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.
13. Sample BAMcinemaFest
Or eat the whole thing.
This annual event may now be the forum for independent film in the Northeast, and some of us plan to stake out our aisle seats for nine days straight. Don’t miss Mother of George, Andrew Dosunmu’s gorgeous portrait of a Nigerian woman in Crown Heights, written by the superb Brooklyn playwright Darci Picoult. Andrew Bujalski is back with “a lo-fi surrealist comedy” called Computer Chess, centering on a (fictional) 1980 chess conference. Opening night is David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, a moody saga of outlaws (starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck) in seventies Texas. —D.E.
Brooklyn Academy of Music, June 19 to 28, schedule at bam.org/bamcinemafest.
14. Hear Fleetwood Mac
Just in time for Hillary’s campaign to begin.
You read about the ever-twirly phenomenon that is Stevie Nicks last week in this magazine; now it’s time to go hear the band—back together, on speaking terms, and (rumor, or Rumour, has it) sounding better than it has since the ’92 convention.
Jones Beach, June 22.
15. See James Turrell
Light and color wash the Rotunda.
Turrell works in a single medium: light. He has sliced into walls, designed seamless rooms with holes in the ceiling, and spent four decades building a giant naked-eye observatory in the Arizona desert—all to provide unexpectedly intimate and mysterious views of the sky, the sun, and the stars. For this segment of a three-part show running concurrently in L.A. and Houston, he’s turned the museum’s atrium into a giant light box. —J.D.
Guggenheim Museum, opening June 21.
16. Board the Ships in Hudson River Park
Get your sea legs.
Those old ships along the West Side that you’ve always passed by with faint curiosity? Time to satisfy it: The Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge No. 79, Pegasus, and Lilac, all at Pier 25, are open to tours.
June 21, 4 to 7 p.m.; June 22, noon to 5 p.m. Free.
17. Dip Into The River to River Festival
You’re part of it.
Over eleven years, the River to River Festival has evolved into a public collaborative workshop. On June 18 at South Street Seaport, for instance, So Percussion will hold an open rehearsal of a work in progress with flutist Kaoru Watanabe. That evening, at Rockefeller Park, Laurie Anderson tells her wryly absurd stories, joined by an assortment of musical friends. —J.D.
Various locations, June 15 through July 14. Full schedule at rivertorivernyc.com.
18. & 19. Read and Hear Neil Gaiman
Man from the future.
Last spring, a video of Neil Gaiman’s commencement address at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts went viral, whereupon half a million people learned that the sci-fi and fantasy master is also a hell of a speaker. He’s just published The Ocean at the End of the Lane, his first adult novel in eight years, and you can hear him talk about it—charmingly, no doubt—at Symphony Space. —Kathryn Schulz
William Morrow; at Symphony Space, June 19, 7 p.m.
20. Hear the B-52s and the Go-Go’s
Party out of bounds.
A walloping dose of early-eighties-style girl power. Wear your best neon-colored duds!
Roseland, June 19, 7 p.m.
21. Read The Flamethrowers
City on fire.
“All the other roofs around SoHo were dark, occupied by squat water towers, rickety and hand-hammered spacecraft set down for the night.” That’s from Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers, which you should read for a thousand reasons, only one of which is its impeccable evocation of New York in the seventies. Here’s the heroine after the blackout: “I started the bike, flipped on the headlight, stupidly amazed for a moment that it worked, as if all units of power were directly connected to the city’s grid.” Another reason to read this outstanding book: girls and their motorcycles. It’s Pride Week, after all. —K.S.
22. See Occupation
Where else are you going to hear the line “Don’t fucking embarrass me in front of Jesus”?
In Occupation, a slightly hapless, very bloody American insurgency rises in the Everglades after the feds sell Florida to China to settle the national debt. Idiocracy–meets–Red Dawn doesn’t begin to cover the result: The exciting young playwright Ken Ferrigni blends redneck caricature with hip-hop anarchy and giddy pessimism to create a suicide vest of a satire. —S.B.
TBG Theatre, 312 W. 36th St., through June 23.
23. Hear Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
New old bohemians.
Brickell still has that limpid swoopy voice we first fell for 25 years ago, and it mates gracefully with Martin’s banjo-playing. Their new album, Love Has Come for You, is pretty sweet, too.
The Town Hall, June 25, 8 p.m.
24. See Berberian Sound Studio
The good kind of weird.
Tune into the latest IFC Midnight whatzit, a film by Peter Strickland in which the overmothered Brit played by Toby Jones travels to Italy in 1976 to work on an especially sleazy giallo picture. In the sad absence of David Lynch, it’s the closest thing to a bizarro neurochemical fix onscreen. (It’s on video-on-demand, too.) —D.E.
IFC Center, through June 20.
25. Hear Courtney Love
America’s sweetheart returns.
Because who knows what’ll happen.
Warsaw, June 26.