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To Do: March 26–April 9, 2014

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TV
13. Watch Review With Forrest MacNeil
We give it 4.5 stars out of 5.
Any synopsis of this series (from Eastbound & Down’s Andrew Daly) makes it sound like another one-joke premise: A critic decides to move beyond food or movies or books to review life itself, participating in unusual experiences (becoming a drug addict, sex with a celebrity, tasting human flesh) and then rating them. Yet the show gets weirder and deeper with each episode, to the point where it evokes the various incarnations of Steve Coogan’s talk-show host Alan Partridge. —M.Z.S.
Comedy Central, Thursdays, 10 p.m.

Comedy
14. See Broad City
The season finale.
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have a ­renewal in hand for their smart, Amy Poehler–produced comedy, so now you can safely get hooked without fear of sudden withdrawal.
Comedy Central, Wednesdays, 10:30 p.m.

Theater
15. See The Bridges of Madison County
A weepie, repurposed.
Yes, it’s based on an insipid novel, but The Bridges of Madison County is a very serious musical, both rapturous and moral, with a gorgeous score by Jason Robert Brown. —J.G.
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

Pop Music
16. Hear Juan Gabriel
Mexican superstar without Anglo peer.
Imagine a Spanish-speaking Tom Jones in peak hip-swiveling form, with a dash of, say, Bob Dylan. Juan Gabriel, in other words, is a Vegas-worthy showbiz dynamo—drizzling sex and schmaltz over five decades’ ballads—and ­national troubadour, mining Mexico’s history, politics, and folklore. He’s a cutup, too. Unforgettable. —J.R.
Madison Square Garden, April 6.

Books
17. Hear Jonathan Franzen and Lydia Davis
Two varieties of disturbance.
The fictional geniuses of, respectively, the long road and the short jolt will be reading together at Symphony Space—Davis from her new short-story collection Can’t and Won’t, Franzen from we’ll-find-out. —Kathryn Schulz
Symphony Space, April 2, 7:30 p.m.

Dance
18. See Stephen Petronio Company
From limb to limb.
For 30 years, Stephen Petronio has paired new scores with full-throttle movement that tests the limits of the body; luckily, he also has one of the great troupes in modern dance, ten performers who blend elegance and rigorous training with fierce attack. This anniversary season showcases Petronio’s experimentation, in-cluding a new solo performed by the man himself. —Rebecca Milzoff
Joyce Theater, April 8 through 13.

Classical Music
19. Hear (and See) Jean-Baptiste Barrière
Multimedia, c’est moi.
The French video artist and electronic-music composer creates work that forces presenters to stretch beyond their comfort zones. For this three-part extravaganza, Miller has teamed up with the Musée Gadagne in Lyon to bring in Barrière’s installation The Garden of Dreams, weaving together sound, video, and the voices of visitors recounting their dreams. —J.D.
Miller Theatre, March 24 through 29.

Movies
20. Sample Permanent Vacation: The Films of Jim Jarmusch
Celebrating a great outsider.
Jarmusch is one of the true American independents: a director who not only works outside the system but makes angry, deadpan, oblique films that indict nearly every element of the mainstream. To celebrate his new Only Lovers Left Alive, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will present a retrospective of 11 of Jarmusch’s features plus shorts, music videos, and appearances by the (indie) man in black himself. There are some duds here, but you owe it to yourself to see Stranger Than Paradise—the indie classic—on the big screen, along with the anti-Western Dead Man, starring Johnny Depp as a witness to (and unwilling participant in) the dehumanization of Manifest Destiny. —D.E.
April 2 through 10, full schedule at filmlinc.com.

Books
21. Listen to John Ashbery and Mark Ford
Poets reading themselves.
April is National Poetry Month, though presumably not because it is also the cruelest; to jump-start it, John Ashbery and British poet Mark Ford are reading together at the Y. “If it’s boring / in a different way / that’ll be interesting too,” Ashbery wrote. But it won’t be—boring, that is. —K.S.
92nd Street Y, April 3, 8 p.m.

Classical Music
22. Hear Yefim Bronfman
Playing chamber music.
The tireless pianist, now in residence with the New York Philharmonic, joins a handful of the orchestra’s members for an evening of chamber music, including Bartók’s Contrasts and Brahms’s glorious Piano ­Quintet. —J.D.
92nd Street Y, March 30.

Opera
23. See Arabella
Back at the Met, after a dozen years.
Richard Strauss understood better than any opera composer in history the way romance is shot through with wistfulness, beauty with decline, and comedy with melancholy. His Arabella distills all these tensions into a score of beauty and convoluted drama. —J.D.
Metropolitan Opera, opening April 3.

Comix
24. Browse The Digital Comic Museum
Ka-pow!
Fifteen thousand scanned golden-age comic books, downloadable and readable for free. They’re all in the public domain—there’s no Superman or Spidey here—but that just makes it more fun to root around and find a forgotten hero to embrace.
At digitalcomicmuseum.com.

Art
25. See Laurie Simmons: Kigurumi, Dollers and How We See
Those eyes.
The photographer is best known for her compelling images of dolls. In this body of work, she’s looking at people who dress as dolls: cosplay enthusiasts in bright colors and plastic masks, treading the line between human and plastic.
At Salon 94 Bowery, through April 28.


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