13. Hear Ne-Yo
Even his name is more than half New York.
His sales have slipped in the past few years, but Ne-Yo has continued to make good records—and sign good artists, too, in his gig as an A&R man for Motown. He’ll be in town this week (on the same bill as Chris Brown, but don’t let that deter you).
Hammerstein Ballroom, April 16.
14. See Then She Fell
A haunted-house experience that gets complicated.
When this immersion-theater piece in the vein of Sleep No More opened last year, New York’s critic Scott Brown remarked, “I haven’t hit my limit on these. Keep ’em coming.” Well, they did: The show is back, this time in an open run, in Williamsburg at the Kingsland Ward at St. Johns.
Details at thenshefell.com.
15. See Ed Ruscha’s Books & Co.
Starting with the Sunset Strip.
Ed Ruscha is the living Andy Warhol, an artist so influential you almost can’t see his influences anymore. A fantastic Gagosian show of his many artist books, and dozens of others inspired by him, immerses you in Ruscha’s foxy genius. His name should be carved into the façade of the new Whitney. Or at least hidden there. —Jerry Saltz
Through April 27, Gagosian Gallery, 980 Madison Ave.
16. Hear Rodriguez
Sugar Man found.
You may know the story: Sixties folksinger from Detroit fades into obscurity by the early eighties, catches a burst of interest in South Africa, begins to gain momentum, then becomes the subject of a documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, which goes on to win an Oscar. The happy result: Rodriguez is back to making music for a living, and comes to Town Hall this week.
Town Hall, April 10.
17. See Mental
Toni Collette as a crazed nanny: yes.
Sure, it’s broad. But P. J. Hogan’s film is an exhilarating original: The Sound of Music knocked sideways by a truly, madly, deeply unstable governess and a clan of misfit female kids. Toni Collette is the Maria-cum-Mame: No other actress could be so militantly zany—and scarily nuts. Liev Schreiber is the febrile Aussie shark hunter, Anthony LaPaglia the perfect weak-willed philandering patriarch, and young Lily Sullivan the tremulously beautiful misfit teen. Go Mental, already! —David Edelstein
In theaters now.
18. Hear Jessie Ware’s Devotion
The Brit soul phenom finally crosses the ocean.
Her album, released months ago in the U.K., has curiously been kept at arm’s length from American audiences till now, but it’s here and it’s big and lush and boomy and romantic.
Cherrytree/Interscope, April 16.
19. See Kinky Boots
Especially for Annaleigh Ashford.
Really good Cyndi Lauper songs, high-energy drag performances, the insane wardrobe you’d expect to go with them, factory set full of nifty conveyor belts: It all adds up to a successful, entertaining big-Broadway mix. And an extra-pleasant surprise lies within: the huge comedy chops of Annaleigh Ashford, who plays Lauren, the factory girl with a bent-up East Midlands accent that completely wins over the house.
At the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.
20. See No Place on Earth
Jews who went literally underground to hide.
The “longest recorded underground survival” wasn’t by a spelunker. It was discovered by a New Yorker who a few years back ventured into two ancient Ukrainian caves and found traces of not prehistoric people but Jewish families hiding from the Nazis. Janet Tobias’s documentary No Place on Earth tells the story (with reenactments and interviews with survivors) of the heartbreaking huddle in that dark place as more than a million Jews were wiped out aboveground. It’s a wrenching film, but hushed. It respects the magnitude of the horror. —D.E.
At the Angelika and at Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.
21. Hear Fiona Maazel, Sam Lipsyte, and Jim Shepard
They’ll talk about writing the funny.
If you’re itching to get out but have trouble spending money the same week you file your taxes, the Center for Fiction puts on terrific and (usually) completely free events. This week, it’s playing host to three very funny writers—Fiona Maazel (Woke Up Lonely), Sam Lipsyte (The Fun Parts), and Jim Shepard (You Think That’s Bad)—who will talk about the uses of comedy in fiction. —K.S.
Center for Fiction, 17 E. 47th St., April 11, 7:30 p.m.
22. Read Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love
“Kissing girls is not like science, nor is it like sport. It is the third thing when you thought there were only two.” Thus wrote Tom Stoppard in The Invention of Love, a play I like to reread in the spring—a good time to remember about kissing girls et al. In related news, the story broke last week that Sir Tom has written a radio play about, of all things, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It’ll be on BBC Radio 2 August 26. —K.S.