1. See The World’s End
The apocalypse. Except funny.
When it came out in August, New York’s David Edelstein called Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s film “by light-years the most entertaining movie of the year.” It’s about drinking one’s way through the end of humanity, so it’s perfect for the day after your relatives come to visit.
Available from Netflix and on DVD.
2. Hear Alan Gilbert Conduct Mozart
The final symphonies.
Mozart’s arc was only half a rainbow—he died at 35—and his last symphonies, including the “Jupiter,” belong to a composer in his prime, with plenty more to say. —Justin Davidson
New York Philharmonic, November 29 and 30.
3. Hear Lauryn Hill
Back from her misadventure.
The powerful-voiced former Fugee plays a pair of shows, her first since her prison stint for tax evasion.
Bowery Ballroom, November 27.
4. See Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?
Gondry on Chomsky on Chomsky.
Director Michel Gondry is terribly earnest and by his own admission borderline unintelligible (ze Franch acCENT ees strong) as he profiles Noam Chomsky in Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? Gondry made the brilliant decision, though, to hand-animate the interview, and his free-associational squiggles make Chomsky’s ideas sing. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.
5. Hear Megadeth
Don’t let the gray hair fool you.
These guys have been at it forever (since 1983, to be precise) and the quality of their albums has been highly variable. (The most recent, Super Collider, released in June, is a bit eh.) But in concert they’ve literally never slowed down: Their twin guitar attack, led by Dave Mustaine, is the breakneck essence of speed metal. —Jody Rosen
The Paramount, December 3.
6. Read Dollar Sign on the Muscle
Nate Silver’s Old Testament.
Before PECOTA or VORP, there was this book by Kevin Kerrane—an English professor from the University of Delaware—about the ways in which baseball scouts locate, or fail to locate, potential Hall of Famers. Out of print for a decade, it’s just returned via the book-publishing arm of the Baseball Prospectus website, with a new epilogue about present-day scouting.
7. See Cold Turkey
Even if it spooks you a little bit.
Will Slocombe’s Thanksgiving family psychodrama offers a fine way of inoculating yourself against your own domestic horrors this season. It revolves around a Pasadena family reunion overseen by an alcoholic, distant architect of the Iraq War (Peter Bogdanovich) and is edited for maximal squirm. It also features remarkable performances, chiefly by Sonya Walger (Penny Widmore on Lost) and Alicia Witt as the patriarch’s daughters, one a barely centered yoga instructor, the other an unhinged commune reject. Guardedly recommended. —D.E.
In theaters now.
8. Celebrate Indies First Day
Because Amazon has the other 364.
The days immediately following Thanksgiving—Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Buy-Nothing Day, Sleep In and Feel Stuffed Day— have a new addition: Indies First Day, hatched by author Sherman Alexie in collaboration with the American Booksellers Association. The idea: Authors will flock to indie bookstores and hand-sell their favorite books to customers. Indiebound has a map of stores and the authors they’ll be hosting, including seventeen in New York City. —Kathryn Schulz
Details at indiebound.org/indies-first.
9. Hear Arlo Guthrie
Just a half a mile from the railroad track.
Mr. Alice’s Restaurant, back in New York for his annual Thanksgiving concert. With feeling!
Carnegie Hall, November 30.
10. See Good Person of Szechwan
Before it closes.
You have only a few more evenings to catch what might be the most delightful production of a Brecht play in years. Admittedly, that’s a low bar, but with the amazing Taylor Mac in the leading role(s), and great music performed by the Lisps, a cod-liver-oil lesson about the problem of good and evil is magically transformed into a sweet, glittery love-in. —Jesse Green
Public Theater, through December 8.
11. And Then See All That Fall
Before it closes, too.
Also ending shortly—but at the other end of the theatrical spectrum—is Samuel Beckett’s droll radio play, seemingly about nothing. (Or nothing but the existential comedy of that daily chore, life.) Making the 75-minute sketch into a sublime event are Michael Gambon and Eileen Atkins, two great actors who know how funny horrible is. Or vice versa. —J.G.
59E59 Theaters, through December 8.
12. See Gary Kuehn: Postures
This New York artist, born in 1939, not only could have been a contender; he was. A splendid gathering of sculptor Gary Kuehn’s early work tells us why he was included in a number of seminal sixties exhibitions. Primary post-minimal forms like thick fiberglass planks droop slightly or sag; a twisted fiberglass-and-steel piece, also from the sixties, and others from the same period justify this second look at a figure whose influence lingers in the mix of things being made today. —Jerry Saltz
Joe Sheftel Gallery, 24A Orchard Street, through December 15.