodestones of Hockney’s work make for unlikely pairs of opposites: London and Los Angeles; Picasso and Old Master painting. Though Hockney came up through the School of London scene during the Swinging Sixties, many of his most famous works are set in the City of Angels, where he keeps two homes. And though his compositions abound with references to the great names of Renaissance art, many of his stylistic clues are taken from Picasso. Somehow, Hockney has juggled these disparate influences, forging an aesthetic that’s all his own. This retrospective marks’ the artist’s 80th birthday with a presentation of pieces from 1960 to the present.
“Resident Evil,” Sondra Perry’s electrifying 2016 exhibition at the Kitchen, was among that year’s most memorable shows, its power drawing from her generative association of ideas. Through such unlikely means as a glitchy video avatar, walls painted the same color blue that signals system errors for Microsoft Windows and exercise desk stations designed for fitness freaks wanting to work out at the office, Perry reflected on institutionalized racism, police brutality and the collective black body. Perry’s current exhibition expands on the themes of agency and representation, taking as its starting point the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s unauthorized licensing of her twin brother Sandy’s image for a basketball video game. In a projection piece, Sandy is seen reminiscing about his Georgia Southern teammates as he and his sister look for them on the game’s menu of characters. Scattered around the gallery are several metal, stick figure-like training devices used by basketball players to improve their shooting scores. Festooned with flat screens that display computer animations depicting the insides of mouths and skulls, these pieces of athletic equipment seem possessed of the interior life denied the crude CGI likenesses of Sandy and his fellow players.
In recent years, this American painter (born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico) has moved from abstraction to a combination of naively rendered imagery and Spanish texts that reflect on her roots South of the Border.
One of West 24th Street's mainstay contemporary galleries goes Medieval on the art world's collective ass with this selection of works dating from the period between the 12th and 15th centuries. Paintings, sculptures, stained-glass windows, architectural fragments and religious artifacts are all part of the mix.
The illusion of 3D solidity that characterizes the light installations of Anthony McCall are the result of a disarmingly simple, if mesmerizing, effect: A film animation of a dancing line drawing projected vertically or horizonatally in a darkened, mist-shrouded space. This show, McCall's first institutional survey in the U.S., features six such works.
This doyen of New York’s downtown avant-garde during the ’50s and ’60s was an early performance-art pioneer known for fearlessly employing her own nude body as an artistic instrument—both on film and before live audiences. This retrospective revisits her often controversial 60-year career.