Top ten picks from Time Out's events calendar for April 2013
7. Smorgasburg returns to the Williamsburg Waterfront and Brooklyn Bridge Park
April may be the cruelest month, according to T.S. Eliot, but it’s jam-packed with great things to do. Use our events calendar to guide you to the best things to do this month, including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri Festival, and opening day for both the Mets and the Yankees.
RECOMMENDED: New York City events calendar for 2013
Featured events in April 2013
The house and techno crew Verboten is back at the Highline Ballroom with not one, not two, but three great DJs. Maya Jane Coles has risen to the top of the underground ranks (if that's not an oxymoron) via an amazing run of deeper-than-deep releases, including the hot-off-the-presses, Coles-produced Superstitious Heart EP on 2020 Vision. Dance-music polymath Ewan Pearson has done everything from producing synth-heavy techno to lecturing on "Discographies: Dance, Music, Culture and the Politics of Sound." And James Teej is one of the men behind the My Favorite Robot label and production team.
Free events in April 2013
Bring your softest weapon of choice (but organizers ask you to leave the feather- and down-stuffed pillows at home to lessen the mess), and join in New York's eighth citywide pillow fight. After you've fended off your cushion-wielding attackers, you'll feel even warmer knowing the surviving pillows will be donated to homeless shelters. For more details, visit newmindspace.com.
The venerable epicurean extravaganza returns the weekend of April 6, spending Saturdays in Williamsburg's East River State Park (enter at North 7th Street) and Sundays in Brooklyn Bridge Park at the walled-in, open-air Tobacco Warehouse through the summer. The 2013 iteration features returning vendors such as comfort-food maestro Buttermilk Channel, offering its beloved fried chicken and cheddar waffles. Welcome newbies like Vermont’s Rockville Market Farm, peddling breakfast gorditas ($5) with farm-made sausage, eggs, butternut-squash hot sauce and Shelburne Farms cheddar wrapped in a double tortilla; they’ll also be hawking farm-fresh eggs by the carton ($5 for a dozen). Last year saw the debut of Smorgasbar, an all-weather outdoor bar within the market, and though the beercentric watering hole won’t open until May or June, expect an expansion of offerings from breweries beyond Kings County. Visit smorgasburg.com for more information.
Whether you’re a sci-fi fanatic or a pizza connoisseur, this haven for print fans has a publication for you. In its second year, this extravaganza brings together more than 60 artists behind offbeat titles ($1–$10), including long-running downtown pub The East Village Inky and fest organizers' I Love Bad Movies, which celebrates trashy flicks.
Last year, the city (along with the rest of the U.S., the U.K., Ireland and Germany) celebrated World Book Night: Volunteers signed up to hand out donated special editions of beloved novels—30 in all—to strangers who might not have convenient access to literature. This year, promote literacy yourself by targeting a community of needy readers with titles that range from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 to Tina Fey’s Bossypants. As a bonus, meet some of your fellow lit enthusiasts over drinks and snacks while collecting your titles at participating shops, including WORD. Visit worldbooknight.org to sign up.
Theater events in April
Bette Midler comes back to the Great White Way for her first nonconcert show since playing Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof some 45 years ago. Her vehicle is a one-woman show about the late Sue Mengers, survivor of Hitler's Germany and quippy superagent of 1970s Hollywood. John Logan, of the Mark Rothko bioplay Red, wrote the script; Joe Mantello (Wicked) directs.
Renowned Scot thespian Alan Cumming—a performer whose impish mien and propensity for displaying his bum belie a surprising variety of dramatic gifts—stars in this nearly solo version of the Scottish play, set in a psychiatric hospital and directed by John Tiffany (Once). The production was a hit at the 2012 Lincoln Center Festival; now it transfers to Broadway for a three-month run.
Music events in April 2013
London’s Hot Chip is often compared to NYC’s LCD Soundsystem (with whom the group has collaborated), on account of its ability to imbue delicious disco beats with genuine heart and humor. Unlike James Murphy’s now-defunct crew, however, Hot Chip is in its prime, having released its sixth album, In Our Heads, last summer. The group is a reliably brilliant live act, and this sure-to-be-sweaty gig is a golden opportunity to spring into warmer weather.
Color us very excited for this show, in which Brooklyn-via-Alabama songman Matthew Houck presents material from his new album, Muchacho—in our opinion, his finest work to date. Over the past decade, Houck's music has moved from melancholy, bare-bones songs, to rollicking Exile on Main Street–toned rock & roll, via a collection of Willie Nelson covers praised by the country hero himself. This latest bunch of songs combines deep blue longing with seriously honed songwriting chops (check the single "Song for Zula" on YouTube for evidence). A secret(ish) show in January at John Vavartos, the former CBGB spot, found Houck and band on stunning form. We suggest you ask for your money back if you're not wowed tonight.
Over the past few years, the indie-rock sphere woke up to the potent bittersweetness summoned by the Lindsey Buckingham–Stevie Nicks tandem. Expect cathartic scream-alongs this spring, as the pair joins veteran members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie on a jaunt supporting a new deluxe reissue of Rumours.
Arts events in April 2013
Artistic director Virginia Johnson unveils the new, streamlined version of Dance Theatre of Harlem in its first New York season. Six performances, including two programs and a family matinee, include John Alleyne's Far but Close, Robert Garland’s Gloria, Alvin Ailey’s The Lark Ascending, Donald Byrd’s Contested Space and George Balanchine’s Agon.
Two satirists, one Israeli and one Russian, join forces for an evening of new stories read by well-known actors. Keret has made some strides in the U.S. the past few years, landing his loopy, fantastical short neofables in The New Yorker and a great 2012 collection titled Suddenly, a Knock on the Door. Super Sad True Love Story, the most recent novel from Shteyngart (Absurdistan, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook), taps into the insecurity and longing of a middle-aged man, even while charting a dystopic near-future.