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To Do: Week of September 10-24, 2014

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Books
14. Read The Dog
Joseph O’Neill, from the UES to the UAE.
The author of the superb New York novel Netherland (and long-ago restaurant critic for New York) heads for Dubai, where his protagonist works for an ultrarich family and inhabits a building that he refers to as the Situation.
Pantheon.

Opera
15. See The Marriage of Figaro
Keep your eye on that hunky baritone.
Labor lockout averted, the Metropolitan Opera’s season will open with Richard Eyre’s new Figaro, conducted by the perennial James Levine and headlined by baritone Ildar Abdrazakov.—J.D.
Metropolitan Opera, opening September 22.

Movies
16. See Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Unlovely beauty.
Schlock director Robert Rodriguez and dark-souled graphic artist Frank Miller indulge in the crudest kind of nihilism here, but it sure is ­purty—the glossiest revenge porn imaginable. Hard to believe that so much visual elegance has been brought to material so ugly, yet the disjunction is intentional. Knowing that everyone will go rotten is meant to free you to enjoy the spectacle.—D.E.
In theaters now.

Art
17. See Ramallah/New York
Current affairs. Emily Jacir’s video work—two channels, on her life in two cities—is ten years old, and has been on view since February, but it has abruptly become even more timely, right before its closure.
MoMA, through September 28.

Books
18. Read The Paying Guests
Darker than Downton Abbey.
You probably need more Sarah Waters in your life: She writes superbly subtle novels about class, mid-century Britain, and (sometimes) furtive sex. This one’s set in the doldrums after WWI, and fans are beginning to venture that it’s her best ever.
Riverhead.

TV
19. Watch Key & Peele
Season four begins. You can do anything!
The two-hander that, along with Amy Schumer’s show, stands at the high point of the overflowing-with-talent sketch-comedy scene right now.
Comedy Central, premiering September 24.

Video
20. Watch Sondheim Dances
Isn’t it lovely how artists can capture us?
The latest edition in this free series of dance shorts for smartphones interprets seven Sondheim songs, mostly from Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park With George. The dances are good, especially Carmen de Lavallade’s performance of “Children and Art,” choreographed by Richard Daniels, but the great treat is the music, in mostly unfamiliar renditions.—J.G.
Now available at the iTunes store; Android version coming soon.

TV
21. See The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
The greatest New Yorkers of all time? Could be.
Ken Burns’s epic tells the story of America’s other royal family, starting with the birth of a future president, Theodore Roosevelt, in 1858, and continuing through FDR’s presidency, up to Eleanor’s death in 1962. The slow, majestic storytelling should engross pretty much everyone, regardless of political stance.—M.Z.S.
PBS, September 14, 8 p.m.

Opera
22. Hear Macbeth
Who’s that lady?
Anna Netrebko has been steadily making her way through the bloodstained-crazy-lady soprano roles, and now she comes to the apogee: Lady Macbeth. Verdi is not her natural habitat, but with the battle-hardened Željko Lucic as her consort and the scenery from Adrian Noble’s glowering production to chew, Netrebko should be certainly comfortable with the splatter and the drama. —J.D.
Metropolitan Opera, starting September 24.

Pop Music
23. Listen to From Sassy to Divine: The Sarah Vaughan Project
Ann Hampton Callaway’s sincere flattery.
Vocal tribute albums have built-in dangers: robotic impersonation, bizarre overinterpretation. Callaway steers a middle course, approximating some of Vaughan’s phrasing but wisely avoiding attempts to match her unique timbre and emotional pitch. The result (which she’ll also perform October 23 at Jazz at Lincoln Center) is part Vaughan, part Callaway, all delightful.—J.G.
Shanachie Records, September 16.

Dance
24. Sample the Fall for Dance Festival
Dancing in the park.
Free outdoor shows open the festival once again, offering tastes of several great companies—but the big draw is Lil Buck, the master of Memphis jookin who’s rarely seen here, alongside City Ballet’s Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild. —R.M.
Delacorte Theater, September 12 and 13.

Movies
25. Attend We’ll Have What She’s Having
When Harry Met Sally… goes interactive.
A screening of WHMS, recut with pop-ups that turn it into a Rocky Horror–style shout-along, created by Vulture.com’s Lindsey Weber. The food is (natch) deli, from Mile End; a raffle benefits Housing Works. Wear your best baby-fishmouth face.
The Bell House, September 10, 8 p.m. (doors at 7).


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