1. Watch Hannibal
Something to chew on.
When NBC announced Hannibal, it sounded like one too many trips to the butcher shop; did we really need more serial killers, with The Following and Bates Motel already in the queue? Yes, as it turned out. The gore in this confidently eerie series is so surreal and violent that it becomes almost figurative, and pairing FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) with psychiatrist and entrail gourmet Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) has proved dementedly brilliant. —Matt Zoller Seitz
NBC, season ends June 20, 10 p.m.
2. See Lindsay Mendez in Wicked
Mendez has seemed just on the edge of stardom lately (in Godspell and Dogfight), and she’s hopping onto Idina Menzel’s old broom. Watch her sing “Defying Gravity” on YouTube and just try not to get choked up.
3. See The Purge
Hey, where’d everybody go?
Barricade yourself with Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey as they try to keep their family safe in this heavy-handed but powerful (and splattery) morality-play B-thriller with a whopping dose of social satire. For twelve hours the government allows—even encourages—murder to rid the country of undesirables. Not even a guy who builds security systems is safe from his own pangs of conscience and roving bands of psychotic rich kids. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.
4. Experience Accordions Around the World
Post-polka pomo, free in Bryant Park.
From the Department of Events That May Be Ideal First-Date Material, Depending on Your Worldview: Accordionists take over the park for the evening, each highlighting a different genre.
June 20, 5 to 9 p.m.
5. See A Dancer’s Dream
Pirouettes out of reality.
Doug Fitch masterminded this imaginative theatrical evening at the Philharmonic. Stravinsky’s fantastical “The Fairy’s Kiss” and “Petrouchka” are the score to the surreal story of a girl—the gorgeous City Ballet principal Sara Mearns—on her journey toward being an artist. —Rebecca Milzoff
June 27 to 29, Avery Fisher Hall.
6. Listen to Make Music New York
And nearly every kind of it.
It’s the annual day of too much music in New York, as ensembles and performers fan out across the city in a great swarm of avant-garde sounds. Mungo Thomson’s Crickets stridulates on the High Line; Kent Tritle leads all who show up to sing Fauré outside St. John the Divine; and Mantra Percussion wanders all over Manhattan with Cornelius Cardew’s virtually never-performed The Great Learning. That’s nothing: Make Music New York has scheduled nearly 1,000 more events that day. —Justin Davidson
7. Stream Tiny Desk Concerts
Video from the radio.
It’s just an online series of short concert videos, shot in the NPR music office with visiting performers—but for whatever reasons of taste and intimacy and enthusiasm, it works.
8. Hear Keren Ann
Songs like good cocktails: so tasty you don’t realize their power.
The Israeli-born, Parisian-reared chanteuse writes songs that are cool, precise, and deceptive. Her tunes are shapely, her singing pretty, but the songs—usually about romantic strife—deliver a blunt emotional gut-punch. At City Winery, expect to hear music from her six solo albums, her other projects (including an opera), and, perhaps, some new stuff. —Jody Rosen
City Winery, June 20 and 27.
9. Visit The Full Moon Fest
Governors Island by night.
The usually quiet island gets a jolt of after-hours energy. Bands include Miami Horror, Wild Belle, and Tanlines, among many others.
June 22, 4 p.m. to midnight, lineup at fullmoon-nyc.com.
10. See State of Mind: New California Art
At the Bronx Museum.
Not an obvious fit for the Bronx Museum, but it’s good stuff, so who cares? Early work by William Wegman, Paul McCarthy, Martha Rosler, and many more.
Opens June 23.
11. Watch The Out List
On the extraordinary ordinary lives of gay Americans.
In this companion to his 2008 doc The Black List, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders profiles noted LGBTQ Americans and asks them about their upbringing, their personal evolution, their politics, and their aspirations. Subjects include Ellen DeGeneres, Cynthia Nixon, Neil Patrick Harris, Lupe Valdez, and Wanda Sykes. —M.Z.S.
HBO, premieres June 27.
12. See Venice
Leslie Odom Jr., off the TV.
Anyone in Smash withdrawal should see Odom—who played supportive pal Sam—switch gears to play an Iago-esque manipulator in this hip-hop dystopian musical, where Orwell meets Othello at Blade Runner’s house. (It also reminds me a little of Hit List, the dippy fake “hip” musical from Smash.) The show’s got holes the size of Airstrip One, but Matt Sax’s score is nicely adrenalized and Odom’s syncopated villainy is delectable. —Scott Brown
Public Theater, through June 30.