15. See Jane Houdyshell and Christian Camargo in Romeo and Juliet
The underbill duo owns this production.
Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad share some epic kisses in this Romeo and Juliet, but Verona’s couple of the year, measured in raw chemistry, is Houdyshell’s no-flies-on-me Nurse and Camargo’s lupine Mercutio. Onstage together for mere minutes, they steal the show. —S.B.
Richard Rodgers Theatre.
16. Watch The Voice: The Best of the Blinds
The show’s internal recap.
The “blind” auditions on The Voice are consistently the most entertaining section of each season’s early stretch; coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green, and Christina Aguilera put their ears and guts to the test, turning their backs to auditioners and experiencing them as pure sound. If you don’t want to commit to the four previous telecasts that narrow down the list, this condensed version was made for you. —M.Z.S.
NBC, October 8, 9 p.m.
17. Hear Mary Oliver
Rare appearances by the Dog Songsauthor.
Oliver, whom nature would probably appoint poet laureate were it in a position to do so, has a new book out about the subset of the natural world with four legs and waggy tails. Normally a scarce public commodity, she’ll read from Dog Songs twice this week in New York. “Said Ricky to me one day, ‘Why is it you / don’t have a tail?’ / Well, I just don’t.” I can’t guarantee she’ll read that line, but I hope so. —K.S.
Barnes & Noble Union Square, October 8 (free); Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center benefit at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, October 9 (tickets: fawc.org).
18. Hear Brad Mehldau and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Leaderless, but not directionless.
In Beethoven’s youth, what a composer did in public was extemporize at the piano and then write the best improvisations down. That’s precisely what the jazzman Brad Mehldau does today, and the conductor-less chamber orchestra Orpheus opens its season with Beethoven, Brahms, and some fresh Mehldau (Variations on a Melancholy Theme). —Justin Davidson
Carnegie Hall, October 9.
19. See Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul
Halloween arrives a little early with this show of the suspense master’s manuscripts, letters, and early editions. The focus is Poe’s influence on other poets and novelists, making this a fine excuse for the Morgan to show off its terrifically deep holdings, like the manuscript of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Have a sherry afterward, in honor of the man himself.
Morgan Library & Museum, October 4 through January 26.
20. See Soirée Musicale
Wheeldon at his best.
The highlight of last spring’s New York City Ballet gala, Christopher Wheeldon’s lushly romantic work is set to a woozy Barber score. It unfolds like a dream, buoyed by a cast of future stars—foremost among them Lauren Lovette, whose languid elegance extends to the tips of her fingers. —Rebecca Milzoff
David H. Koch Theater, October 3.
21. See The American Symphony Orchestra
Radicalism, ca. 1913.
The term avant-garde doesn’t mean much anymore, because it requires audiences willing to be shocked. But this week, the American Symphony Orchestra tries to reenact the breakthrough of a century ago, when even an orchestra concert could be truly wild if it included the music of noisy composers like George Antheil, Carl Ruggles, and Edgard Varèse. —J.D.
Carnegie Hall, October 3.
22. Hear Jorge Drexler
The best Uruguayan song you’ll hear this week.
The producer Gustavo Santaolalla has an ear for genius, and one of his finer inspirations was to use the song “Al Otro Lado Sel Rio” in the movie The Motorcycle Diaries. The man who wrote it is the velvet-voiced, big-hearted singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler, and he’ll be onstage, courtesy of the World Music Institute, at Ethical Culture on Tuesday. —J.D.
Ethical Culture Society, October 8.
23. Visit The Affordable Art Fair
And maybe come home with a treasure.
That little exhibition of small-time artists has grown tremendously—it’s now in twelve cities, and at the last New York fair, $4 million worth of artwork sold, all for under $10,000 and most of it for far less.
The Tunnel, 269 Eleventh Ave., October 3 through 6.
24. Look at Mother by Elinor Carucci
Her closest subject.
An eight-year project, Mother is totally straightforward in concept. In 2004, Carucci and her husband had twins, a boy and a girl; she started photographing herself during the pregnancy, then continued to shoot the babies, plus herself and her husband, over their first eight years. They are amazingly intimate and self-exposing pictures (and not just because Carucci often reveals her own body)—an uncommonly emotional look inside an almost-ordinary family, with a lovely foreword by Francine Prose. Prestel.
25. See The Dead Dream Machine
Monster chiller horror theater?
In this very strange play, a mad scientist has built a machine that extracts dreams from a young woman’s brain. At the finale every night, a crew of alt-venue stars—drag queens, born-to-showbiz kids, burlesque artists—all join in on a goth performance of a Nick Cave tune.
La Luz, 135 Thames St., Bushwick; details at deaddreammachine.com.