1. Hear Pet Shop Boys
“West End Girls” on the Upper West Side.
Three decades and a dozen studio albums in, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have crossed from “pop veterans” into “living legends.” Pet Shop Boys are, simply, the greatest electronic-dance act of all time. They’re also, by some distance, the best writers ever to sashay out of Euro clubland, with a hundred or so songs that would hold up if you took away the beats and played them on ukulele—not that you’d want to do that. —Jody Rosen
Beacon Theatre, September 16 and 17.
2. Then Hear The Pixies
Here comes your man, again.
Because the Pixies are the yang to the Pet Shop Boys’ yin: grungy and synthless, the other end of the eighties spectrum. Fortunately, these days—and it wasn’t always so—you’re allowed to appreciate both.
Bowery Ballroom, September 17, 18, and 20.
3. See Blue Caprice
The Washington snipers, fictionalized.
You can move the terrifying memory of the 2002 Beltway shooters back to the forefront of your mind via Alexandre Moors’s arty, imagistic treatment featuring Tequan Richmond as Lee Boyd Malvo and a hard but seething Isaiah Washington as his surrogate father, John Allen Muhammad. It’s the opposite of a policier: just two people whose lives are bitter and directionless—until everything snaps into focus behind a gun sight. —David Edelstein
IFC Center, opening September 13.
4. See Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play
Our apocalyptic summer at the movies gets a thoughtful coda onstage, as playwright Anne Washburn, composer Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), and director Steve Cosson (The Civilians) present this futuristic comedy of human decline that’s receiving Smithersesque advance adoration. —Scott Brown
Playwrights Horizons, through October 6.
5. Laugh at An Evening With Bob and David (and Posehn)
That’d be Bob Odenkirk (the guy with the middling amount of hair), David Cross (the guy with much less), and Brian Posehn (way more).
Town Hall, September 12.
6. Read Silence: A Christian History
Shhh, we’re reading.
I picked up Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Silence chiefly because I am the kind of noise-phobe who wears earplugs in Amtrak’s Quiet Car. As it turns out, though, the book is excellent: a beautifully written, factually dense, intellectually sophisticated look at the theological uses and abuses of silence, from the spirituality of quiet to the Catholic Church’s horrifying reticence about child abuse and the Holocaust. —Kathryn Schulz
7. Hear Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band
Don’t worry don’t worry don’t worry.
The Plastics always had a flexible, changeable lineup, but of course one constant remains—Yoko herself—and lately, Sean Lennon has been joining Mom onstage.
Bowery Ballroom, September 15.
8. See Martine Fougeron: Teen Tribe
Not just kids.
A six-year project by the acclaimed photographer, documenting the adolescence of her two boys. You can practically smell the hormones.
The Gallery at Hermès, 691 Madison Ave., at 62nd St., September 20 through November 8.
9. See Lucas Michael— Polaroids
You’ll get it in 60 seconds.
Michael uses a Polaroid Big Shot—the cheapo camera that Andy Warhol favored—to make high-contrast celebrity portraits that scream 1971 yet seem totally fresh. You’ve seen some in New York’s pages; this week, they get their own show.
Danziger Gallery, September 12 through October 26.
10. See Anna Nicole
The bombshell, in song.
The real Anna Nicole Smith never saw a scene she couldn’t steal, and now, six years after her death, she vamps, shimmies, and sings her way through her very own opera. The raunchy, raucous, ultimately tragic work stars Sarah Joy Miller as the big friendly gal. —Justin Davidson
BAM, September 17 through 28.
11. Listen to Ariana Grande’s Yours Truly
The Nickelodeon star’s new album is a dead ringer for “Vision of Love”–era Mariah Carey (possibly because nineties R&B king Babyface worked on it), ranging from doo-wop-tinged ballads to belt-it-in-the-shower pop. She swoops up to the stratosphere with surprising, breathy ease.
12. Watch Sons of Anarchy
The last mile.
As Kurt Sutter’s biker drama gets into its sixth season, the show’s channeling of Hamlet and The Godfather has become apparent, with Jax Teller struggling to make his outlaw motorcycle club legit while fending off power challenges and coping with the weight of sins both committed and endured. (For more on Sutter’s influences, see page 80.) —Matt Zoller Seitz
FX, Tuesdays, 10 p.m.
13. See Sol LeWitt
Off the wall.
The walk-in, floor-to-ceiling wonder, a wraparound installation of free-floating cubic forms on open ground, was conceived for the 1988 Venice Biennale. There’s no better way to start the fall than this revolutionary sight. —Jerry Saltz
Paula Cooper Gallery, through October 10.