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15 awesome things to do in NYC this weekend

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Fri 8

Never Sleep Alone Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; midnight; $45, participants $35, plus $12 minimum
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.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in NYC this weekend

Night Vale Presents Birthday Party The Bell House; 8pm; $40
If David Lynch and Douglas Adams built a town together and then left it to its own devices, it would probably look something like Night Vale, the fictional community that’s the subject of this faux public-radio show. The eccentric, chart-topping podcast presents a live "Birthday Party" edition, and something tells us it's not going to be all ice cream cake and balloons. Come find out what happens after the candles are blown out.

Court Yard Fridays Staten Island Borough Hall; 5pm; free
This weekly concert series goes down just across the street from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, so residents of other boroughs have to do little more than take a quick boat ride to catch a free show. The lineup includes live techno outfit Worldtown Soundsystem, Latin-jazz vet Papo Vázquez, funky bhangra fusion band Red Baraat and acoustic jazz ensemble UTA All Stars.

Fine Wine Hudson Terrace; 4pm; $30–$50
Wine and R&B, together at—well, they've been a natural pair for quite a while, but now there's an event dedicated solely to the dynamic duo of romance. A ticket comes with unlimited wine from 4–7pm, after which you can stick around to dance and sip for another four hours, which borders on heroic, if you ask us.

Belle and Sebastian + Perfume Genius + Frankie Cosmos Forest Hills Stadium; 6pm; $46–$86
Awash in boy-girl harmonies and wry, sentimental lyricism, Scottish act Belle and Sebastian has been the reigning champion of twee-pop ever since the release of its sophomore album, If You're Feeling Sinister. Recently, frontman Stuart Murdoch changed the formula with 2015's Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, a buoyant comeback record with synth-driven beats and dance floor aspirations. Expect both modes here as the band headlines one of the summer's most promising gigs, with emotive, dazzling balladeer Perfume Genius and local indie-pop heroes Frankie Cosmos opening.

Everybody Hates Us (But Not Tonight) The Mockingbird; 8pm; $10
Betsy Kenney and Dara Katz have liberated themselves from the opinions of peers and friends, and at their unbeatable new show, they ask you to do the same. Joining them for some blissful, cathartic confidence-building is a next-level lineup including drag diva Marti Gould Cummings Farah Brook, Jacqueline Novak, Devin Bockrath, Shannon Coffey and Sandy Honig , with support by the Mockingbird’s house band and liquid confidence from the bar’s menu of signature margaritas.

The Sparkle Zone The Brick; 9:30pm; $10 
Improv master Philip Markle invites you to indulge in blissful insanity at this loony variety hour, featuring strange tales, visceral humor and plenty of dance breaks. Markle brings the Sparkle to his brand new Brooklyn Comedy Collective at the Brick Theater, and invites an all-star lineup to join him, including Cole Escola, Aaron Jackson, Drew Anderson, Hollye Bynum, Molly Gaebe and Jo Firestone.

Sat 9

Big Apple Barbecue Madison Square Park; Sat 9, Sun 10 at 11am; free
Madison Square Park heats up with this annual free carnivore convention. Top pitmasters from across the country like Baker's Ribs in Dallas, TX and Rodney Scott's Bar-B-Que in Charleston, SC dish out wood-fired creations alongside local joints like Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Hometown Barb-B-Que. Seminars, cooking demos and live music round out the festivities.

Popsugar Playground Pier 94; Sat 9, Sun 10 at 11am; one-day pass $70, weekend pass $99
Media and tech company Popsugar hosts this two-day event featuring fitness classes with Kayla Itsines and talks and panels with badass women like Kate Hudson, Mindy Kaling and Tiffany Haddish. You can also peep live makeup demos, explore art installations, shop cool brands and catch performances from Tinashe and AlunaGeorge. Go play.

Aloha Nights New York Botanical Garden; 6:30pm; $38
Head to the New York Botanical Garden for an evening of tropical delights. Take an after-hours look at the garden's new exhibit, Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i, learn how to hula, watch lei-making demos, explore installations by Hawaiian-Chinese sculptor Mark Chai, listen to live music and fuel it all with a poke bowl and a cup (or two) of Passiflora Punch.

Bowie Symphonic Central Park, SummerStage; 7pm; free
The Thin White Duke is always in season. Ensemble LPR hits Central Park for a reimagining of Bowie’s catalog with an appearance by the Donny McCaslin Group, which served as the backing band on his swan song, Blackstar.

Joke No More: An Immersive Comedy Encounter Vital Joint; 8:30pm; $8
It's about time for NYC's stand-up community to rip into the stylized gibberish of the city's immersive theater scene. Join madcap mastermind Harris Meyersohn and a cast including Andrew Casertano, Elena Rose Light, Cody Reiss, Brett Davis, Yedoye Travis, Rachel Sennott, Justin Linville and Caroline Yost for this Sleep No More parody, at which you'll be secreted to private, idiotic encounters with comedians in a strange holographic—and hilarious—adventure in the night.

Sun 10

Barbercon Knockdown Center; 3pm; one-day pass $35, two-day pass $60, VIP $180
Makeup and skin-care junkies have Beautycon. Bearded folks or those with magnificent manes have Barbercon. Check out live hair tutorials, product demos, classes and workshops at the annual two-day convention. You don't have to be a professional trimmer to get in on the fun: the event also has food trucks, tunes and games, as well as drinks to keep you feeling buzzed.

Boss Hog Elsewhere; 8pm; $15, day of show $18
Jon Spencer and Cristina Martinez—husband and wife duo behind New York blues-punk band Boss Hog—headline a show at Bushwick performance space Elsewhere.

Good For Them!: A Tony Awards Party Caveat; 7pm; free
Leave it to divine multihyphenate Larry Owens to serve the finest, funniest and certainly bitchiest Tonys viewing party in town. Along with Alexandra Nader, Andrew Barbato and Jenny Gorelick, he'll provide enough commercial break commentary and surprise musical renditions to wear out Patti LuPone. Study up on the nominees, lest you provoke his ire!

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