The best things to do in NYC this week

Check out the very best things to do in NYC this week including cultural events, fun trivia nights, concerts and more
By Jennifer Picht |
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There are many incredible things to do in NYC this week, some of which are the best things to do in fall as well as exciting art exhibitions. Make sure you check out our roundup of excellent concerts art shows and hilarious comedy shows happening this week too. 

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best things to do in New York

Best things to do in NYC this week

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Knockdown Center
Photograph: Courtesy Knockdown Center
Things to do, Conventions

Werk It 2018

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Check out two days of conversations, workshops, live tapings, networking events and one-on-one mentoring sessions at this fest celebrating women in podcasting. The lineup features superstars from Radiolab, Buzzfeed News, In the Dark, Reply All, The Mash-Up Americans and more. If you've got something in the works, be sure to check out the Podcast Accelerator for a chance to pitch a show, incubate a pilot and land a development deal with WNYC Studios.

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Photograph: Courtesy Harlem 125th Street
Things to do, Festivals

Harlem Holiday Lights

icon-location-pin Various locations,
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Now in its 25th year, this annual event heralds the start of the holiday season with a parade down 125th St, plus lots of fun outdoor activities and promotions at nearby stores. This year's grand marshall is none other than fashion icon and hometown hero Dapper Dan.

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Canstruction New York
Things to do, Exhibitions

Canstruction

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This annual cans-for-a-cause competition pits architecture teams against each other to create larger-than-life Pop Art–installations using more than 120,000 cans of nonperishable food, all in the name of ending hunger (every can is donated to City Harvest). Head down to Brookfield Place to see the unveiling of these engineering spectacles, all built overnight after months of planning, and check back to see if your favorite takes home any titles in judges’ categories like Best Use of Labels, Best Meal and Structural Ingenuity. Admission is free, but do your part by bringing the suggested donation of one canned good per person.

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Twyla Tharp and Graciela Figueroa
Photograph: Courtesy Jack Mitchell
Dance, Contemporary and experimental

Twyla Tharp Dance: Minimalism and Me

icon-location-pin Joyce Theater, Chelsea
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Dance titan Tharp gets small in a retrospective devoted to the influence of minimalism on some of the seminal pieces she created from 1965 to 1971. Among the works excerpted in this new collection are Tank Dive, The History of Up and Down and Eight Jelly Rolls. 

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Bruce Nauman, Human Nature/Life Death/Knows Doesn’t Know, 1983
Photograph: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © 2018 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Art, Contemporary art

“Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts”

icon-location-pin Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Midtown West
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The Museum of Modern Art’s much-anticipated Bruce Nauman retrospective is here, and to call it exhaustive would be an understatement. If the show’s organizers haven’t assembled the entirety of Nauman’s output over 50 years, they’ve accomplished something pretty damn close. Occupying MoMA PS1 from top to bottom, with a floor at the Midtown Modern thrown in for good measure, the exhibit covers Nauman’s essential role in U.S. art, especially during the late 1960s, a period which produced video, installation, performance, body and conceptual art. Nauman had a hand in developing them all. Starting out as a painter, Nauman switched to sculpture, though not in the conventional sense. Initially perplexed about which direction to take, he concluded that, since he worked in an art studio, anything he did there could be considered art—a performative corollary to Marcel Duchamp’s notion of the Readymade. In this respect, Nauman was his own Readymade, and because he treated himself as an object, effacing his subjectivity in the bargain, he became, in effect, the anti–Marina Abramovic: not a dramatic actor in his work, but a kind of void—hence this show’s title, “Disappearing Acts.” An early filmed performance from 1967–68 serves as a prime example, with Nauman, seen shirtless from the waist up, applying makeup to his face and body­—first in white, then in pink, next in green and finally in black. The result is something of a paradox, as Nauman stands out from the wall behind him while

Time Out says
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Andy Warhol, Shadows, 1978–79, detail
Photograph: Photograph: Bill Jacobson Studio, New York, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Art, Contemporary art

Andy Warhol, “Shadows”

icon-location-pin Calvin Klein, Inc., Midtown West
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Created between 1978 and 1979, Shadows is one of Andy’s most abstract and enigmatic pieces, consisting of variously colored silk screened canvases hung edge-to-edge in a site-specific installation. Some 102 paintings were produced in all, though the total number of panels varies from one location to the next, depending on the dimensions of a given space. Each silk screen is limited to a palette of two contrasting colors, while the picture itself—which flips between positive and negative—comes from the same photo of the eponymous subject taken at Warhol’s Factory studio. Taken together, Shadows resembles a film strip capturing an indeterminate play of light.

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Franz Gertsch, At Luciano’s House, 1973
Photograph: Courtesy The Sander Collection
Art, Contemporary art

“Franz Gertsch: Polyfocal Allover”

icon-location-pin Swiss Institute, East Village
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Swiss painter Franz Gertsch made his mark in ’70s Europe with photorealistic paintings defined by bright, snapshot-y colors and countercultural flair. His subject matter drew from the underground milieu of the period, with images of Patti Smith and scenes of young artists milling about in a commune. A series of canvases featuring the latter are presented here, along with a later suite of large woodcut prints featuring portraits of women and bodies of water that share an icy, preternatural calm.

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Photograph: David N. Regen, courtesy Gladstone Gallery
Art, Contemporary art

Keith Haring

icon-location-pin Gladstone Gallery, Chelsea
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Nearly 30 years after Keith Haring’s untimely death from AIDS, his work remains as buoyant as ever, judging from this show of paintings—some never previously exhibited—from the final years of his life.

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Amateur Night At The Apollo Finals
Photograph: Courtesy Shahar Azran/WireImage
Things to do, Performances

Amateur Night at the Apollo

icon-location-pin Apollo Theater, Harlem
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With the start of a new season comes a new wave of young powerhouses ready to risk their reputations for a chance at eternal glory on the iconic Apollo stage. Your cheers (or boos) will decide who receives the night’s biggest honor—Top Dog—along with a cash prize of $20,000. Consider this your chance to see legends in the making before they become household names.

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Bill Shannon: Touch Update
Photograph: Courtesy Xavier Thomas
Dance, Contemporary and experimental

Bill Shannon: Touch Update

icon-location-pin New York Live Arts, Chelsea
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Shannon, whose childhood bout with Legg–Calvé–Perthes disease permanently affected his body's ability to move, explores disability and the specific ways in which it shapes social and physical patterns. In this New York City premiere, he turns his attention to the question of modern digital representation. His crutch choreography is performed by dancer-acrobat Raphael Botelho Nepomuceno, who did a memorable routine on crutches in Cirque du Soleil's Varekai. 

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Peter Smith and Sandy Honig
Photograph: Courtesy Carly Hoogendyk
Comedy

Pig

icon-location-pin Slipper Room, Lower East Side
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Peter Smith and Sandy Honig—two of the most fantastic beasts in the NYC comedy stable—unleash their wildest friends upon the Slipper Room stage at this weekly stand-up showcase. Count on an always-diverse lineup of marvels from across NYC's alt-comedy spectrum, all giving it to you for free. 

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Nutcracker Rouge
Photograph: Courtesy Mark Shelby Perry
Things to do, Performances

Nutcracker Rouge

icon-location-pin Théâtre XIV, Bushwick
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Sure, you can catch Tchaikovsky's beloved ballet at the theater, or even at the multiplex with Disney's new adaptation. But for a distinctly NYC take on the Christmas classic, head to Bushwick's fabulously gothic Théâtre XIV to witness a truly wild spin. You may know Company XIV as the burlesque bastion behind shows like "Ferdinand: Boylesque Bullfight," and their ribald spin on Tchaikovsky promises the same level of high-drama choreography, tassel-twirling and magnificent costumes. Met Opera choreographer and company co-founder Austin McCormick assembles a lit team of opera singers, aerialists, circus performers and burlesque artists for this year's spectacle, running through January. Beyond the dazzling show, you're sure to be awed by the baroque theater space, which looks like a set from the Phantom of the Opera, along with the cheeky cocktail menu. Just be sure to keep an eye out for whoever (and whatever) comes crawling out from under Mother Ginger’s dress.

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Brandy from Kings County Distillery
Things to do, Walks and tours

Kings County Distillery Tours

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, BLDG 92, Brooklyn
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Head to Brooklyn Navy Yard for an hour-long, booze-filled Kings County Distillery Tour. Get a firsthand look at how these whiskey wizards make and barrel-age their spirits, taste four award-winning varieties and enjoy free admission to their “boozeum”—now that’s a museum we can get behind.

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Farah Brook
Photograph: Courtesy Mindy Tucker
Comedy

Farah Brook: Take Me or Leave Me

icon-location-pin Union Hall, Park Slope
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Long before Farah Brook ruled as stand-up's grand dame of scorched self-deprecation, she was a Long Island teen with too much access to the RENT soundtrack. In this viciously funny trip through time, Brook revisits the musical theater cover album she produced at age 15, now given perspective with songs, stand-up and plenty of director's commentary. Don't miss this perfectly bleak origin story. 

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Mary Beth Barone and Sydnee Washington
Photograph: Courtesy Mindy Tucker
Comedy

Different Energies

icon-location-pin Union Hall, Park Slope
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All-star stand-ups and Time Out favorites Mary Beth Barone and Sydnee Washington shut down Union Hall for this special showcase. Enjoy scorching half-hour sets from each queen—with Barone's dark post-modernism complementing Washington's brutally frank storytelling. We call it a perfect balance.  

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Eric Schwartau and Steven Phillips-Horst
Photograph: Courtesy Christine Hahn
Comedy

Talk Hole

icon-location-pin Asia Roma, Chinatown
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Just as Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley eviscerated the fashion culture of the ’90s on Absolutely Fabulous, so too have Steven Phillips-Horst and Eric Schwartau set their merciless satire on the corporatization of queer and minority life. The viciously funny multimedia duo, known as Talk Hole, return to their monthly show for the "Hole Up! A Benefit to Raise Awareness" edition, at which they'll garner support for...something. They're joined by Marie Faustin, Alex Schmidt, Rachel Sennott, Clare O'Kane and DJ Physical Therapy for a highbrow night of nonsense. 

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NYC events calendar

Find the best things to do all year with our NYC events calendar of the coolest events, including parades, concerts, films and art exhibits

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