Some of the best things to do in summer are NYC events in July. Even after all the 4th of July events simmer down, there are still a ton of awesome things to do for the next 26 days. After Independence Day, enjoy fantastic outdoor summer concerts, hit up one of the city’s many rooftop parties and make sure to pencil in getting a tan at the best beaches in NYC while the weather is warm and sunny.
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar
Featured events in July 2018
Coachella in California is the fest that really kicks the summer music festival season into gear. So it makes sense that its organizers, Goldenvoice, have made NYC Panorama Music Festival its East Coast counterpart. The three-day event, one of the best NYC events in July.
From noon to 9pm each day, 12,000 revelers—dressed in nothing but pink and white, duh—will descend onto Governor's Island for this rosé-themed fest. Settle onto rosé-hued designer blankets for stemless glasses of still, sparkling and champagne rosé selections. The afternoons will be soundtracked with live DJ sets and more performances.
Every summer, the Public Theater produces a beloved New York democratic tradition: Shakespeare in the Park, presented for free at the open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park. There’s nothing quite like hearing the Bard’s immortal words performed outdoors, with a backdrop of natural splendor and the Belvedere Castle looming in the background like the world’s most impressive set decoration.
For the last eight years, a number of the city’s poetry-reading series and their affiliated collectives have taken over Governors Island for a day, creating a stage for the many voices of NYC, both celebrated and underground. This year, the crew of the Poetry Society of New York does it again, presenting readings from more than 200 poets and 50 organizations.
Music festivals have become as essential a feature of summer in the city as ice-skating and hot chocolate are to winter in New York: It's part of the reason why you live here. What makes New York's summer music festival scene better than anywhere else's? We'll start with the beautiful weather, then add the fact that you'll be watching your favorite bands play in truly iconic surroundings—say, Central Park, or the leafy Celebrate Brooklyn! bandshell.
Work that booty, or better yet just ogle sexy dancers from Broadway and beyond at this fest that invites choreographers and performers from around the world for an eclectic evening of high-end dance and cocktails along the water. Proceeds from this 24rd installment, as always, go to a good cause, funding nutritional and medical charities throughout the States.
Midsummer Night Swing brings together the best of music, free outdoor dance events and things to do outside in New York, but we have a few tips to help you make the most of the festival. Lovely Damrosch Park can get crowded, so be sure to book in advance, get there when the dance floor opens at 6pm, and remember that purses and backpacks must be left at the bagcheck—ladies, you’ll need a dancing frock with pockets.
Selling Fast in July 2018
Panorama returns to Randalls Island for its third year, and it's going to be another humdinger. The Weeknd headlines Friday, July 27, with Migos, Father John Misty, the War on Drugs, Dua Lipa, The Black Madonna and Bearcat in the ranks. Saturday, July 28's bill boasts Janet Jackson, SZA, Gucci Mane, St. Vincent, Japanese Breakfast and Avalon Emerson. The Killers lead the pack for the third and final day, with David Byrne, Fleet Foxes, Moodymann and Odesza also on the docket. Grab some sunscreen and earplugs—and ready your excuse to call out from work on Monday. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Panorama Music Festival
The Irish rockers headline these stadium dates for its Experience + Innocence tour (not to be confused with 2015's Innocence + Experience tour). The occasion?—the recent release of the band's new album, Songs of Experience, the follow-up to the band's 2015's Songs of Innocence (yes, the album notoriously released unconsensually onto millions of unsuspecting iTunes users' music libraries).
Linda Eder—the Star Search songstress turned Broadway and concert star—has never been known for the subtlety of her approach, which can be boiled down to two steps: (1) Stand, and (2) Sing. But gee whiz, the lady can really belt a number. Her current set includes selections from her latest solo album, If You See Me.
Grand mistress of getting you laid Dr. Alex Schiller (conceived and played by Roslyn Hart) calls you onstage to complete matchmaking challenges, kiss strangers and drop your inhibitions at this live musical comedy seminar. Bring your A-game for the after-party.
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.
It all begins when you buy your ticket. While most of NYC's immersive nightlife offers parlor tricks for bored dilettantes, this endlessly creative adventure serves a bespoke espionage fantasy for only the most fabulously daring. Accept your mission from Headquarters (unimpeachable producers Roslyn Hart and Alfredo Guenzani), dress in your finest Bond attire and attempt to complete your top-secret task among a crowd of sexy strangers at a lavish cocktail affair. The first agent to complete their mission earns $100, a bottle of champagne and bragging rights among the city's most mysterious elite. Opt in for the $100 "Believe" ticket to engage in a wider web of intrigue, with side-missions and custom-made plots going weeks before the party even begins; or experience the fun with the $50 new-user-friendly "Immerse" option. Suit up, stay sharp and forget your expectations: you're in for a night of surprises.
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.
Theater events in July 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
Theater review by Adam Feldman “The world only spins forward,” declares the defiant prophet Prior Walter in Angels in America. But as the world turns, it returns things to our shifting fields of vision. So it is with Tony Kushner’s expansive and shattering masterpiece, which is back on Broadway for the first time since its 1993 premiere, in a production of magnificent tenderness and sinew. Heaven, such as it is, be praised! Angels in America has arrived again. The great work continues. Kushner’s two-part play is massive: To see it in a single day, with multiple intermissions and a long dinner break, takes 10 hours. Yet every moment is so rich, so rewarding, so engrossing that it flies by in a rush. It is hard to do justice to the multitudes that Angels in America contains: its synthesis of the intellectual and the lyrical, the comic and the tragic, the intimate and the epic, the engaged and the transcendent. This is a play that breaks and fills your heart; it inspires you as it takes your breath away. The first half, Millennium Approaches, starts in 1985. Prior (Andrew Garfield, raw nerves exposed) has AIDS, which sends his panicked boyfriend, Louis (the excellent James McArdle), into pretzel twists of conscience. Meanwhile, the odious right-wing attack dog Roy Cohn (played with relish and bite by Nathan Lane) labors to hide his own AIDS diagnosis from the world—including his protégé, the closeted gay Mormon lawyer Joe (Lee Pace, magnetically tense with repression), who s
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 Don’t be fooled by the exuberant opening number: Dance Nation is out for blood. Right after we watch eight competitive preteen dancers perform an Anything Goes–style tap routine in matching nautical outfits, one of the little sailors (Christina Rouner) is torpedoed by a compound fracture—and that’s just the first of many harsh surprises in Clare Barron’s riotous, rattling, sensational new play. Dance Nation won the 2015 Relentless Award in a tie with Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves, and the two works share a keen eye for the competition and camaraderie of adolescent girls. But the kids in Barron’s play are simultaneously younger (between 11 and 14) and older than the soccer players in DeLappe's: They are played by adults of different ages (including the Talking Band’s sixtysomething Ellen Maddow), and they sometimes break out of their time frame to share perspectives they will have years later. The effect of this doubleness is often hilarious—the actors’ dance skills vary—but also poignant. Even their glee has a shudder of mortality. Under the exigent guidance of Dance Teacher Pat (a pricelessly serious Thomas Jay Ryan), the young dancers aspire to reach the nationals in Tampa Bay, a goal that is both trivial—an ugly trophy, a group picture on the wall—and the most important thing in the world. (The subject of their latest dance: Gandhi.) As rendered by Dance Nation's wondrous ensemble cast, under Lee Sunday Evans’s sharp direction, their fierce
[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 July 2018
Arnalds is a gifted Icelandic composer whose gushingly lovely music straddles postclassical ambience and post-rock reverie, with generous sides of melancholy balladry and skittering electronica. He hits Brooklyn on his worldwide "All Strings Attached" tour, which finds Arnalds playing selections from across his catalog backed by a string quartet and percussionist Manu Delango.
Happy Canada Day! No, really, it's a thing. Celebrate our neighbors to the north with a free show from indie-pop darlings Broken Social Scene, whose sterling latest album, Hug of Thunder, proffers even more keen freeform songs that prefer slow builds and soaring climaxes to straightforward hooks. Fellow Canadian bards Mélissa Laveaux and the East Pointers join for this Summerstage gig.
Thom Yorke and Co. hit town for a string of shows at the Garden. Expect a career-spanning set, peppered of course with tunes from the band's acclaimed 2016 album, A Moon Shaped Pool. Superfans, cross your fingers: At a recent festival gig in Rio De Janeiro, Yorke performed the original acoustic version of "True Love Waits" for the first time in fifteen years.
As one half of New York antifolk duo the Moldy Peaches, Kimya Dawson wrote some deliciously smutty tunes back in the early aughts; as a solo artist she's produced some lovable, off-kilter records (not to mention her part in pulling together the soundtrack for teen prego-comedy Juno). It's been seven long years since her last solo album, Thunder Thighs, and we're pleased to note Dawson seems poised to unveil some new material in the not-too-distant future. If you haven't already, check out her heartrending ode "Cyclone" before she takes the stage for a pair of intimate gigs in Bushwick.
British synthpop bastion Erasure hits NYC for a three-night stint behind last year's World Be Gone. That contemplative effort will get a good airing—as will, we suspect, selections from its neo-classical reenvisioning, World Beyond—but count on the iconic duo to throw in a requisite dose of the old hits ("A Little Respect," "Chains of Love," "Always") as well.
The once-enigma known as Jandek, a reclusive avant-bluesman for the better part of three decades who suddenly emerged in 2004 and has since become a globetrotting free-improviser, pops up in Brooklyn for his first NYC show in six years. Expect fearless abstraction, with the possibility of spooky transcendence.
Melbourne singer-songwriter and guitarist Barnett teams with two other indie stars: Laetitia Tamko of Vagabon and melancholic songsmith Baker. A streak of quiet, lyrical resilience runs through the work of all three, though each artist refracts that quality through her own unique prism. Count on tight performances that showcase the talents of these breakthrough artists.
Pretty much the ultimate stoner-metal band, California's Sleep attained near-legendary status in the ’90s on the strength of its ultra-extended slo-mo epics. The trio splintered into the highly revered outfits High on Fire and Om, but has regrouped sporadically in recent years, and boy are we are glad: This past 4/20 saw the arrival of a new ripper, The Sciences. Expect the band to unleash it at these Brooklyn gigs.
Panorama returns to Randalls Island for its third year, and it's going to be another humdinger. The Weeknd headlines Friday, July 27, with Migos, Father John Misty, the War on Drugs, Dua Lipa, The Black Madonna and Bearcat in the ranks. Saturday, July 28's bill boasts Janet Jackson, SZA, Gucci Mane, St. Vincent, Japanese Breakfast and Avalon Emerson. The Killers lead the pack for the third and final day, with David Byrne, Fleet Foxes, Moodymann and Odesza also on the docket. Grab some sunscreen and earplugs—and ready your excuse to call out from work on Monday.