Give thanks for our list of NYC events in November 2017, which will help you make plans for things to do on Thanksgiving and the rest of the month. Our guide will help you find the best holiday events, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the inflation of Macy’s parade balloons and amazing holiday markets. But that’s not all! There’s also Veterans Day activities and the beloved Radio City Christmas Spectacular. And for those who just want to rock out, November has a ton of great concerts on deck, too.
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2017
Featured NYC events in November 2017
Are you excited for the Renegade Craft Fair? Once the cool weather sweeps in, Gotham transforms into a shopping bonanza where you can find great flea markets and holiday markets chock-full of unique goods and delicious grub. New Yorkers should get psyched for the mother lode of craft fairs—Renegade Craft Fair—as it enters Manhattan on November 18 and 19.
More than 40,000 marathoners hotfoot it (or puff, pant and stagger) through all five boroughs over a 26.2-mile course. Stake out a lively spot—we recommend along Fourth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn; First Avenue between 60th and 96th Streets in Manhattan; or Central Park South near the finish line—to cheer on the passing throngs.
We may be biased, but New Yorkers are the savants of style (and have been for many years), which is why we can appreciate a fashion house that has styled many generations. Luxury brand Louis Vuitton, for instance, certainly has elevated and changed the material world since its debut in 1854, as presented in the French-born company’s new exhibition: “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez.” Located at 86 Trinity Place, guests are welcome to experience the rich history by viewing and interacting with various artifacts (from 1854 to 2017) sourced by historian Oliver Saillard. Wander through all three-levels of the exhibition to discover the brand’s past collaborations as well as trunks and luggage of years’ past. To reserve your spot, see their website here.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular 2017 literally kicks off the holiday season in NYC. Since 1933, the tap dancers, flying Santa and of course the Rockettes have put on one of the city’s most classic Christmas spectacles. If The Nutcracker from New York City Ballet is too stuffy and doesn’t have enough camels onstage for you, this show is the one to see.
Thanksgiving in NYC is tough, pilgrim. It’s even tougher when you’re ill-prepared. If you’re staying in New York, there are plenty of ways to celebrate not being stuck in traffic or sitting on a runway. Gather some friends for dinner with a variety of Thanksgiving pies, make a reservation at restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner or head to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. With everyone visiting relatives or in a tryptophan coma, the city is yours to enjoy.
Theater events in November 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
[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 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
Director-designer Julie Taymor takes a reactionary Disney cartoon about the natural right of kings—in which the circle of life is putted against a queeny villain and his jive-talking ghetto pals—and transforms it into a gorgeous celebration of color and movement. The movie’s Elton John–Tim Rice score is expanded with African rhythm and music, and through elegant puppetry, Taymor populates the stage with an amazing menagerie of beasts; her audacious staging expands a simple cub into the pride of Broadway, not merely a fable of heredity but a celebration of heritage.—Adam Feldman Running time: 2hrs 40mins. One intermission.
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.
Three deadpan blue-skinned men with extraterrestrial imaginations carry this tourist fave, a show as smart as it is ridiculous. They drum on open tubs of paint, creating splashes of color; they consume Twinkies and Cap'n Crunch; they engulf the audience in a roiling sea of toilet paper. For sheer weird, exuberant fun, it's hard to top this long-running treat. (Note: The playing schedule varies from week to week, with as many as four performances on some days and none on others.)
Theater review by Adam Feldman After seeing the imaginative and dynamic Once on This Island, you may feel that once is not enough. Michael Arden’s immersive revival of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s 1990 musical is staged in the round and constantly on the move, drumming its story forward to a steady throb of pop-Caribbean beats. Framed as a folktale shared among impoverished islanders—Dane Laffrey’s sandy set suggests the aftermath of a natural disaster—the plot follows naive orphan Ti Moune (Hailey Kilgore, in a winsome Broadway debut), who falls for a boy above her station: the rich and light-skinned Daniel (Isaac Powell). Overseeing their quasi-romance, which defies the strict class and color divides of their French Antilles isle, is a quartet of sometimes capricious gods, played by Lea Salonga, Quentin Earl Darrington, the striking Merle Dandridge and the remarkable Alex Newell (in an astonishing drag diva turn). One of Ahrens and Flaherty’s earliest collaborations, Once on This Island is patchy in parts. Its best-known songs, “Waiting for Life” and “Mama Will Provide,” bring down the house, but there are also languors (such as the drippy “The Human Heart”). And the central story of female sacrifice and degradation, which borrows liberally from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” is treated as more inspirational than it actually is. But it is hard to imagine a better account of the show than the one that Arden and his team—including choreographer Camill
To untimely rip and paraphrase a line from Macbeth: Our eyes are made the fools of the other senses, or else worth all the rest. A multitude of searing sights crowd the spectator's gaze at the bedazzling and uncanny theater installation Sleep No More. Your sense of space and depth---already compromised by the half mask that audience members must don---is further blurred as you wend through more than 90 discrete spaces, ranging from a cloistral chapel to a vast ballroom floor. Directors Felix Barrett and Maxine Doyle, of the U.K. troupe Punchdrunk, have orchestrated a true astonishment, turning six warehouse floors and approximately 100,000 square feet into a purgatorial maze that blends images from the Scottish play with ones derived from Hitchcock movies—all liberally doused in a distinctly Stanley Kubrick eau de dislocated menace. An experiential, Choose Your Own Adventure project such as this depends on the pluck and instincts of the spectator. You can follow the mute dancers from one floor to the next, or wander aimlessly through empty spaces. I chose the latter, discovering a room lined with empty hospital beds; a leafless wood in which a nurse inside a thatched cottage nervously checks her pocket watch; an office full of apothecary vials and powders; and the ballroom, forested with pine trees screwed to rolling platforms (that would be Birnam Wood). A Shakespearean can walk about checking off visual allusions to the classic tragedy; the less lettered can just revel in
Music events in November 2017
The Boris discography contains something for everyone. Well, maybe not everyone, but open-minded listeners have found much to love throughout the veteran Japanese trio's 25-year career, which encompasses arty metal, sludge rock, crust punk and more. Here, the band hits town to behind Dear, its most recent full-length and a masterful return to its sludgier roots.
Melbourne singer-songwriter and guitarist Courtney Barnett and Philadelphia psych-pop songman Kurt Vile hit town in support of their collaborative album, slated for release later this year. As if the communion of these two indie darlings isn't enough, the pair's backing band, Sea Lice, is also nothing to sneeze at: Sleater-Kinney's Janet Weiss, Warpaint's Stella Mozgawa, Sky Larkin's Katie Larkin and the Violators' own Rob Laakso. Count on a tight performance that showcases the talents of these two bright songwriters.
Though far less ambitious than Tool, these alt-rock holdouts nevertheless write excellent material in their more restrained stylistic vein. And if nothing else, the band is worthy of your attention simply due to the band's riveting frontman, Maynard James Keenan. A Perfect Circle—which has only made a handful of festival appearances since 2011—plays behind a yet un-named upcoming album.
Composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's bubbling soundscapes—which tenderly combine synthetic sounds, acoustic instruments and layered vocals—are among the more gratifying and emotive offerings to emerge from the ambient genre. Expect a transporting show when she takes the stage behind her new EP, The Kid.
Sacramento trio Tera Melos graces the newly re-re-opened Bushwick venue Market Hotel with its colorful, erratic art punk, most recently refined and streamlined on its new album, Trash Generator, into a skittering and surprisingly melodic sonic gyre. Fuzzed-out, lyrical quartet Speedy Ortiz opens.
Indie-rock faves Grizzly Bear hit town on a lengthy tour In support of their latest, Painted Ruins. In keeping with the band's previous albums, Painted Ruins is a rich listen, tightly composed, but with ample space for psychedelic wanderings oddball melodies and rhythmic left turns. Be sure to arrive in time for Serpentwithfeet, the compelling "pagan gospel" project of classically-trained vocalist Josiah Wise.
Formed circa 1982 and gone by 1997, NYC art-noise behemoths Swans reformed in 2010, defying reason as they attracted their largest audiences yet with unrelenting two-hour gigs and a lack of regard for both commercial relevance and bankable nostalgia. Now, the band concludes another chapter: Last year's commanding The Glowing Man is the current lineup's final album, and this three-night stint in Brooklyn is the last time it'll take the stage on the East Coast. Support comes from Carla Bozulich on November 2, Anna Von Hausswolff on November 3 and ADULT. on November 4.
Though this indie institution has undergone fundamental transformations in recent years, there's no mistaking the essential Shins-iness of the band's latest Heartworms: Once again we find James Mercer pondering life’s big questions in long-lined vocal melodies floating over jangly, detailed guitar-pop arrangements.
Electronic music pioneer (and longtime New Yorker) Morton Subotnick (Silver Apples of the Moon) presents a new piece with live video. Canadian bass clarinetist plays a selection of solo pieces, including world premieres of works by Paolo Perezzani and Paul Steenh.