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To Do: May 7–21, 2014

Twenty-five things to see, hear, watch, and read.


1. See Locke
One-man show, and what a show.
This British film follows the so-called classical unities: one space, one time, one arc of action. And one person onscreen: Tom Hardy as a man driving from Birmingham to London and upending his life in front of your eyes. Also, ears: He’s making and taking harrowing phone calls. Steven Knight’s drama is fundamentally conventional (it would make a great radio play) and its hero too patently “existential,” but it’s a tour de force anyway. Hardy’s volatility comes through even when he’s playing a middle-aged, straight-arrow concrete pourer. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.

Pop Music
2. Hear Cher
Life after “life after love.”
No more Bob Mackie costumes, but everything else (the voice, the bod, the hair) should be in place. Do you believe?
Barclays Center, May 9.

3. See Anne Doran: Photo-Works (1985–1991)
Analog analogues.
It’s great when a younger gallery does the sophisticated groundwork required to identify and exhibit an almost-forgotten artist. That’s going on here with Anne Doran’s clairvoyant-looking show, where every piece was made more than 20 years ago. Aluminum armatures on the walls sport cutup pictures of products, porn, patterns, and strange symbols. Doran predates Windows and digital distribution systems via appropriation, politics, and a wry sense of sexy humor. —Jerry Saltz
Invisible-Exports, through May 25.

4. See Patti LuPone in The Cradle Will Rock
When the bough breaks.
Not many musicals take as their subject the ruination of democracy through unchecked greed. But not many musicals get shut down by the Feds (as this one did in 1937). Patti LuPone returns to the role of Moll (for which she won London’s Olivier Award in 1985) in a benefit performance for the Acting Company. —Jesse Green
Bernard Jacobs Theatre, May 19, 7 p.m.

5. See Lynda Barry: Everything: Part I
Marlys makes it to the Upper East Side.
The graphic novelist, artist, and creator of one of the world’s great alterna-comic strips, “Ernie Pook’s Comeek,” gets her first New York solo show, exhibiting 80 pieces made over 35 years. May it spawn the accolades and museum shows this world-class social observer deserves. Adam Baumgold Gallery, opens May 13.

6. Watch Brigadoon
Come to me, bend to me.
The title village of the classic Lerner-and-Loewe musical appears once every hundred years; the unseen-since-1966 ABC telecast (starring Robert Goulet, Sally Ann Howes, Peter Falk, and Edward Villella) jumps the gun with a special screening after only 48. Howes and Villella will be there to reminisce. —J.G.
Paley Center for Media, May 17, 3 p.m.

Pop Music
7. Hear A$AP Ferg
Get there as soon as possible.
Yes, M.I.A. is headlining this concert—but you’re probably planning to take in her festive agitprop at the Vulture Festival show with Solange at Webster Hall on May 10, and her support act the previous two nights is worth the cost of a ticket in his own right. Ferg is the weirdest and most original member of Harlem’s A$AP collective, which is to say he’s one of the best young rappers to emerge in the last half-decade. On his superb 2013 album, Trap Lord, he was a compelling oddball, with songs that held sharp boasts and spiritual depths; the beats—dark, grand, and woozy—are enthralling, too. Another reason to come out: the venue, a cavernous, newly renovated factory in Maspeth; further evidence that Queens is the new Brooklyn. —Jody Rosen
Knockdown Center, May 8 and 9.

Classical Music
8. See and Hear The Map
Make tracks.
The peripatetic composer Tan Dun sometimes starts a new work by turning on his video camera, because why rewrite Chinese folk music when you can incorporate footage of the real thing? He is adept at mingling Chinese instruments in Western orchestras, and this multimedia work is Tan at his most virtuosically eclectic. —Justin Davidson
Skirball Center at NYU, May 12.

9. Watch Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge
Build-a-bear (and a frog, and a monster).
Just when you think the world doesn’t need another competition-based reality series, along comes a great one. Special-effects artists and up-and-comers compete to build creatures that demonstrate both imagination and an ability to follow instructions. The panel of judges, which includes Henson’s filmmaker son Brian, don’t just raise up or shoot down the puppet-builders: There’s real tough-love mentoring going on. Somehow, the inside glimpse of movie magic makes the magic stronger. —Matt Zoller Seitz
Tuesdays, 9 p.m., Syfy.

10. See Audra McDonald As Lady Day
Deep song.
By 1959, when Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill is set, Billie Holiday’s voice was shot. In one of the greatest performances I ever hope to see, Audra McDonald somehow manages a precise impersonation that is also a resurrection: She returns Holiday’s voice to her, and to us. —J.G.
Circle in the Square, through August 10.

Classical Music
11. & 12. Hear the Berg Violin Concerto and … the Berg Violin Concerto
Compare and contrast.
The rare truly beloved product of 12-tone technique, Alban Berg’s elegiac masterpiece experiences a harmonic convergence when two great violinists play it just over a week apart. Leonidas Kavakos appears with the New York Philharmonic, which pairs the concerto with Beethoven’s “Eroica”; Gil Shaham performs it with the Bavarian Radio Symphony on a program with Brahms’s Symphony No. 2. —J.D.
Avery Fisher Hall, May 8–10, and Carnegie Hall, May 18.

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