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To Do: February 26–March 12, 2014

25 things to see, hear, watch, and read.


1. Watch The Americans
Stealth hit.
The second season of Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields’s espionage drama shifts the show’s focus away from “marriage” and toward “family,” to examine the emotional impact of the KGB’s and the FBI’s violence and deception. The premiere is a doozy, showcasing one of those choreographed scenes of subterfuge erupting into mayhem that The Americans owns at this point. Also: wig joke. —Matt Zoller Seitz
FX, February 26, 10 p.m.

Pop Music
2. Hear Hospitality
Don’t be put off by the cute.
Brooklyn’s Hospitality is one of those indie-pop bands that are easy to embrace—or dismiss—as adorable. But beneath the twee surface—winsome singsong melodies and cutesy vocals from singer Amber Papini—are sharper edges and darker depths: sly, melancholy songs about romance in the city and the romance of the city. —Jody Rosen
Music Hall of Williamsburg, March 1.

3. See Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
Everybody rise.
Once I saw Elaine Stritch talk to a bunch of acting students—young people working their hearts out. When an exhausted girl in the back row stifled a yawn, Stritch’s focus was laserlike: “Am I boring you?” That’s the prima donna you’re dealing with in Chiemi Karasawa’s doc Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, in which the 89-year-old struggles to remember lyrics for a cabaret act and reshapes every encounter so that it’s about her. Yet, after all is said, you love the old broad. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.

4. Read Redeployment
It’s even tougher than you think.
“Bob, I quickly learned, had an existential view of the Iraq war. We were fighting in Iraq because we were fighting in Iraq.” So writes Phil Klay, a Marine Corps Iraq veteran and author of an excellent, upsetting debut collection of short stories. Klay’s own view is everywhere, existential and practical, at home and abroad, distributed with wonderful clarity of voice and harrowing specificity of experience among Army chaplains, enlisted men, Foreign Service officers, members of Mortuary Affair, and more. —Kathryn Schulz
Penguin Press; author appearance at Barnes & Noble 86th Street, March 6, 7 p.m.

5. Watch Submissions Only
Thanks for coming.
It took long enough, but the third season of the best (funniest, smartest, warmest) series ever made about show folk—those who cast, those who get cast, and those who don’t—returns with eight new episodes over 16 weeks. —Jesse Green
On, starting March 3.

6. See Sculpture
A group show at Matthew Marks.
Six never-seen-before sculptures by six excellent artists exploring realism, verisimilitude, abstraction, and sheer weirdness. German Katharina Fritsch’s turquoise-colored polyester St. Michael has the presence of a gorgeous gargoyle or ghost; Ellsworth Kelly’s white-painted aluminum curve is a perfect combination of fact and fiction; Robert Gober’s untitled apparition of what looks like an enlarged stick of butter and regular-size apples in a baby’s crib with a thick wood floor left me speechless. —Jerry Saltz
523 West 24th Street, through April 19.

7. See The Lego Movie
It all clicks together.
During the first couple of weeks, you may have written this film off as strictly for children, but it is entirely appropriate for (certain open-minded and un-snooty) adults. If you have small children, it’s time to head out for a second or third viewing. Either way: That “Everything Is Awesome!” song isn’t getting out of your head anytime soon.
In theaters now.

8. & 9. Hear and See Wozzeck
Alban Berg’s elusive opera about a hapless soldier driven to murder makes a pair of appearances: The Vienna State Opera performs it in concert, with Evelyn Herlitzius and Matthias Goerne, a week before Mark Lamos’s production returns to the Met, with James Levine conducting Deborah Voigt and Thomas Hampson. —Justin Davidson
Carnegie Hall, February 28, and the Metropolitan Opera, opening March 6.

Pop Music
10. Hear Rick Ross
Against the odds, and in defiance of his own complicated backstory, Rick Ross has become rap’s standard-bearer for the values purists love to love: big beats and bigger boasts, delivered with wit that justifies the bombast. Ross’s sixth album, Mastermind, features the usual roll call of A-list producers and guests (Jay Z, Kanye, Jeezy, Lil Wayne); his rhymes can stand up to all of them, and his voice is a thing that cannot be moved. —J.R.
Def Jam, March 4.

11. Hear Maude Maggart
Modern-day flapper.
It’s transporting when Maude Maggart sings—her plush, tremulous alto sounds beamed in from a 1920s gramophone. Her new show, “The Door Opened,” showcases her taste for the Great American Songbook (Irving Berlin, Dorothy Fields) in a rightly sophisticated setting.
Café Carlyle, February 25 through March 1.

12. See Pop-Ups From Prague
The good kind of paper cut.
Infiltrate this usually members-only literary townhouse for an exhibit of Czech paper engineer and graphic artist Vojtech Kubasta’s pop-up books. A children’s-literature pioneer, Kubasta made pages that are like miniature theaters, populated by characters who wouldn’t look out of place in a Maurice Sendak tale.
Grolier Club, through March 15.

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