1. See Bad Jews
Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews is back, promoted to the larger Laura Pels Theatre. Is it good for the Jews? I’ll say this: Missing Tracee Chimo’s dangerously funny turn as a suddenly super-religious relative from hell is an unpardonable sin. —Scott Brown
Laura Pels Theatre.
2. Hear Savages
A shattering good time.
Savages offer value for money: post-punk songs as sharp and shiny as a switchblade, delivered with precision that does not detract from their brute force. Visiting last July, the London quartet showed it could whip up an almighty noise, and singer Jehnny Beth had a feral intensity worthy of the band’s name. They’re more road-tested now and should hit even harder. Tickets start at $23—a bargain. —Jody Rosen
Terminal 5, October 16.
3.–4. Watch Knife Fight and Brew Dogs
First look at the Esquire Network.
Yes, the Esquire Network seems to be a better brand extension than it is an actual good idea, but two shows from the launch lineup pass the smell test. Knife Fight, a sort of real-world, non-studio cooking competition, and Brew Dogs, which has two Scottish brewmasters touring the U.S. looking for alternative ways to create craft beer, are fun, spirited lifestyle TV.
Tuesdays, 9 and 10 p.m.
5. Read Humans of New York
We have met the subjects, and they are us.
Humans of New York, go read Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton’s lovely collection of photos and essays about—well, guess. Stanton takes the pictures; the “essays” are often more like scraps of dialogue or inner monologue, largely contributed by his subjects. The images are gorgeous, and the effect is like walking through a version of our city where startlingly honest thought bubbles appear over everyone’s heads. —Kathryn Schulz
St. Martin’s Press, October 15.
6. See Burying the Lede
Our top story: the Bushwick scene.
In this all-over-the-place media moment, a group show of news as art makes perfect sense. Liz Magic Laser restages newspaper front pages as video; William Pope.L eats a front page of The Wall Street Journal; and the whole thing makes you revel in our times, love these artists, and know in your bones that something wonderful is developing in Bushwick. Go East! —Jerry Saltz
Momenta Art, 56 Bogart St., Bushwick, through October 27.
7. Look at The Big Picture: America in Panorama
CinemaScope before CinemaScope.
This new collection (assembled by AMC president and photo collector Josh Sapan, with a foreword by Luc Sante) revisits a time when you literally almost never saw a photo larger than a few inches wide, and these rare giant images had enormous impact. It’s one lost world after another: fish-eye scenes of coal-dusted towns, lineups of bathing beauties, and lots and lots of banqueting guys and wool-clad baseball teams. The book’s available now; the authors will be at the New York Public Library on October 23, too.
Princeton Architectural Press.
8. Read Smarter Than You Think
Google makes your brain work better! No, really.
Wired columnist (and New York alumnus) Clive Thompson’s argument boils down to this: You’re good at human things, Google is good at machine things, and the combination is leading to not a dumbing-down but a smartening-up, one in which we’re all freed from the deadweight of rote memorization to make great creative leaps. Thompson’s fertile, hyperconnective thought processes may be his best proof.
9. Hear Tony Bennett
Can’t go wrong ’cause he’s in right.
At 87, Bennett is America’s walking, talking musical unconscious: When he sings “It Had to Be You” or “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” he brings back a whole musical tradition, a whole lost world. Bennett doesn’t have the godly bel canto pipes that he once did. But his voice is still a technical marvel, and no one else on Earth can make a lyric written eight decades ago sound as natural as a conversation at a coffee shop.
Radio City Music Hall, October 11.
10. Take Advantage of New York Archives Week
At the Waldorf-Astoria and beyond.
Yes, there is indeed an Archives Week, when various historical collections around the state throw open their doors (carefully and nondestructively) and show off their holdings. The Waldorf will be displaying old uniforms, menus, and the like in its South Lobby; full list of related events at nycarchivists.org/archivesweek.
301 Park Ave., October 11, 3 to 7 p.m.
11. See The Glass Menagerie
A production for the ages.
There are no weak links in John Tiffany’s spare, twilit revival of The Glass Menagerie, featuring Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto—but the show’s delicate ether is maintained by the ghostly, glorious Celia Keenan-Bolger as Laura. —S.B.
Booth Theatre, through January 5.
12. See Jean-Luc Godard—The Spirit of the Forms
You’ll be left breathless.
No one who cares about film can afford to ignore the Godard retrospective that runs alongside and beyond this year’s New York Film Festival. Angry, restless, penetrating, self-indulgent, his films should be seen in a theater—and you might start with the sci-fi gumshoe masterwork Alphaville. —David Edelstein
Film Society of Lincoln Center, starts October 9; full schedule at filmlinc.com.
13. Revisit The Simpsons
Someone’s about to go.
Argue all you want over whether the show is still any good (it is), but here’s some news: Showrunner Al Jean has revealed that in the new, 25th season, the writers are going to kill off a character, the first since Maud Flanders’s saddily sad departure. Will it be Grampa? Krusty? Apu?
Fox, Sundays, 8 p.m.