1. Watch Gigolos
Hunks and the women who (maybe) hire them.
Five Vegas guys, paid to supply the “boyfriend experience” (sometimes sex, sometimes chat) to women, make up the cast of this loosely-attached-to-reality show, one of those semiscripted things like The Hills. Curiously, their female “dates” give their names; the guys’ agency sets off our gaydar, too. But even if it’s all acting, their characters are engrossing: Nick the bad boy, Brace the aging bleached blond who acts like Patrick Swayze in Point Break, Vin the self-described feminist, etc.
Showtime; Season four premieres April 18.
2. Hear Clinic
Not doctors, but they play them onstage.
What if Can and the Ventures jammed together? What if Sgt. Pepper had been a medic? Not that anyone asked, but for the past sixteen years this Krautrocking Liverpudlian surf-punk quartet (which performs wearing surgical masks and, sometimes, British military uniforms) has been providing answers that are way better than you might expect.
Glasslands, April 19; (Le) Poisson Rouge, April 20.
3. See Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay
Close-up, the greatest living sleight-of-hand man.
He gives off little warmth, but Ricky Jay plays with a full deck and then some. The documentary Deceptive Practice, by Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein (no relation), is full of happy surprises. Between card tricks that leave his audiences speechless, Jay extols forgotten men—Slydini, Roy Benson, his grandfather—whose magic liberated him from a childhood that still seems to curdle his soul. You’ll be haunted by the image of him sitting alone with his 52 cards for hours and hours (and hours). —David Edelstein
Film Forum, through April 30.
4. Attend Live Ideas: The Worlds of Oliver Sacks
Brains … brains …
You know you’ve made it as a writer when an entire festival is devoted to the goings-on in your head. And quite a head it is: Sacks’s last book, Hallucinations, is nominally a drug memoir but really a look at what really is your brain on drugs.
April 17 through 21; details at newyorklivearts.org.
5. See Garfunkel and Oates
No second banana here.
Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci make funny, silly songs with titles like “Pregnant Women Are Smug,” often on ukulele and guitar. (Individually, they do steady work on TV, too; you may have spotted Micucci on Raising Hope, where she plays Sabrina’s cousin and babysitter.) It’s comedy-nerd manna; expect an audience that spent its teen years in the School of Weird Al.
Gramercy Theatre; April 22.
6. Hear The New York Philharmonic’s All-American Program
USA! USA! USA!
The Phil has American music in its blood—something about the references, the populism, and the rhythmic energy fits the orchestra’s personality. This week, it plays three very different works that share a lot of DNA, starting with Christopher Rouse’s brand-new Prospero’s Rooms and Leonard Bernstein’s rhapsodic Serenade (with Joshua Bell), and following it up with Charles Ives’s delirious Symphony No. 4. —Justin Davidson
Avery Fisher Hall, April 17 through 20.
7. See Mary Grigoriadis at Accola Griefen Gallery
Pattern-on-pattern, texture-on-texture paintings.
Captivating shamanistic diagrams, symbolic icons, and images that exist between demon-being and beautiful mystical drawings. Strange shapes, patterns, and symmetries make faces appear, waves, landscapes, and other things to delight the imagination. —Jerry Saltz
547 West 27th Street, No. 634; through May 18.
8. See New York City Opera at City Center
Delving into its own history.
City Opera is returning to its ancestral midtown home for a two-week mini-season of works that haven’t been seen here in eons. Rossini’s Moses in Egypt, his take on the large-scale biblical epic, runs through April 20, followed immediately by Offenbach’s sort-of-Spanish-y romp La Périchole from April 21 through 27. —J.D.
Through April 27.
9. See Steven Parrino, Blair Thurman, and Justin Adian
At Half Gallery’s new home.
Recently moved from the Lower East Side to two floors of maybe the sweetest little townhouse ever to house an art space, Half Gallery promises great things. This excellent three-hander includes early shaped canvases by the late Steven Parrino and compelling works by newcomer Blair Thurman, whose strange configurations suggest this is an artist to watch. Any artist who enters will imagine doing something great here. —J.S.
43 East 78th Street; through April 30.
10. Dive Into the MATA Festival
A series without headliners.
At fifteen, Music at the Anthology is practically venerable but still fresh. After a kickoff (with drinks) at Paula Cooper Gallery on April 17, it’ll move to Roulette in Brooklyn for three nights of music you’ve never heard by composers you don’t know, played by two crackerjack ensembles. Discovery is the whole point. —J.D.
April 18 through 20; details at matafestival.org.
11. See Big Boi and Killer Mike
Shake it, here.
Despite what they keep saying, OutKast will probably never reunite, so you might as well grab any opportunity to see Big Boi share a bill with an eccentric. Although Killer Mike is no André 3000, he did make last year’s best, weirdest rap album, R.A.P. Music. Tickets for this tiny show are mostly gone, so get ready to pay through the nose on Craigslist.
Brooklyn Bowl, April 24.