Best things to do in NYC this week
Deal with your dating hang-ups front and center at this live romantic experiment. Two New Yorkers will be paired on-stage for a blind date, and you get to join in on the magic (or the meltdown).
Crushworthy comedians Jenny Gorelick and Zach Teague host this mash-up party of stand-up and singing. Get down to high-energy sets from the city’s best acts, then hit the stage for an always-lit karaoke after-party. Your Pointer Sisters lyrics better be on point—this isn’t amateur hour!
Nerds, rejoice! The World Science Festival is back with another round of debates, films, workshops, interactive installations and discussions featuring leaders in astronomy, neuroscience, robotics and more. Get a new perspective on the intelligence of other animals, learn about the promising effects of psychedelics, stargaze with professional telescopes in Brooklyn Bridge Park and top it all off with a free street fair in Washington Square Park.
This free weekly getdown from Carolyn Busa, Julia Shiplett, Ben Wasserman and Emily Winter is a reliable night for solid laughs and surprise stars in Crown Heights.
Aside from the gratis yoga and tai chi classes held on the lawn of Bryant Park, the green space coaxes toe-tappers to its nearly 10-acre expanse with a fun and free Dance Party on Wednesday evenings starting in May. Folks can cut a rug and learn new styles led by experts starting at 6pm, when instructors walk you through how to swing, tango, salsa or bachata. An hour later, a live band plays the appropriate tunes so you can show off your new steps under the stars.
Twin brothers and vaudeville aficionados Max and Nicky Weinbach bring class back to the comedy scene at their monthly affair, at which stand-ups and musical performers dress up and serve their best sets.
The astonishing, totally fearless Bridget Everett has had a bona fide breakout year in film (Patti Cakes) and TV (Lady Dynamite), culminating in the pilot of an Amazon series of her very own, the endearingly raunchy Love You Too. The towering sex goddess's triumphant set at her usual stomping grounds, Joe's Pub, finds her belting and oversharing as only she can, and she never fails to shake up the room with hits like "Boob Song." Not to be missed.
This 2.5-hour tour, led by an affable Brit named Jason, visits the Thin White Duke's favorite haunts in Greenwich Village, SoHo and NoHo. See the studio where Bowie recorded his first No. 1 single in the U.S., "Fame," and learn how NYC influenced his work from the ’70s through the end of his life alongside fellow fanatics. Don't forget your lightning bolt face paint.
Born in Lebanon, Raad has long explored the many manifestations of violence committed by and against both individuals and the state. The work in this show is a case in point: It revisits the Lebanese capital of Beirut, once known as the Paris of the Middle East, in the aftermath of the bloody 25-year-long civil war that leveled the city. Raad contemplates Beirut’s future through the prism of its apocalyptic past in pieces like a panoramic video projection of ruined buildings being demolished for reconstruction, in which the footage has been edited to appear like an animated Rorschach test.
An outrageously talented singer-actor in the vein of Taylor Mac, Brine takes different classic pop albums each month—from Joni Mitchell’s Blue to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack—and weaves their songs into funny, perceptive tapestries of storytelling. The show is highly addictive: Once you’ve been dunked into Brine, you’ll want to dive back in every month. The latest edition, directed by Andrew Neisler, is a mash-up of Laura Nyro’s Eli and the Thirteenth Confession and the world of Ancient Rome.
White Wave proffers its fourth annual festival of solos and duets, featuring 29 companies in three different programs. Among the participants are artists from Europe, East Asia and across the United States.
La MaMa's annual festival runs riot with dance. Witness Relocation's Surveys the Prairie of Your Room (May 18, 19), created and performed by Dan Safer and Ae Andreas, features music by Heather Christian and text by Kate Scelsa. Other participating artists include Italy's Gruppo Nanou (Apr 26–28), Colleen Thomas (May 3–5), Mia Habin (May 3–5), Yin Mei Dance (May 9, 10), Hari Krishnan/inDance (May 11, 12), Bobbi Jene Smith (May 16–19), Jesca Prudencio (May 23, 34) and Sin Cha Hong (May 25, 26).
It seems like an eccentric choice for an Italian artist to live and work in Anchorage, Alaska, yet Paola Pivi does indeed call the 49th state home—which may explain this installation of ursine sculptures for her first NYC show in six years. Resembling Care Bears more than grizzlies, her subjects wear brightly colored coats made of feathers instead of fur as they Instagrammably gambol about the gallery.
Having already presented opulent, adults-only burlesque takes on the previously child-oriented Snow White, Cinderella, The Nutcracker and Ferdinand the Bull, director-choreographer Austin McCormick and his fancy-naughty troupe set their sights on Lewis Carroll's oft-plundered Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Expect to go down all sorts of rabbit holes.
NYCB returns to Lincoln Center with a six-week slate that includes multiple collections of dances by company founder George Balanchine. Among the many other offerings in the varied season are premieres by Pam Tanowitz and resident choreographer Justin Peck; two mixed bills of work by 21st-century choreographers; and, for the final week, Balanchine's full-length forest romp A Midsummer Night's Dream (May 28–June 2).
Furniture, kitchen wares, electronics—even a car—make up this selection of midcentury modern objects from around the world whose appeal spoke to the democratizing potential of design. The show spans the hey-day of the aesthetic, from the 1930s to the 1950s.
This first ever museum survey of the Jamaican-born sculptor spans his 25-year career, much of which he spent mining materials from the streets of his Harlem neighborhood to use in powerful found-object installations dealing with social justice and the black experience in America. The pieces on view include the recreation of a site-specific, 1993 work originally mounted in an abandoned firehouse. Comprising 310 abandoned strollers, arranged in an oval with a central walkway made of flattened fire hoses, Amazing Grace, as it’s called, was initially created as a response to the crack and AIDS epidemics wracking communities of color at the time.
The East Village Off-Off Broadway institution La MaMa celebrates the golden anniversary of the Stonewall riots with a month of queer performance. Writer-director Nia Witherspoon's immersive play Messiah (May 23–June 2), set against a hip-hop backdrop, examines the legacy of black nationalism through the prism of a teenage trans protagonist. The performance series Squirts (May 31–June 2) highlights new voices in the NYC queer scene. Global Gay (June 6–9), directed by France's Salvino Raco, explores the experiences of LGBTQ people around the world; 13 Fruitcakes (June 13–16), created by South Korea's Byungkoo Ahn and Gihieh Lee, looks at a baker's dozen of queer historical figures, as portrayed by a Korean cast that includes drag star "More" Jimin. Bearded Ladies Cabaret's Contradict This! A Birthday Funeral for Heroes (June 20–30) drags gay iconography into the spotlight. And on June 8, the peerless Taylor Mac presides over a special edition of La MaMa's Coffeehouse Chronicles series.
Wyatt Cenac returns to Littlefield to celebrate the venue's ten year anniversary with a special one-night-only revival of his beloved Night Train showcase. Over the course of the show's run, Cenac hosted local up-and-comers and established greats like Eugene Mirman, Jen Kirkman and David Cross—in Gowanus, no less. At this edition, he welcomes Seaton Smith, Claudia Cogan and Joyelle Johnson to the stage.
Head to the Museum of Art and Design to check out more than 400 flyers, posters, album covers, promotions, zines and other ephemera from punk music's salad days. Be sure to drop by the museum's theater to watch interviews with Iggy Pop, Joey and Dee Dee Ramone and Debbie Harry, plus never-before-seen photos from Village Voice staff photographer Fred W. McDarrah and others.
Looking for more things to do?
There are a lot of incredible things to do in winter, which only reinstates how the city that never sleeps certainly doesn’t hibernate during the colder months.
If you're game for going out, the city's guaranteed to have a gig for you
Every week, we round up the best movie events happening outside New York’s multiplexes
There’s never a shortage of LGBT things to do in New York, whether you’re looking for talks, film screenings, drag shows or more
Want to be in the cult of comedy? These get-downs at comedy clubs in NYC feature some of the city’s best rising comedians
Find the best things to do all year with our NYC events calendar of the coolest events, including parades, concerts, films and art exhibits