13. Watch Behind the Candelabra
Ebony and ivory, and a lot of rhinestones.
Michael Douglas shines as the world’s most famous barely closeted piano virtuoso, Liberace, in this Steven Soderbergh film about his destructive relationship with his live-in lover. Although Soderbergh and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King) hit plenty of expected biopic notes, the fluid camerawork and incisive view of the human personality give the stars room to stretch. Douglas shines in the toughest part, and Matt Damon matches him in what might be his most surprising performance since The Informant! —Matt Zoller Seitz
HBO, May 26, 9 p.m.
14. See Hit the Floor
Kimberly Elise, one of the best and least-appreciated actresses on the planet, co-stars in this VH1 drama about the personal and professional lives of dancers for the fictional Los Angeles Devils basketball team. Elise plays Sloane, a former Devils dancer who finds herself watching with gritted teeth as her daughter Ahsha (Taylour Paige) joins the crew. Dean Cain, the former TV Superman, plays an all-star turned coach. Intergenerational angst, soapy pairings, booty-shaking, fast breaks, commentary on celebrity: The show’s got game. —M.Z.S.
VH1, May 27, 9 p.m.
15.–17. See Paul McCarthy’s Sculptures
Three installations, three locations.
An extraordinary exhibition hat trick. Start uptown with “Life Cast,” a masterpiece of hyperreal cast nudity and videos documenting the process. One stunned viewer stared agape, uttering, “Tell me what to think.” Thinking is equally short-circuited in tractor-trailer-size bronze and wood mashups of Disney characters, horses, severed heads, and mirror-image mayhem. All of it is at Naumanesque levels of complexity and effect. —Jerry Saltz
“Life Cast,” at Hauser & Wirth, 32 E. 69th St. (through July 26); “Sculptures,” at Hauser & Wirth, 511 W. 18th St. (through June 1); “Sisters,” HudsonRiver Park at W. 17th St. (through July 26).
18. Listen to A Hawk and a Hacksaw
Hungarian rhapsodies (and Ukrainian …).
The oddly monikered twosome—real names, Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost—play sophisticated pop that draws heavily on Eastern European folk tunes and are giving a free concert in advance of their new album, You Have Already Gone to the Other World / Music Inspired by Paradjanov’s ‘Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.’
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, May 23, 7:30 p.m., free.
19. Celebrate Twelve Years of DFA Records
Give it up.
Four rooms’ partying, going deep into the night, organized with Jonathan Galkin and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy.
The Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave., Park Slope, May 25, 9 p.m.–4 a.m.
20. Download Dots
Sixty seconds of pleasure.
Oh, God, this one’s addictive: a simple, colorful, Eames-ish-looking iPhone puzzle game. Its one-minute sessions (connect as many matching dots as you can, at high speed, with your fingertip) are ideally suited to a fifteen-block bus commute.
Betaworks One; free in the iTunes store.
21. Listen to Acid Rap by Chance the Rapper
Hip-hop’s most promising young weirdo was already being compared to Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, and André 3000 before he released his excellent second mix tape.
Free for download at chanceraps.com.
22. See A Pig Across Paris
Here’s why we treasure Rialto Pictures and its head, Bruce Goldstein, who also programs revivals at Film Forum: The company digs up semi-forgotten gems like Claude Autant-Lara’s 1956 black comedy A Pig Across Paris—which I saw decades ago on a ripped screen and still left on a crazy high. The comedian known as Bourvil plays a prim black-market pork dealer who joins forces with Jean Gabin as a fast-talking con artist in German-occupied Paris. Which means this is the most exhilarating kind of crazy comedy: rooted in misery and horror. —David Edelstein
Film Forum, May 24–30.
23. Hear The Shins
On the Williamsburg waterfront.
Portlandian exports, in Brooklyn for a day.
May 26, 5:30 p.m.
24. See Terry Evans’s Inhabited Prairie
Kansas from high above.
Macro views of the Kansas flatlands, subtly sculpted—and, often, not so subtly—by human intervention.
Yancey Richardson Gallery, May 23–July 3.
25. See Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan
Expect talk about gay marriage and web-media business models, plus maybe a few lingering Santorum jokes.
New York Public Library’s Celeste Bartos Forum, May 28, 7 p.m.