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To Do: June 4–19, 2014

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


Movies and TV
1.–2. See X-Men: Days of Future Past Followed by Two Episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation
Then and now.
I love change-the-past time-travel movies no ­matter how dopey, and the superhero picture with the pretzel title is the closest thing in a while to a decent one. But as Patrick Stewart’s Xavier sends Hugh ­Jackman’s Wolverine back to 1973 to keep Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique from setting in ­motion a chain of disastrous events, my thoughts strayed to ­Stewart’s even better time-jump adventures, back when he was Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes “Yesterday’s ­Enterprise” and “All Good Things …” Now, that’s how you muck around with the butterfly effect, kids. —David Edelstein
In theaters now; available via Amazon Prime.

3. See Mary Carlson: Paradise
If Hummels were good.
All those beautiful saints from all those medieval and Renaissance paintings and panels come to sweet life in Mary Carlson’s infatuating show of tiny glazed stoneware and porcelain figures. We see agonized little Adam and Eve from Masaccio, a stooping St. Francis from Giotto, and assorted saints from Fra Angelico. One yummy pedestal sports exotic flowers all derived from Bosch. It’s as if those postcards on your fridge came to magical 3-D life and inhabited your space like beloved friends and ancient ancestors. —Jerry Saltz
Elizabeth Harris Gallery, through June 21.

4. See The Best Years of Our Lives
Revisiting the war after the war.
The 70th anniversary of D-Day is here, but any excuse will do to watch William Wyler’s 1946 The Best Years of Our Lives—one of the first and arguably the best of the traumatized-vet movies. The great Fredric March leads a cast that includes Teresa Wright and Dana Andrews, as well as Harold Russell, a nonactor who lost his hands in the war (and got an Oscar for his performance). Gregg Toland’s deep-­focus cinematography puts them all under a ­(humanist) microscope. The peerless popular-film historian (and New York contributor) Mark Harris will introduce the movie on June 6. —D.E.
Film Forum, June 6 through 12.

5. See Pygmalion at Madame Tussauds
No jokes about lifeless singing, please.
Rameau’s one-act operatic setting of the Pygmalion story is, of course, about a narcissist creating another human being in his own image. What better setting for this tale of doubling than Madame Tussauds, where the wandering company On Site Opera will perform the work among the effigies? —Justin Davidson
June 17.

Pop Music
6. Hear Halle Petro
Down home, downtown.
An incongruous but appealing combination: a blonde midwestern cutie-pie who sounds like a weathered blues gal from Mississippi. She’ll be performing the songs of an actual Mississippi blues legend, Jimmy Reed, for two nights.
City Winery, June 26 and 27.

Pop Music
7. Listen to Are We There
Sharon Van Etten, taking chances.
The singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten is a testament to the alacrity with which music blogs can turn someone from a newcomer into a star. Only five years removed from her debut, Because I Was in Love, Van Etten is on her fourth album, well settled into her career. Are We There is stunning and forceful, the perfect mix of discomfort and comfort you’d look for in a broken-heart record.
Music Hall of Williamsburg, June 12; Bowery Ballroom, June 13 and 14.

Theater Music
8. & 9. Listen to Love’s Labour’s Lost and Heathers
So very.
Some musicals improve on CD because you’re hearing them more deeply, others because they are freed from problematic productions. Love’s Labour’s Lost is in the former category; Michael Friedman’s charming songs for the Public Theater’s Delacorte production no longer float off in the summer night before you can absorb them. In the other category: Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe’s score for the current Heathers. Onstage, it’s somewhat beside the point; on disc it’s terrific. —Jesse Green
Ghostlight, June 3; Yellow Sound Label, June 17.

10. Read The Big Fat Surprise
Nina Teicholz explains how everyone got too big.
More than a carbs-bad-fat-good book, it’s a deep dive into the history of the tortured—and often completely flawed—field of nutrition science. Not only is everything you know a little bit wrong, the same is true for the policy-setters who created the contemporary American diet.
Simon & Schuster.

11. Watch 22 Jump Street
It’s a Cinderella story, really.
Channing Tatum, formerly perceived as a big pretty lunkhead, has turned out to be a comedy unicorn, a unique talent to be treasured and appreciated and possibly enshrined on your bedroom wall. (And he actually might get an Oscar nomination for Foxcatcher. Remember, you thought Matthew ­McConaughey was a joke, too.)
In theaters June 13.

12. Watch Suits
Season four arrives.
Basic cable’s sleekest, bounciest smarty-pants drama returns, trying to grab our attention by shaking up the plot. Erstwhile hero Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) has left the firm to become an investment banker on Wall Street, a development that surely won’t last, if the entire history of scripted TV is any indication; but the peevish resentment of Ross’s former mentor Harvey (Gabriel Macht) should be good for grins. —Matt Zoller Seitz
USA, June 11, 9 p.m.

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