14. See Jerzy “Jurry” Zielinski
As a newish gallery gets aloft.
Oko isn’t much bigger than a restaurant booth, but it’s already mounted some great shows. This one’s about an unknown Polish painter of the sixties, Jerzy “Jurry” Zielinski, whose early work combines Pop, politics, a great graphic sense, and an uninflected flat touch. His paintings brim with pointed anger, wry anger, and prescient aesthetics. Hail another great small gallery creeping into the woodwork. —Jerry Saltz
Oko, 220 E. 10th St., through May 11.
15. Listen to Savages’ Silence Yourself
Believe the buzz.
Four pure-rocking women, hyped like heck but able to deliver the goods. The lead singer sounds a little like Chrissie Hynde at her best.
16. Join Bike the Branches
A two-wheeled reader’s tour.
This’ll be the Brooklyn Public Library’s first-ever “Bike the Branches” event, a sweet winding tour of 60 local libraries in one day. It all ends with a big to-do at Grand Army Plaza at 5 p.m.
May 11, details at misc.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/btb.
17. See Matt Gross
Fast-moving author reads.
A New York contributor and longtime “Frugal Traveler” for the Times, Gross will read from his first book, The Turk Who Loved Apples, a light-footed memoir of his globe-trotting on the cheap, especially in Asia. By the end, you’ll be craving dinner in Chinatown.
General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York, 20 W. 44th St., May 9, 6 p.m.
18. See Christopher Wheeldon’s A Place for Us
At New York City Ballet’s spring gala.
Tiler Peck and Robbie Fairchild have the all-American charisma and star wattage that really win over audiences—and they also happen to be newly engaged. They’ll dance Wheeldon’s new pas de deux, set to music by Leonard Bernstein and André Previn. —Rebecca Milzoff
David H. Koch Theater, May 8.
19. Watch Christopher Guest’s Family Tree
For your consideration.
Considering how many sitcoms have drawn on the mockumentary format perfected by Christopher Guest in Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman, it was only a matter of time before he got into the game himself. The result is Family Tree, starring Chris O’Dowd as a man who inherits a chest of curios and starts to trace his eccentric clan’s history. —M.Z.S.
HBO, May 12, 10:30 p.m.
20. Read Pornified
Why revisit Pamela Paul’s Pornified: How Pornography Is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families, published eight years ago to a respectful but not staggering reception? Because Paul, last week, stepped in as editor of The New York Times Book Review, and thus is the literary world’s newest tastemaker. Aspiring authors: Take notes.
21. & 22. Read and Listen to Bob and Ray: Keener Than Most Persons and A Night of Two Stars
“—Wally Ballou here, between hard covers.”
Starting in the radio era and working into the eighties, Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding were possibly the driest, funniest comedy duo alive. (David Letterman’s a huge fan, and funny runs in the family: Bob’s son Chris and granddaughter Abby each did a turn on Saturday Night Live.) David Pollock’s biography is pretty squarely written, but that just evokes their deadpan delivery all the more. And after you read it, hit up bobandray.com for a couple of CDs, starting with the live recording of their final stage performance, A Night of Two Stars.
23. Celebrate the New York Festival of Song
At the quarter-century mark.
How better to celebrate the song’s past than to sing about it? To mark 25 years of its charming, if not always charmed, existence, the Festival is closing its season with a concert inspired by a description I once wrote: “the longest-running song party in town.” Here, lots of alumni will be supplemented by the newborn NYFOS Comedian Harmonists. —J.D.
DiMenna Center for Classical Music, May 13.
24. See Breaking Amish: Brave New World
Thinking outside the buggy.
Breaking Amish, TLC’s rumspringa–in–New York series, was one of the biggest debuts in its history. So the network’s trying to keep the success going, sending the cast off to Sarasota and its bustling Amish-expat community. —M.Z.S.
TLC, May 12, 10 p.m.
25. See Jim Holt and Daniel Dennett
At the New York Public Library.
Last year, I raved in these pages about Why Does the World Exist? Its author, Jim Holt, is sufficiently brilliant that most of his conversational partners must worry about being outgunned—but not Daniel Dennett, philosopher and author of Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, who’s teaming up with Holt to talk about the kinds of methods we can use to answer life’s most difficult questions. —Kathryn Schulz
Celeste Bartos Forum, May 8, 7 p.m.