1. Watch The Soup
Greg Kinnear, we hardly knew ye.
Five hundred episodes! The ancients may recall that this series started life as Talk Soup, a handy digest of crazy talk-show moments, back when daytime TV had so many that you couldn’t keep track. Today’s version, hosted by Community’s Joel McHale, debuted nine years ago. For this celebration, he’s broadcasting live (twice, for Eastern and Pacific viewers). —Matt Zoller Seitz
E!, August 21, 10 p.m
T2. See American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe
The Whitney’s survey.
This show includes artwork by eighteen Americans, including my favorite Alexander Calder—a little wooden hourglass form with hairlike shapes wired to it. One of the best depictions of a male nipple ever, in Marsden Hartley’s portrait of a shirtless heavyweight boxer, makes me happy that this museum’s curators work so tirelessly at digging often and deep into their permanent collection.—Jerry Saltz
945 Madison Avenue.
3. Hear Emeli Sandé
With apologies to Adele and Amy Winehouse, Emeli Sandé is the best British R&B performer of her generation. Her songs hold decades’ worth of soul-music history, but she doesn’t traffic in nostalgia. As for her voice: It can soothe, or seduce, or peel your ears back, depending on the song and Sandé’s druthers. —Jody Rosen
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, August 28, 7 p.m.
4. See Pitch Perfect
Exactly the right kind of film that you want to watch outdoors in August—plus, if you haven’t seen it, it’s high time you got aboard the Rebel Wilson Appreciation Bus. (You’re a year late.)
Hudson River Park, Pier 63, August 14 at dusk.
5. See The Weir
Conor McPherson’s play, with new cast.
For the final month of this exquisite production, Mary McCann and Paul O’Brien have stepped in for Tessa Klein and Dan Butler. McPherson’s deceptively simple barroom tale-spinner—where affably damaged countryfolk (and one out-of-place Dubliner) tank up, tell ghost stories, and reveal themselves—is as potent a dram of pure theater as one could ask for. —Scott Brown
Irish Repertory Theater, through September 15.
6. Watch Ishtar
Is it a film with problems? Yes. Did it finish off Elaine May’s directing career? Probably. Is it the gaspingly awful turkey that everyone makes it out to be? Absolutely not. And now you can see it in super-crisp Blu-ray.
7. Hear Julianna Barwick
Lush, complex vocals, in person.
Barwick’s soaring, multi-textured third album, Nepenthe—made with Sigur Rós’s Alex Somers—comes out on August 20. Should be interesting live, because her recording style is so dependent on looped and layered vocal tracks.
Judson Memorial Church, August 20, 7 p.m.
8. Hear Doris
Earl Sweatshirt, radical.
How will the Odd Future standout Earl Sweatshirt handle his transition into the major-label solo spotlight? If the lead single, “Chum,” is any indication, with more of the usual (skillful, off-kilter rhymes) and also, thankfully, less (sexism, sensationalism). Sure to fascinate. —J.R.
Columbia Records, August 20.
9. See Murder for Two
The Mousetrap the Musical?
Agatha Christie–era mystery buddies up with vaudeville-era musical comedy in the inventive, indefatigable Murder for Two, a wind-sprint two-hander where both hands (Brett Ryback as the greenhorn investigator, Jeff Blumenkrantz as all thirteen of the suspects) play beautiful musical together. Literally: These expert showmen work a mean double piano. —S.B.
Second Stage Uptown, through August 25.
10. See In a World
Our cover gal’s new film, reviewed.
Lake Bell’s fun comedy wears its feminism lightly but subversively. The title’s three portentous words have launched hundreds of previews, and they’re always, always uttered by a man—the Voice of God. Bell plays an actress competing with her dad (Fred Melamed) to be the new Voice, but she’s coming from way behind, and her father will fight her to the finish. Melamed (who stole the Coens’ A Serious Man) works in the wrong (sitcom) style, but the rest of the actors—among them Demetri Martin as an awkward sound engineer, and the comedian Tig Notaro—are a joy. And Bell’s sensibility rings out: friendly with a sting. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.
11. Read Claire of the Sea Light
Edwidge Danticat finds beauty in hard Haiti.
On her 7th birthday, a girl wakes up in a shack by the sea. She has no mother; her father, a poor fisherman, is considering giving her away to a wealthier man. As that setup suggests, this novel by Edwidge Danticat has some of the feel of a fairy tale. But its ethereal qualities are offset by its stark portrayal of life in small-town Haiti; the combination makes for a lovely book to read this summer, by the sea or anywhere else. —Kathryn Schulz
Knopf, August 27.
12. See The Marriage of Figaro
Semi-staged, fully formed.
Conductor-director collaborations are rarely as intimate as when Iván Fischer plays both roles. Fischer leads Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in a run of “staged concerts” at Mostly Mozart, in which costumes have a life of their own, flying onstage and clothing singers who are magically transformed into actors. —Justin Davidson
Rose Theater, through August 15.