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53 brilliant things to do in NYC in February

Jennifer P

Things to do

Valentine’s Day Love Series at Nitehawk Cinema; Feb 2–24; $12
Looking to impress bae with dinner and a movie on V-day? Yeah, it’s the most cliché date idea in the book. But at Nitehawk—Williamsburg's epic dine-in movie theatre—you can grab cocktails, a delicious meal and catch a flick without ever leaving the premises. For the month of February, the popular haunt is screening classic and cult-favorite films including powerful themes such as infatuation, lust, love, sex—y'know, the stuff that makes people go nuts.

Party Like It’s 1999: Given to Pearl Jam Edition The Bell House; Feb 3; free
Eddie Vedder fans, grab your flannels. The monthly throwback rager celebrates the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam's fifth full-length, Yield. Along with hits from the Seattle grunge icons, DJ Steve lays down a crowd-pleasing set of ’90s pop, R&B, hip-hop and dance songs to keep retro-loving revelers moving late into the night.

Martin Luther King’s “The Drum Major Instinct” Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch; Feb 4; free with R.S.V.P.
The Brooklyn Public Library gives everyone a chance to revel in the legendary activist’s wise and captivating teachings. Actor Samira Wiley performs a dramatized reading of King’s 50-year-old sermon “The Drum Major Instinct,” an inspiring speech about leadership and influence. An open conversation about racism, inequality and social justice follows the performance.

Little Cinema: Romeo + Juliet House of Yes; Feb 6, Feb 11, Feb 12; $15–$250
Two households, both alike in dignity, come to tear the roof off at House of Yes for a bananas immersive viewing of Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 pop spectacle, starring the angelic youths Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio. Witness live ballet and aerial performances synced to the film, and get down at an after-party inspired by the legendary soundtrack.

George Saunders + Dana Spiotta Murmrr; FEb 6; $20–$40
Murmrr Theatre launches a new series with a pair of readings: Saunders reads from his Man Booker Prize–winning Lincoln in the Bardo and Spiotta reads from her most recent novel, Innocents and Others.

Westminster Dog Show Madison Square Garden and Piers 92/94; Feb 10–13 at various times; tickets start at $10.
Watch a parade of primped pooches prance around the arena in an effort to secure the highly coveted title of Best of Breed at the country’s preeminent dog show. You’ll see dogs of every shape and size (including some brand-new breeds). We would very much like to pet them all. Who’s a good boy?

Madison Street to Madison Avenue Lunar New Year Celebration; Feb 10; free
Celebrate the Lunar New Year all-day-long during this action-packed festival full of musical performances, shopping discounts from local stores and family entertainment from Madison Street to Madison Ave. Make sure to check out the lineup online—we imagine there will be plenty of lion dancers, calligraphy demos and traditional Chinese face-changing.

A Galentine’s Day Guide to Love and Crystals Remedies Herb Shop; Feb 11 at 10am, Feb 13 at 7pm; $30
Trade long-stemmed roses for rose quartz in this introductory crystal healing class. The expert instructors will teach you how to use crystals to heighten your romantic energy to attract a special someone or spice up an existing relationship. Rock on! 

Fuck Love at House of Yes; Feb 14; free before 11pm, $10 priority entry
"What's love got to do with it?" You decide! Whether you have a broken heart, are single and feeling randy, or just really like the colors red and pink, go to House of Yes to celebrate Cupid's holiday amongst friends and potential lovers. Enjoy mesmerizing dance performances, killer tunes, kissing booths, love tarot readers, matchmaking services and more.

Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentine’s Spectacular Highline Ballroom; Feb 14 at 8pm; tickets start at $71
No matter how cynical you may be about Valentine’s Day, you’re certain to get all sorts of tingly feelings as the dames and daddies of the Thirsty Girl Burlesque crew show off their delightfully dirty routines. Shelly 'The Singing Siren' hosts a packed lineup of NYC burlesque icons, including the beautiful Peekaboo Pointe, Portia Control, Pearls Daily and more. With so many knockouts onstage, you’ll be idle on Tinder for the rest of the night.

Wine Tour de France: Valentine’s Day Champagne and Chocolate Tasting French Institute Alliance Francaise; Feb 14 at 7pm; $95 for members, $115 for non-members
Two of the most stereotypically romantic foods—chocolate and champagne—in this Valentine’s Day tasting class. And because no one does l’amour quite like the French, the six sparkling wines you’ll sip all come from France. A panel of experts leads the masterclass.

Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival Sara D. Roosevelt Park; Feb 16; free
Unfriendly ghosts should steer clear of Sara D. Roosevelt Park on February 16 when the Better Chinatown Society lights 600,000 firecrackers to welcome the Year of the Dog and ward off evil spirits. In addition to the pyrotechnics, there will be lion dances and decorations giveaways, plus craft vendors and food booths where you can get your fill of traditional delicacies. It’s said that the more dumplings you eat at the celebration, the more money you’ll make in the year ahead. Grand St at Forsyth St.

Marvel Universe Live! Barclays Center; Feb 22–25 at various times; tickets start at $36
Twenty-five Marvel characters, including epic superheroes and Avengers members like Spider-Man, Captain America and the Hulk, come to life in this action-packed show. Fans will totally nerd out over the chance to see their favorite heroes and villains on stage.


Cabernet Cabaret Club Cumming; Wednesdays; free
You're guaranteed to be delighted at this weekly showcase beside the piano, hosted by conquering empress of musical comedy Catherine Cohen and downtown cabaret essential Henry Koperski. Expect experimental sets, sing-a-longs to Mariah Carey favorites and other unhinged turns from a line-up of rising gems 

A Midnight Moment Upright Citizens Brigade Theater; Feb 2 at midnight; $9
It is imperative to remember that as New Yorkers, we live in the presence of divas. At this hour of fabulously catty stand-up, Time Out favorites Dave Mizzoni, Christi Chiello and Sydnee Washington claim their right to rule. Las Culturistas' Matt Rogers hosts the delectable proceedings.

Comedy at Stonewall; Feb 3 at 8pm; $5–$10 plus two-drink minimum
The lovely duo of Chrissie Mayr and Oscar Aydin host this monthly showcase of dope queer and queer-appealing comics at the historic Stonewall. For the Valentines Love show, catch sets from Ryan Donahue, Jay Jurden, Mehran Khaghani, Madison Malloy and Sydnee Washington.

The Exhibition Public Hotel; Feb 10 at 8pm; $10
While we're always down to see familiar faces performing comedy at dimly lit, unheated Bushwick bars, sometimes it's nice to go fancy. Badass buddies Mary Beth Barone and Michael Cruz Kayne invite you to the Public Hotel for this well-curated get-down for the cool kids. 

Handmaid's Tale The Musical Union Hall; Feb 10 at 10:30pm; $5, at the door $10
Could the sheltered, groan-inducing millennial bastion known as Brooklyn become a dystopian terror state? Is New York destined to be the future base of Gilead? Fearless comedians Marcia Belsky and Melissa Stokoski take aim at their generation with Hulu's


RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Viewing Party Branded Saloon; Thursdays at 8pm; free
Gag to the demented splendor of Allegra Spread as she welcomes a rotating lineup of guest hosts (including Lee Valone, Poppy and Violet Tendency) for her weekly RPDR screening party. Stick around after the show for performances and karaoke.

Harder Open House; Fridays at 11pm; Free–$20
Go deep underground at this dope dance party, featuring house, techno and disco fans dancing like maniacs in full getups (or tighty-whities). Resident DJ Eric Bloom welcomes a global crew of buddies to host and spin every week.

Hot Rabbit Drom; Feb 2 and 16 at 11pm; $10
One of our favorite parties in NYC continues its total domination of Friday nightlife with a new residency at Drom. Step into a wicked, wild arena for women-identifying revelers and their queer buddies, featuring aerialists, dope DJs, late-night food and drink specials and go-go dancers of different genders ready to entice you.

Glace Chase's Neurotica Metropolitan; Feb 3 at 6pm; free
If Rue McClanahan were resurrected by occult means in Amy Sedaris’s craft closet, she’d be reborn as the delightfully satanic Glace Chase: the bonkers drag darling known for her NYC walking tours and for stomping over stages like Bushwig year-round. She returns to her Metropolitan “colostomy cabaret calamity” with pianist James Sheppard and a new year’s worth of demented songs and stories. Not to be missed.

Queer Film Theory 101 House of Wax Bar; Feb 6 at 7:30pm; free
Queer stand-ups, writers and performers gather at the Alamo to discuss the formative movies that inspired their sexual and artistic development. We expect a lot of dishing on Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid. This month, host Michael Foulk welcomes Calvin Cato, Lynaé DePreist and Brantley Brice to share clips and memories.


Brockhampton Irving Plaza; Feb 2–4; $28.50
The L.A. rap crew visits NYC for three nights to celebrate its recent trilogy of razor-sharp mixtapes. Along with the solo work of founder Kevin Abstract, its projects showcase the young collective's wide-ranging taste and infectious energy.

John Maus Elsewhere; Feb 14; $18–$22
Underground hero John Maus makes captivating, retro-leaning synth pop that's tuneful, bright, consistently weird and delightfully expansive. His charged, wild stage presence only adds to the appeal.

Phoebe Bridgers Music Hall of Williamsburg; Feb 22, 23; $15
LA singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has a knack for delicately spun folk explorations of relationships. She's been collecting so many cosigns from indie darlings—Conor Oberst, Ryan Adams, Julien Baker—it's safe to say she's well on her way to becoming one herself.

Rainer Maria Elsewhere; Feb 22; $20–$21
The reunited band recently released its first album in 11 years, the satisfyingly heavy S/T. You'll be treated to some of the new tunes at this show, plus a hearty dose of circa-2000 emo nostalgia.

Jonathan Richman The Bell House; Feb 27, 28; $20
A Richman show is always cause for excitement. A few decades after working with Modern Lovers, he remains one of the country's most entertaining live acts—a real old-fashioned song-and-dance man.

Food and drink

Kosher Food & Wine Experience Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers; Feb 4; $100-$125
As the self-proclaimed, “largest kosher food and wine event in the world,” the event will host 60 kosher wineries from around the world, and food from 20 certified restaurants including pareve cuisines of sushi, barbecue, and Caribbean, among others.

Restaurant Week Various locations; Jan 22-Feb 9; $29 lunch, $42 dinner
It’s back. And with each iteration, the number of restaurants that offer mouthwatering deals keeps growing and growing. This winter, look out for $29 lunch and $42 dinners from spots like Acme, Zuma and Vandal.

NYC Beer Week Brooklyn EXPO Center; Feb 24; $20-$110
Brooklyn will be awash in hops this month. Starting February 24th, the team behind Beer Week is bringing in suds from 60 breweries across the U.S., with about half of them hailing from NYC. There will also be a food court filled with local vendors and games and live music to get you grooving.

Whiskey Live Metropolitan Pavilion; Feb 28; $139-$199
Not only do you get to drink more than 300 scotches, bourbons and whiskies to your heart's content (or your head’s discontent), but the night also includes a full buffet dinner and master classes on the dark liquor.

Our Town’s Art of Food Sotheby’s New York Feb 10; $120-$195
Claus Meyer (Agern, Noma) hosts this year’s upscale event that turns great art into great food. More than 25 chefs from the Upper East Side neighborhood will create dishes that imitate art pieces curated by the auction house.


A Fantastic Woman
Transgender actress Daniela Vega stars in a Chilean drama that’s been steadily building buzz since debuting on last year’s festival circuit. The story offers a combustible mix of love, prejudice and defiance. Feb 2

The 15:17 to Paris
Terrorists attack a train as Clint Eastwood’s follows up Sully with another true story of defiance in the face of looming disaster. Here he even casts real people—the three Americans who actually faced down the wannabe killers—in his gritty re-creation. Feb 9

Fifty Shades Freed
It’s the third and final part of the E.L. James kink-athon and you know what to expect by now: lust, love and more booty than a pirate’s treasure chest. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, in other words. Feb 9

Black Panther
Marvel’s African superhero Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is part of a charismatic cast in this stand-alone entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe set in the fictional nation of Wakanda and directed by Creed’s Ryan Coogler. With a hip-hop soundtrack, expect big action and even bigger beats. Feb 16

If you caught Ex Machina, you should already be excited for Alex Garland’s latest sci-fi movie. It follows Natalie Portman’s biologist as she travels into an environmental disaster zone. As the title implies, there’s absolutely nothing good in there. Feb 23


“Leon Golub: Raw Nerve” The Met Breuer; Feb 6–May 27, suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free
The career of figurative Expressionist Leon Golub (1922–2004) is recalled in all of its furious glory in this wide-ranging survey. Golub, whose paintings combined modern and classical themes, was an unabashed man of the left, a speaker of truth to power who decried war and torture in a style of paint-handling that was a violent as the subjects of his attacks.

Danh Vo Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Feb 9–May 9, $25, seniors (65+) and students with valid ID $18, children under 12 free. Sat 5:45–7:45pm pay what you wish. $25, seniors and students with ID $18, members and children under 12 accompanied by an adult free
The Guggenheim presents the first comprehensive survey in the United States of Danh Vo, a Danish artist living in Berlin whose family fled his native Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975 before eventually settling in Denmark. Over the past 15 years, Vo has assembled an ambitious body of work that examines the intersections of power, history and identity. Politically in scope yet personal in tone, Vo’s projects—based on deep research—combine found objects, documents and images into sculptural tableaux. He’s exhibited worldwide and was winner of the Guggenheim’s Hugo Boss Prize in 2012.

“William Eggleston: Los Alamos” Metropolitan Museum of Art; Feb 14–May 28, suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free
The Met brings out its edition of “Los Alamos,” the most famous portfolio of images by William Eggleston. Starting in 1965, Eggleston began experimenting with color film, becoming one the first photographers to do so in a fine art context. “Los Alamos,” which was created over a nine-year period, documents Eggleston’s road trips through the American South and West in which he captured a democratic vision of the country through a democratic medium originally created for family snapshots.  

“2018 Triennial: Songs For Sabotage” New Museum of Contemporary Art; Feb 14–May 27, $16, seniors $14, students $10, children under 18 free. Thu 7–9pm pay as you wish with a suggested minimum of $2
The fourth New Museum Triennial brings together 30 artists from 19 countries in what its organizers describe as a global "call to action." If that makes it sound like the show leans heavily towards political themes, well, it does. More to the point, the artists will address the "entrenched powers of colonialism and institutionalized racism that magnify inequity" with an eye towards "dismantling and replacing the political and economic networks that envelop today’s global youth." Sounds like a worthy goal. Just don't expect much in the way of practical solutions.  

“Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil” Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); Feb 14–June 3, $25, seniors $18, students $14, children under 16 free. For discounts, order tickets in advance at Fri 4–8pm free. Film tickets free with museum admission; screenings-only admission $12, seniors $10, students $8, children under 16 free
In the last couple of years, revivals of Brazilian artists from the ’60s and ’70s have been all the rage at NYC museums. Now, MoMA is going back further in time to resuscitate the paintings of Tarsila do Amaral (1886-1973), one of Brazil’s early modern pioneers. After spending several years in Paris as a student of French artist Fernand Léger, she returning home to Brazil in the mid-1920s, where, over the next 30 years, her work helped to lay the groundwork for Brazilian avant-gardists such as Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape and Hélio Oiticica.


Coil Festival 2018 at Performance Space New York; through Feb 4; $15–$25
Having finally moved back into its East Village home, P.S. 122 mounts one last edition of its annual festival. It wraps up with David Thomson’s he his own mythical beast, a dance-theater piece that blends influences including James Baldwin and Alfred Hitchcock.

New York City Ballet Winter 2018 at the David H. Koch Theater; Jan 23–Mar 4; $30–$185
NYCB continues a six-week run at Lincoln Center that includes multiple collections of dances by George Balanchine and, just in time for Valentine's Day, recently departed Ballet Master Peter Martins's Romeo + Juliet (Feb 13–23).

Compagnie Hervé Koubi at the Joyce Theatre; Jan 30–Feb 4; $36–$61
Koubi and his troupe of Algerian and Burkinabe dancers perform a highly athletic piece set to a score that ranges from Johann Sebastian Bach to 20th-century Egyptian composer Hamza El Din. Expect an eclectic mix of martial arts, hip hop and contemporary dance.

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence at the Joyce Theatre; Feb 6–11; $26–$46
Brown and his Brooklyn troupe explore African-American themes in a mixed bill that includes the world premiere of Den of Dreams as well as works honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Nina Simone and Judith Jamison.

Noche Flamenca: Íntima at the Joyce Theatre; Feb 13–25; $26–$76
The modern flamenco company, founded 25 years ago by the married team of Martín Santangelo and Soledad Barrio, performs La Ronde, inspired by Arthur Schnitzler's romantic-daisy-chain play and Max Ophuls's 1950s film, as well as solos by Juan Ogalla and the stunning Barrio.


Is God Is at Soho Rep; Feb 6–Mar 11; $35–$65
After more than a year in exile, the essential Soho Rep returns to its home theater with the world premiere of Aleshea Harris's Afropunk western about twin sisters on a mission of revenge. The play won the 2016 Relentless Award, established in memory of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Hey, Look Me Over! at New York City Center; Feb 7–11; $35–$135
The Encores! series departs its usual project—concert stagings of underexposed musicals—with this catch-all revue comprising highlights from shows that the series has not yet tackled. The fancy cast includes Vanessa Williams, Bebe Neuwirth, Carolee Carmello, Judy Kuhn and Reed Birney.

The Amateurs at Vineyard Theatre; Feb 8–Mar 18; $45–$79
Jordan Harrison (Marjorie Prime) examines the connection points between crisis and artistic creativity in a new play that looks at a 14th-century troupe of actors trying to stay one step ahead of the Black Plague. Oliver Butler, of the Debate Society, directs a very promising cast of local favorites.

Frozen at the St. James Theatre; starts Feb 22; $99–$277
The movie that launched a thousand YouTube covers of "Let It Go" arrives on Broadway as a full-fledged live musical. Writers  Jennifer Lee, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez expand their 2013 animated megahit, the tale of a princess on a quest to save the kingdom from her frosty sister.

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes at the Neil Simon Theatre; Feb 23–June 30; $198–$498 for both parts
Broadway gets a 25th-anniversary revival of Tony Kushner's era-defining two-part masterwork. Marianne Elliott directs the 2017 London production, which stars Andrew Garfield as a reluctant prophet with AIDS and Nathan Lane as the demoniac power lawyer Roy Cohn.

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