1. Watch The Big C: Hereafter
The end is near.
The final season is structured as a four-episode mini-series—and a showcase for the truly great Laura Linney in her character’s last days.
Showtime, through May 20.
2. See American Darkness
Two photographers, two eras, many nights.
Gregory Crewdson creates whole operas in single frozen frames. So who better to pair him with than his hero O. Winston Link, legendary for his photos of steam trains roaring along in otherworldly flashbulb light? A unique and perfect juxtaposition.
Danziger Gallery, May 9 through June 14.
3. See Venus and Serena
For this doc, Michelle Major and Maiken Baird—who worked on the intense Client 9, about Eliot Spitzer—had lots of rare off-court access to the imposing, sometimes infuriating power sisters of tennis. They met the challenge.
4. Hear the Killers
The upside of bombast.
They’re overblown, yes. But the Killers put on a hell of a live show—and it’s the Garden, so they’re in their element. We dare you not to sing along on “Miss Atomic Bomb.”
Madison Square Garden, May 14.
5. Watch Community
It’s called “Advanced Introduction to Finality.”
The post–Dan Harmon Community has apologists but few real fans; it certainly lost a spark of madness when its creator left. But the show has become more assured in the back half of its fourth (and likely last) season. The finale goes full Harmon, revisiting the “darkest timeline” introduced in season three’s classic “Remedial Chaos Theory.” —Matt Zoller Seitz
NBC, season finale airs May 9, 8 p.m.
6. Hear The Symphonies of Charles Ives
The highlight of the Spring for Music festival.
Ives can swerve in a measure from reverent hymns, band marches, and barn-dance fiddle tunes to explosions of wild cacophony, and plowing through his entire symphonic output should be an experience so kaleidoscopic as to be practically hallucinatory. —Justin Davidson
Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, May 10.
7. See Pain & Gain
Yes, the Michael Bay movie.
Michael Bay has hit new levels of both artistry and sleaze in this black comedy, and I strongly recommend it if you don’t overvalue taste and moral decency. As the film (with Mark Wahlberg as a surprisingly refined comedian) goes from straight satire to slapstick and violence, you know it’s wrong to feel pleasure. But that’s true of many movies, isn’t it? —David Edelstein
In theaters now.
8. Hear Huey Lewis and the News
Stipulated: They were never hip—really no more than a bar band that blew up. Also stipulated: If you’re over 35, you know that in 1984, you could not get into a car without hearing a song from Sports. If that’s your cohort, admit it: You will enjoy this 30th-anniversary gig, possibly in spite of yourself.
Irving Plaza, May 13.
9. And Then Hear Molly Ringwald
As long as it’s Eighties Week …
… Why not visit the impossible-to-dislike actress-singer-novelist whose Twitter bio reads “your former teenage crush”? Her new album’s mostly jazz standards plus a shrewdly chosen cover: “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”
Iridium, May 8 and 9.
10. See Magos Herrera and Sofia Rei
Grooving at Joe’s Pub.
Herrera and Rei must have figured out a way to brine their vocal cords in a magic mix of sun, smoke, and alcohol to produce voices like theirs. These two young women know how to nuzzle up to a microphone and let their phrases slink around the bars of a steady jazz beat. —J.D.
11. See Lily Tomlin
A sign of intelligent life.
One of the most influential comedians ever—doubly so among women, because so few were in the business when she got her start—Tomlin never went sour (like George Carlin) or self-destructive (like Richard Pryor). We’d follow her anywhere; surely a 35-minute Metro-North run to Tarrytown isn’t too much to ask.
Tarrytown Music Hall, May 10.
12. See the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts
Serious music for the price of a movie ticket.
The next time someone dismisses classical music as an art for the old, the affluent, and the elite, mention the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts. In this edition, young and infallibly excellent Musicians From Marlboro performers play quartets by Stravinsky, Britten, and Brahms, all boosted by the beautiful fact of a $13 ticket. —J.D.
High School of Fashion Industries, 225 W. 24th St., May 11.
13. See Booed at Cannes
A délicieux idea: Celebrate fifteen films badly received at the festival where French rudeness is contagious, especially for works that wear their pretentions wearyingly. Directors can exult in the bilious response to Antonioni’s L’Eclisse, Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, and Jean Eustache’s The Mother and the Whore. You can cheer even for movies on which the jury might forever be out, like Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, by David Lynch, and Under the Sun of Satan, by Maurice Pialat, who offered the crowd the international sign for “up yours.” —D.E.
BAM Cinématek, through May 23, lineup at bam.org.