Featured events in October 2018
The Metropolitan Opera House is one of the newest additions to the Open House New York, the weekend-long festival where more than 250 fascinating sites across New York open their doors to the public. The incredibly popular two-day event offers glimpses into spaces that are usually off limits to the public, from sky-high rooftop gardens to palatial apartments.
This glorious geek assembly brings in more than 151,000 visitors, beating San Diego Comic-Con and making NYCC the second-biggest event in the city. Wear a Batman T-shirt or a full cape-and-cowl at this packed pop culture mecca, where anyone can be a superhero.
Have you figured out what you’re doing this Halloween? NYC is full of Halloween parties and events (including the iconic Village Halloween Parade and the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade)—use our guide to find things to do, Halloween stores where you can pick up a killer costume, the scariest haunted houses and more.
Before you head out to some of the best Halloween parties in NYC, start with the basics: namely, the world’s largest pumpkin day procession, the Village Halloween Parade in NYC. With over 50,000 zombies, giant puppets and Donald Trumps taking to the streets, you may need a little help with navigation. So dress in your best Halloween costume ideas (or else you won’t be allowed to march), work on your Halloween makeup and get ready for the walk of your life.
One of the best things to do in the fall in New York is check out The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Hudson Valley, New York. Trust us, it’s worth the trip. Witness an army of more than 7,000 glowing, intricately carved pumpkins shining along the riverside near Van Cortlandt Manor. This is the tristate area’s most spirited Halloween happening, and also one of the best fall day trips from NYC. Ogling pretty gourds isn’t the only draw. There are also "stargazing" opportunities inside the Pumpkin Planetarium, flying ghosts and a special appearance by Sleepy Hollow’s Headless Horseman.
Before you sip your first pumpkin beer or latte of the season, The Rink at Rockefeller Center will already be open and ready for skaters. That’s right—ice skating is not only one of the best Christmas things to do, but it’s one of the best things to do in fall! Every year, The Rink at Rockefeller Center ushers in the holiday season by opening up to the public in early October.
Forget your endlessly-flooding mailbox and get ready to relax during Spa Week, NYC’s favorite time to chill out and one of the best things to do in fall in the city. This is not just one of the biggest NYC events in October—hundreds of spas around the country offer soothing treatments for only $50!
One of the borough's most celebrated musical institutions, BRIC is best known for its staple summer concert series, Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park. The organization puts the same keen curatorial eye for both local and international musicians to work at this massive festival. A week of jazz-related films and works culminates in a three-night star-studden marathon at the BRIC House in Fort Greene. The 2018 edition of this festival also crowns the organization's 40th anniversary. This year's headliners include singer and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello (Oct 19), who recently released a masterful collection of covers of ‘80s and ‘90s R&B hits, as well as Christian Scott, a wicked postbop trumpeter with a serious knack for groove-friendly atmospherics (Oct 19). Also not to be missed is Xenia Rubinos, who splits the difference between jazz fusion and Tune-Yards–like vocal experimentation (Oct 19). The full lineup also includes Stefon Harris & Blackout, Cyrus Chestnut Trio, The Jazz Passengers, Deva Mahal, Kat Edmonson and Noa Fort among many others. Additionally, this year features the festival's first debut commissioned work, completed by scorching trumpeter Keyon Harrold.
Over their three decades and counting, Cave & Co. have lost none of their fire and drama playing live. What’s more, the band’s latest album, Skeleton Tree (2016), demonstrates that Cave’s writing has only intensified its profoundly haunting qualities. Bathed in grief and world-shattering loss, the album was written in the aftermath of the passing of the singer’s 15-year old son.
Go all the way into the mythological antecedents of the world's most beloved magical saga at this spectacular exhibition, which collects artifacts from the British Library and New-York Historical Society and from J.K. Rowling's archives. You'll learn about the history of dragons, griffins and other essentials of Hogwarts lore; peer at rare notes and art from Rowling and illustrator Mary GrandPré, and view costumes from the current production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Brace yourself for a museum gift shop more packed than Honeyduke's.
Everyone knows New York City has the best pizza, so it's about time Gothamites' favorite cheap eat got its proper due. Enter the Museum of Pizza (nicknamed MoPi, naturally) from the "youth media company" Nameless Network. The kingdom of 'za is grabbing a slice of the city as an immersive, Instagram-baiting funhouse with a pizza art gallery, a "stalactite-inspired" cheese cave, a pizza beach, pizza meditation and a real-life edible slice included in admission.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from living in New York it’s that people will do yoga just about anywhere—even in the middle of Times Square in honor of the Summer Solstice. From rooftops to some of NYC’s best parks, Gothamites love to downward dog in unique places outside of their normal, go-to yoga studios. One of the current and coolest places you can perfect your warrior pose is at the Brooklyn Museum. On select dates every month, head to the art museum for an hour yoga session followed by mindfulness meditation. The class itself is only $10 (yoga mats provided), and that includes museum admission. Afterward, you can stick around and enjoy a self-guided tour of the galleries. The next class is this Saturday, August 11 from 9am to 11am. Find your Ohm and then get inspired by the art? Sounds like the perfect way to kick off the weekend to us.
Given the exclamation point in the title, it would seem that the Met is very excited, indeed, about its survey of Armenian art and culture spanning the 4th to 17th centuries. And why not? The show presents some 140 rarely-seen treasures (including gilded reliquaries, illuminated manuscripts, textiles and liturgical objects) to tell the story of Armenia’s embrace of Christianity, and it’s central role in shaping Armenian identity.
One of the bad girls of the original Young British Artists group, Sarah Lucas emerged in the early 1990s with provocative, in-your-face work that, as Brits like to say, took the piss out of attitudes revolving around gender and social norms. Sex, death, abjection and class provided the fodder for satirical jabs at the lofty pretensions of high culture. Scabrous and contentious, Lucas’s work weaponized self-abasement to take on male privilege in the art world and society at large. This exhibit marks her first museum show in the United States.
One of greatest painters of 16th-century Venice, Tintoretto was known for working fast while employing a bold form of brushwork that was atypical for the era. Though Tintoretto’s reputation rested upon his vast, religious scenes, this show—drawn on public and private collections, as well as the Met's own holdings—focuses on studies and portraits.
Both MoMA and its Queens satellite devote space to this unpacking of the work of Bruce Nauman in the biggest retrospective of his career. A Conceptual Art pioneer who led the development of practices such as performance, video and installation art during the 1960s and ’70s, Nauman emphasized process over product, pushing the boundaries of the artist’s role while aggressively interrogating the human condition with pieces that were noted for their piquant psychological insights.
Even paranoiacs have real enemies, and sometimes those paranoiacs are artists, too. The truth is out there in this show featuring works that us through the conspiratorial looking glass.
Selling Fast in October 2018
Tom and Betsy Salamon’s unique adventure—part interactive theater, part scavenger hunt, part walking tour—draws participants into an amusing web of puzzles and intrigue. You can choose between the three-hour New York tour, which takes participants through various neighborhoods of lower Manhattan, or the two-hour Village tour, which travels through quirky Greenwich Village on Saturdays. Groups of as many as 11 are booked every half hour.
Once upon a time, people lived in building now called the Merchant’s House Museum. Then they died...but their spirits may not have moved on. This 50-minute tour reveals the dark, haunted past of this old structure—as well as its spooky present. Has all that construction nearby has dredged the ghosts from their slumber? During this 50-minute tour (they begin every half hour from 6:30pm to 9:30pm) you may find out!
Garish zombies, monsters and other ghoulish creatures await in this 5,000-square-foot labyrinth of horrors, deemed too scary for children under 14 to enter without supervision. Pass through themed rooms such as The Crypt (where no one rested in peace) and Hannibal’s Hell (with 1,000 ways to die). It’s popular, so lines are likely to be long—consider shelling out for an “R.I.P.” express-access ticket.
Every year, BangOn!NYC packs a Williamsburg warehouse with mesmerizing, horrifying and totally entrancing art, performances and silent disco sets. But for the party's ten-year blowout, expect a greatest hits bacchanal with the best art and performance from eyars past. This year's weekend boasts sets from Gramatik, G Jones, Bandlez, Space Jesus, Eprom, Yheti, Of the Trees and Sayer. There will be freaky performers, delicious food vendors, a bouncey house, a flesh-suspension zip line show, a haunted house and more ghastly curiosities. Yeah, don't miss it. 485 Johnson Ave.
Part cabaret, part piano bar and part social set, Cast Party offers a chance to hear rising and established talents step up to the microphone (backed by the slap and tickle of Steve Doyle on bass and Billy Stritch at the ivories, plus the bang of Daniel Glass on drums). The waggish Caruso presides as host.
Two piano men battle it out to prove who is truly the master of all 88 keys, with a playlist decided entirely by the audience. Whether you’re in the mood for Billy Joel, Christina Aguilera or current chart toppers, these pianists are up for the challenge. But they expect you to do your part by singing along.
Broadway by the Year impresario Scott Siegel curates this monthly concert series, in which Broadway stars sing some of the Great White Way's best-loved tunes. Performers at the October edition include Emily Janes, John Easterlin, Joshua Israel, William Michals, Kelsey Lee Smith, Michael Winther and Time Out's own Adam Feldman.
DJs Paul Raffaele and Barbie Bertisch host this benefit for their dance-music zine Love Injection at Greenpoint's cozy Magick City. Following the lead of the mag—which showcases a reverence for the art form's pioneers alongside an open-mindedness torward the music of today—the party aims to create a judgement-free dance floor that welcomes a wide range of sounds and people.
The star of Broadway's Bubbling Brown Sugar, among other things, is a lithe and dynamic triple-threat performer, with a voice that roams magically from contralto depths to R&B peaks. Her new set honors the career and legacy of Lena Horne; songs include "A Fine Romance," "The Lady Is a Tramp" and, of course, "Stormy Weather."
May wrestles with subjects so horrible that they defy representation—sexual trauma, pedophilia, the Holocaust—in a postmodern dance-theater work suffused with pop culture and performed by five women.
Theater events in October 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 [NOTE: A new block of tickets for performances through June 9, 2019, goes on sale at 11am on September 27. Join the Virtual Waiting Room between 10:30am and 11am for a crack at the best seats.] 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
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
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
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 October 2018
The erstwhile angry young man—since 2014, an official Madison Square Garden franchise, like the Knicks and Rangers—is tacking on date after date in what’s threatening to become an endless run.
A consummate pro, J.T. mixes a young Sinatra’s swagger and charisma with the airtight funk of peak Michael Jackson, making magic night after night with a crack big band.
With the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, Sir Elton is saying a final goodbye to the touring life. That's right—this is your final chance to catch the rollicking songman live in person, as he takes the audience on a massive visual journey spanning his entire 50-year career. Swoon along to "Tiny Dancer," make juvenile hand gestures to "Crocodile Rock" and smile meaningfully at your folks during "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" here for one last time.
Seattle's Mudhoney, one of the veteran grunge outfits that failed to hit it big, yet racked up impeccable indie-rock cred, pays an always-welcome visit to the East Coast. New-school scuzz-rock overlords Pissed Jeans and the raucous Art Gray Noizz Quintet set the stage.
The local indie-rock heroes, whose punky, crunched-out anthems manage to sound both commanding and casual, hit Greenpoint behind their imaginative and wildly entertaining lastest, All At Once. Brace yoursef, frontwoman Marissa Paternoster's soul-shaking vibrato is even more thrilling live.
The alt-rock icon celebrates the 25th anniversary of her raw breakout record, Exile in Guyville, with a gig that promises cuts from her protean demo recordings under the name Girly Sound.
The industrial icons roll into town behind their latest, Bad Witch, which finds the band as vigorous and relevant as ever. The tour's supporting acts are nothing to sneeze at: shoegaze luminaries the Jesus and Mary Chain join Reznor and Co. for all dates, Savages bassist Ayse Hassan's Kite Base rounds out the lineup on Oct 13 and electronic maven Daniel Avery opens the last three shows. Get there early.
Sitting at the intersection of R&B, classical and gospel, serpentwithfeet’s Josiah Wise creates pop music that manages to be both cavernous and intimate, experimental and accessible. His stunning debut album, soil, appeared in June and excellently showcases Wise's otherworldly vibrato, giving it ample space to shiver against the potent, haunting textures of producers Clams Casino, mmph and Katie Gately. Expect to get some shivers of your own at this Elsewhere appearance.
Big Thief’s second full-length release, Capacity, appeared last year and found guitarist and vocalist Adrianne Lenker following up her folk-rock band's critically acclaimed debut, Masterpiece, with a slow-burner that expertly distilled years of songwriting experience into a wide-ranging yet seamless collection. You'll hear from it at this show, and be mighty glad you did.
For a second there, it seemed like this Cali funk-pop crew's popularity was on the wane, but thanks to his profile boost as a coach on reality talent contest The Voice, Adam Levine is riding high once more. Whatever you think of the falsetto-shrill, modelizing frontman, Maroon 5’s slick, radio-friendly rock, as heard on last year's V, really hits the spot when you’re in the mood for an effervescent earworm.