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Things to do on a Sunday in New York

Have fun like there’s no tomorrow with the best things to do on a Sunday in New York including events, brunch and more.

Written by
Time Out New York editors
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Forget about work in the morning: you’ve got too much partying to do today, so here are the best things to do on a Sunday in New York. Whether you’re planning a day trip from NYC, looking for an awesome festival, or finally have the time to see some of the best museum exhibitions in NYC, we’ve got the rundown for your best Sunday Funday right here. And if you blew all your cash on Saturday, stick with our picks for the best free things to do in town.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in NYC this weekend and on Saturday

Things to do on any Sunday

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Midtown West
  • Recommended
Broadway review by Adam Feldman  David Adjmi’s intimately epic behind-the-music drama Stereophonic has now moved to Broadway after a hit fall run at Playwrights Horizons. At the smaller venue, the audience felt almost immersed in the room where the show takes place: a wood-paneled 1970s recording studio—decked out by set designer David Zinn as a plush vision of brown, orange, mustard, sage and rust—where a rock band is trying to perfect what could be its definitive album. Some fans of the play have wondered if it could work as well on a larger stage, but that question has a happy answer: Daniel Aukin’s superb production navigates the change without missing a beat. The jam has been preserved. With the greater sense of distance provided at the Golden Theatre, Stereophonic feels more than ever like watching a wide-screen film from the heyday of Robert Altman, complete with excellent ensemble cast, overlapping dialogue and a generous running time: Adjmi divides the play into four acts, which take more than three hours to unfold. This length is essential in conveying the sprawl of a recording process that goes on far longer than anyone involved had planned, but the play itself never drags. As the band cracks up along artistic, romantic and pharmaceutical fault lines—fueled by a constant flow of booze, weed and coke, often late into the night—we follow along, riveted by the details and the music that emerges from them. There’s nary a false note.  Stereophonic | Photograph: Courtes
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Drama
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West
  • Recommended
Broadway review by Adam Feldman  “Nothing to do except wait,” explains Mary Jane (Rachel McAdams) to Amelia (Lily Santiago), a college student visiting her small Queens apartment. “I’m glad to have your company.” Mary Jane is a single mother with a severely disabled toddler named Alex; he is running a fever, and Amelia’s aunt Sherry (April Mathis), a nurse, is tending to him in the back room. Exactly what they might be waiting for is a question that hangs with gray menace in Amy Herzog’s exquisite and deeply moving Mary Jane: Alex is almost certainly not getting better, and even the best-case scenarios break your heart. Yet the play does not dwell in helplessness; it’s more interested in how people try to help. In addition to Mary Jane, there are eight other characters onstage. Mathis and Santiago reappear as, respectively, a doctor and a music therapist. Brenda Wehle is both Mary Jane’s sturdy superintendent and a Buddhist nun; Susan Pourfar plays two other mothers with disabled children. (The second, a blunt Hasidic woman, adds a welcome dash of comic relief.) There are no villains here, only people doing their best under sometimes crushing circumstances. Mary Jane | Photograph: Courtesy Matthew Murphy All are rendered in lovely detail by Herzog and the five women of the cast, directed by Anne Kauffman with characteristic attention to the importance of offhand nuance. Information is revealed in a steady drip of medical jargon, bureaucratic obstacles and personal history; t
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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown WestOpen run
Broadway review by Adam Feldman  Great expectations can be a problem when you’re seeing a Broadway show: You don’t always get what you hope for. It’s all too easy to expect great things when the show is a masterpiece like Cabaret: an exhilarating and ultimately chilling depiction of Berlin in the early 1930s that has been made into a classic movie and was revived exquisitely less than a decade ago. The risk of disappointment is even larger when the cast includes many actors you admire—led by Eddie Redmayne as the Emcee of the show’s decadent Kit Kat Club—and when the production arrives, as this one has, on a wave of raves from London. To guard against this problem, I made an active effort to lower my expectations before seeing the latest version of Cabaret. But my lowered expectations failed. They weren’t low enough. Cabaret | Photograph: Courtesy Marc Brenner So it is in the spirit of helpfulness that I offer the following thoughts on expectation management to anyone planning to see the much-hyped and very pricey new Cabaret, which is currently selling out with the highest average ticket price on Broadway. There are things to enjoy in this production, to be sure, but they’re not necessarily the usual things. Don’t expect an emotionally compelling account of Joe Masteroff’s script (based on stories by Christopher Isherwood and John Van Druten’s nonmusical adaptation of them, I Am a Camera); this production’s focus is elsewhere. Don’t expect appealing versions of the songs in
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 4 of 4
  • Midtown West
  • Recommended
Broadway review by Adam Feldman  Merrily We Roll Along is the femme fatale of Stephen Sondheim musicals, beautiful and troubled; people keep thinking they can fix it, rescue it, save it from itself and make it their own. In the decades since its disastrous 1981 premiere on Broadway, where it lasted just two weeks, the show has been revised and revived many times (including by the York in 1994, Encores! in 2012 and Fiasco in 2019). The challenges of Merrily are built into its core in a way that no production can fully overcome. But director Maria Friedman’s revival does a superb job—the best I’ve ever seen—of overlooking them, the way one might forgive the foibles of an old friend.   As a showbiz-steeped investigation of the disillusionment that may accompany adulthood, Merrily is a companion piece to Sondheim’s Follies, with which it shares a key line: “Never look back,” an imperative this show pointedly ignores. Adapted by George Furth from a play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, the musical is structured in reverse. We first meet Franklin Shepard (Jonathan Groff) in 1976, when he is a former composer now leading a hollow life as a producer of Hollywood schlock; successive scenes move backward through the twisting paths on which he has lost both his ideals and his erstwhile best pals, playwright Charley (Daniel Radcliffe) and writer Mary (Lindsay Mendez). The final scene—chronologically, the first—finds them together on a rooftop in 1957, as yet regardless of their doom,
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown WestOpen run
  • Recommended
Broadway review by Adam Feldman  Hell’s Kitchen, whose score is drawn from the pop catalog of Alicia Keys, could easily have gone down in flames. Jukebox musicals often do; songs that sound great on the radio can’t always pull their weight onstage. But playwright Kristoffer Diaz, director Michael Greif and choreographer Camille A. Brown have found the right recipe for this show—and, in its vivid dancers and magnificent singers, just the right ingredients—and they've cooked up a heck of a block party.  Loosely inspired by Keys’s life, Hell’s Kitchen has the sensibly narrow scope of a short story. Newcomer Maleah Joi Moon—in a stunningly assured debut—plays Ali, a beautiful but directionless mixed-race teenager growing up in midtown’s artist-friendly Manhattan Plaza in the 1990s, a period conjured winsomely and wittily by Dede Ayite’s costumes. The issues Ali faces are realistic ones: tensions with her protective single mother, Jersey (Shoshana Bean); disappointment with the charming musician father, Davis (Brandon Victor Dixon), who yo-yos in and out of their lives; a crush on a thicc, slightly older street drummer, Knuck (Chris Lee); a desire to impress a stately pianist, Miss Liza Jane (Kecia Lewis), who lives in the building.  Hell’s Kitchen | Photograph: Courtesy Marc J. Franklin The show’s chain of Keys songs is its most obvious selling point, but it could also have been a limitation. Musically, the tunes are not built for drama—they tend to sit in a leisurely R&B groove
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Drama
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West
  • Recommended
Broadway review by Adam Feldman  Paula Vogel has tapped into veins of autobiography throughout her distinguished career, and in her latest work she hits the big one: the mother lode. As its wryly categorical title suggests, Mother Play is an I-remember-mama drama in a time-honored mode; it carries a hint of resignation—as though it were in some sense an act of obligation, a rite through which every playwright must pass. And to drive home its place in the matrilineal succession, the play’s world premiere at Second Stage stars the supreme Jessica Lange, whose two most recent Broadway appearances were as the preeminent ghost moms of American drama: Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and Mary Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey Into Night.  Mother Play’s Phyllis combines aspects of both. She’s an impoverished single mother from the South who tries to live up to outmoded standards (and spends a lot of time on the phone); she’s also an addict whose children must ultimately take care of her. A gin-swilling divorcée in thrift-store Chanel who mails dead bugs to her landlord with the rent, Phyllis is a real character—and a character openly based on the real Phyllis Vogel. The play is a slice of life, served raw. It’s a savage but grudgingly loving portrait of two women stuck together with blood: one who never wanted to be a mother, and one who never chose to be her daughter. “It is never over,” as Phyllis says. “It’s a life sentence.” Mother Play: A Play in Five Evictions | Photograph:
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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown WestOpen run
  • Recommended
Broadway review by Adam Feldman  Deep into the new musical The Outsiders, there is a sequence that is rawer and more pulse-pounding than anything else on Broadway right now. It’s halfway through the second act, and the simmering animosity between opposing youths in 1967 Tulsa—the poor, scrappy Greasers and the rich, mean Socs (short for socialites)—has come to a violent boil. The two groups square off in rumble, trading blows as rain pours from the top of the stage, just as it did in the most recent Broadway revival of West Side Story. The music stops, the lighting flashes, and before long it is hard to tell which figures onstage, caked in mud and blood, belong to one side or the other. This scene succeeds for many reasons: the stark power of the staging by director Danya Taymor and choreographers Rick and Jeff Kuperman; the aptness of the confusion, which dramatizes the pointlessness of the gangs’ mutual hostility; the talent and truculent pulchritude of the performers. But it may also be significant that the rumble contains no dialogue or songs. Elsewhere, despite some lovely music and several strong performances, The Outsiders tends to attenuate the characters and situations it draws from S.E. Hinton’s popular young-adult novel and its 1982 film adaptation. Action, in this show, speaks better than words.  The Outsiders | Photograph: Courtesy Matthew Murphy Like Hinton’s novel, which she wrote when she was a teenager herself, The Outsiders is narrated by the 14-year-old Po
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown WestOpen run
  • Recommended
Broadway review by Adam Feldman  Step right up, come one, come all, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up to the greatest—well, okay, not the greatest show on Broadway, but a dang fine show nonetheless. Although Water for Elephants is set at a circus, and includes several moments of thrilling spectacle, what makes it so appealing is its modesty, not glitz. Like the story’s one-ring Benzini Brothers Circus, a scrappy company touring the country in the early years of the Depression, this original musical knows it’s not the ritziest show on the circuit. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in wonder, and it’s pretty wonderful at making things up. Water for Elephants has a book by Rick Elice, who wrote the delightful stage version of Peter and the Starcatcher, and songs by the seven-man collective PigPen Theatre Co., which specializes in dark-edged musical story theater. This team knows how to craft magic moments out of spare parts, and so does director Jessica Stone, who steered Kimberly Akimbo to Broadway last season. Together—and with a mighty hand from circus expert Shana Carroll, of the Montreal cirque troupe the 7 Fingers—they have found the right tone for this adaptation of Sara Gruen’s 2006 romance novel, which operates on the level of a fairy tale. The plot is basic. The impoverished Jake Jankowski (The Flash's Grant Gustin), a sensitive and floppy-haired fellow, is forced by family tragedy to drop out of his Ivy League veterinary school. With nothing
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown WestOpen run
  • Recommended
Broadway review by Adam Feldman  “I’m a sensation!” declares the title character of The Who’s Tommy when, as a 10-year-old boy, he first stands before a pinball machine. We hear this feeling through narration sung by the grown-up version of Tommy (Ali Louis Bourzgui), because the child version is mute; in a psychosomatic reaction to trauma years earlier, he has become a “deaf dumb and blind kid,” albeit one with an astonishing gift for racking up points in arcades. It may be hard for the audience to relate to Tommy, who spends most of the show in the expressionless mien of a child mannequin. The sensation we experience in the trippy nostalgia of this 1993 musical’s Broadway revival is closer to that of a pinball: batted and bounced from one flashy moment to the next in a production that buzzes and rings with activity.  Tommy is based, of course, on the 1969 concept album that Pete Townshend wrote for his band, the Who. The plot of this rock opera is not entirely clear just from listening, so the stage musical—adapted by Townshend with director Des McAnuff—reorganizes a few of the songs and fills out the story in a different way than Ken Russell’s outré 1975 film did. During the overture, we see Tommy’s father (Adam Jacobs), an officer in the Royal Air Force, get captured by the German soldiers. (Between this, Harmony, Lempicka, Cabaret and White Rose, it’s quite a year for Nazis in musicals.) When Captain Walker returns to his wife (the very fine Alison Luff), he winds up kil
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown WestOpen run
  • Recommended
Broadway review by Regina Robbins  When the women’s-rights activist Alice Paul, the central figure of Shaina Taub’s musical Suffs, starts planning a march down Pennsylvania Avenue ahead of Woodrow Wilson’s 1913 inauguration, a fellow protester volunteers to ride a white horse at the head of the procession. Paul and others are skeptical: With everything else on their plates, who has time to find a horse? But when the day arrives, their comrade does lead the demonstration astride a white steed—an amusing and historically accurate flourish in an otherwise earnest scene. This early triumph for the suffragists, however, is followed by a steep uphill climb toward the passage of the 19th Amendment. Their struggle is compounded by political and personal conflicts among women divided by age, race and class; alliances are strained, friendships are tested and blood is spilled for the cause of equality. When the curtain comes down for intermission, the returning image of that young woman on horseback may now put a lump in your throat. Suffs | Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus After premiering at the Public Theatre in 2022, Suffs now marches to Broadway with its intrepid director, Leigh Silverman, still leading the way, and most of its principal cast intact: Writer-composer-lyricist Taub makes her Broadway debut as Paul; the invaluable Jenn Colella is Carrie Chapman Catt, the reigning grande dame of the suffrage movement, and Nikki M. James is the civil-rights leader Ida B. Wells. These p

Concerts to see this Sunday

  • Music
  • DUMBO

Chase away the Sunday scaries with us at the Market with live music and good food! Live Music Sundays kicks off at noon with Bottomless Brunch and really gets going at 2pm with live performances from local acts. Coming up:Lulada Club: 2nd SundaysMoresoupplease: 3rd SundaysMelanar: 4th Sundays Spending $55 gets you a $35 TOM Card towards the meal of your choice from our editor-approved vendors and three hours of bottomless beverages, including mimosas, bellinis and Aperol Spritz.  Let us help you forget about Monday!

Looking for the perfect Sunday brunch?

The best brunch in NYC
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Consult our comprehensive guide to the best brunch NYC has to offer and enjoy the perfect late breakfast this weekend

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