Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Madison Square Garden; 8am + 6pm; $15–$100
As fun as they are, puppy cams and viral videos can’t compare with real-life specimens as a cuteness delivery system. Coo over more than 3,000 dogs representing hundreds of breeds and varieties at the 142nd annual caninefest, where dogs are judged across seven divisions (hound, toy, nonsporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier). If you can’t score a ticket, you can still get your fix via online streaming during the day and TV coverage of the evening competitions.
The Incomplete Araki: Sex, Life, and Death in the Work of Nobuyoshi Araki Museum of Sex; 10:30am; free with $17.50–$20.50 admission
Controversial photographer Nobuyoshi Araki is most known for his works focusing on the Japanese bondage style known as kinbaku-bi, but the septuagenarian has photographed a variety of subjects over the past 50 years, including his honeymoon with his wife and her deterioration as she succumbed to ovarian cancer. The result is an immense body of work that explores intimacy, sentimentality and mortality. Check out this MoSEX exhibit to view over 150 prints, 500 polaroids and 400 books, plus commentary from his collaborators and friends.
Ryan Raftery: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Martha Stewart Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; 9:30pm; $35 plus $12 minimum
After scoring a hit with a solo musical devoted to Vogue's Anna Wintour and her discontents—and then another about Bravo diva wrangler Andy Cohen—the boyish and persistently irreverent singer-actor Raftery returns to Joe's with a new camp biography. This one uses pop music to tell the story of style maven, media titan and ex-prisoner Martha Stewart.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna in Conversation 92nd Street Y; 7:30pm; $40
The brains and voice behind TV's most subversive comedy—which happens to feature lots of singing and dancing—explain their creative process and give a sneak peak at this season's finale.
An Evening with Sally Potter Walter Reade Theater (at Lincoln Center); 6:30pm; Orlando $15, The Party $20, Double Feature $27
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking Virginia Woolf adaptation Orlando—starring a divine Tilda Swinton—director Sally Potter hits the Film Society of Lincoln Center for a double feature screening. She'll introduce her new dark comedy The Party, starring Patricia Clarkson and Cherry Jones, at 6:30pm, and screen Orlandoat 8:30pm.
Fat Tuesday at Threes Brewing; 5pm; free
Head to Gowanus for a Mardi Gras get down featuring a Dr. John–themed music performance from the folks behind 3 Ring Bender, eats from The Meat Hook, New Orleans–themed cocktails and, of course, king cake.
Mardi Gras: Brass, Sass & Ass at House of Yes; 9pm; free
Costumes are encouraged at this Bourbon Street–inspired rager dubbed Brass, Sass & Ass. The fete involves a colorful parade, a live brass band, death-defying circus performers and plenty of carnival bedazzlement. We dare you to see how many beads you can collect (or earn) before night's end.
Haus of Sweat Bodyroll Sixth Street Community Center; 7pm; $60 three-class pass
Pro choreographer, B-girl supreme and acolyte of ’90s jams, Viva invites you to her inclusive, always bangin’ dance class, at which you’ll bounce, shake, roll and liberate your body and soul. Beyond the positive vibes, you’ll learn some moves, work your abs and sweat like a maniac to Shania Twain, TLC, Beyoncé and other high-power divas. If you’re down for a power-packed dance class but can’t handle elitist, competitive vibes, you’re about to meet your new family.
Adult Terrarium-Making Class Luludi Living Art; 6pm; $55
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.
Sleigh Bells Brooklyn Steel; 8pm; $30
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 makes no effort to tune down the maximalism. Check out the standout track, a spacey, subdued synth ballad, “Hyper Dark,” for a taste.
“Funky Fat Tuesday” Celebration with George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
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.
First Aid Kit Beacon Theatre; 7pm; $35
The effortlessly affecting folk-pop duo of sweet-voiced Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg, hits town in support of its new LP, Ruins (the follow-up to 2014's lovely Stay Gold).
Valentine’s Day Pet Adoption at Bideawee; 10am; free
This Valentine’s Day, meet puppies, kittens, dogs and cats in need of love at Bideawee's New York City adoption center. For the entire month of February, all dogs and cats six months of age and older will be FREE.
Unlovable: A Smiths and Morrissey Valentine’s Day The Bell House; 8pm; $16–$24
To quote noted vegetarian poet Steven Patrick Morrissey, “And if a double-decker bus/Crashes in to us/To die by your side/Is such a heavenly way to die.” The man clearly knows a thing or two about the nature of true love (also, vehicular manslaughter). Tribute band the Sons & Heirs along with host Rob Sheffield ring in V-Day with the mopey crooner’s greatest—and by that we mean most depressing hits.
We Met at ACME Date Party Acme; 8pm; $50
For those unfamiliar with the concept of a date party, all attendees must show up with a date, so invite that hottie you've had your eye on, or your boo (yawn—we're happy for you, really), and head to this upscale bistro for a Valentine's Day soiree. Tickets include an open bar and complimentary nibbles from 8–11pm, plus free gift bags.
Tavi Gevinson: Rookie on Love Strand Book Store; 7pm; $15, includes signed copy or Strand gift card
Ever-evolving editor, curator, fashion icon and actor Gevinson launches the latest edition of her online magazine Rookie, featuring over 45 pieces by Hilton Als, Gabourey Sidibe, Rainbow Rowell and other contributors.
John Maus Elsewhere; 8pm; $18–$22
Former Ariel Pink collaborator and underground hero John Maus makes captivating, retro-leaning synth pop. It's tuneful, bright, consistently weird and, on his latest, Screen Memories, delightfully expansive. His charged stage presence only adds to the appeal.
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters Beacon Theatre; 7pm; $63.75
We last heard from Led Zeppelin when the band put out a snazzy, full-catalog reissue a couple years back, but don't get your hopes up for much else in the way of reunion shows or releases. You can, however, find leonine lead man Robert Plant on the road performing solo or alongside his current cross-cultural concern, the Sensational Space Shifters, following 2017's sensuous new solo album, Carry Fire.
Harlem Fine Arts Show The Riverside Church; at various times; $10–$50
The annual Harlem Fine Arts Show, which includes a fine-arts exhibition and sale, celebrates African-American art in all its forms. The opening reception hosted by Delta Sigma Theta (BAC) and Riverside Church Foundations salutes African-Americans in medicine with a champagne toast and live jazz, Friday focuses on youth empowerment, and the weekend’s events include a lecture and artist talk as well as a gospel brunch and a salute to African-American nurses.
Brooklyn Talks: “A Tribute to Basquiat” Brooklyn Museum; 7pm; $20, includes museum admission
Fans of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat can reminisce over his work during this talk led by artists Def Jam Cey Adams, photographer Maripol and others highlighting their favorite Basquiat masterpiece. The chat concludes with a conversation about the creator's legacy.