Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

To Do: January 28–February 11, 2015

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

ShareThis

Pop/Film
1. Watch Backstreet Boys: Show ’Em What You’re Made Of
Boys to men.
The Boys are back (all right!) with a new, surprisingly warts-and-all documentary of their rise, fall, and attempted comeback. Basically the Metallica: Some Kind of Monster of boy bands. —Lindsay Zoladz
In theaters January 30.

TV
2. Watch Broad City
Second season, still hilarious.
Abbi and Ilana are embroiled in new high jinks, but it’s the sweet bursts of anarchy that really make this series sing, like Ilana’s tented-fingers glee over a new gig hiring interns, and Abbi treating a rare moment of solitude in her apartment as an opportunity to dance around in the nude. —Matt Zoller Seitz
Comedy Central, Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m.

Classical Music
3. Hear Chicago Symphony Orchestra
From their windy city to ours.
As soon as he took over in 2010, Riccardo Muti turned his heartland band into a great Italian orchestra, breathing with the spirit of Verdi and the romanticism of Nino Rota. But no matter where he’s conducting, Muti always sounds like a native. He arrives here with a trio of Pan-European programs, culminating with Prokofiev’s deeply Slavic Alexander Nevsky. —Justin Davidson
Carnegie Hall, January 30 to February 1.

Art
4. See Fetching Blemish
Faces, features, and fascinating flaws.
From Cindy Sherman’s glorious/creepy L.A. lady to Dan McCarthy’s fabulous incarnations of ghosts and Nicole Eisenman’s wee self-portrait as “A. Warhole,” this group show nails the hell out of its beautifully grotesque subject. —Jerry Saltz
Invisible Exports, through February 15.

Film
5. See Blackhat
Chris Hemsworth, on the run.
Michael Mann’s Blackhat is on the slow side, but the chance to watch American cinema’s moodiest suspense director working on an international scale is hard to resist, and when the film comes to life, it’s a mesmerizing fusion of Mann’s Manhunter and Miami Vice. —David Edelstein
In theaters.

TV
6. Watch Fortitude
Fargo meets Twin Peaks.
Welcome to the Arctic town of Fortitude, “the safest place on Earth.” Well, except for that murder, a missing woman, and those pesky polar bears. Stanley Tucci investigates in this chilling new Nordic-noir series.
Pivot TV, January 29 at 10 p.m.

Theater/Books
7. Read Black Broadway
Dreams deferred.
The difficult history of African-Americans onstage (and backstage) gets a brisk, fascinating overview in Stewart F. Lane’s coffee-table compendium. Of particular interest is the older material—drawing a line from the African Grove Theatre in 1821 through the Harlem Renaissance a century later—and the hundreds of rare and revealing photographs. —Jesse Green
Square One Publishers, February 2.

TV
8. Watch Hindsight
All aboard the whimsy train!
A refreshingly un-miserable show, this dramedy centers on pretty 40ish blonde Becca (Laura Ramsey), who, on the eve of her second marriage, wakes up on the morning of her first wedding day—in 1995. There’s an effervescence that’s a total treat, plus a Rayanne-esque BFF and gobs of ’90s nostalgia. —Margaret Lyons
VH1, Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

Books
9. Read Peter Carey’s Amnesia
Wiki-fiction from a two-time Booker winner.
After a computer worm unlocks prisons in Australia and the U.S., a disgraced journalist is conscripted to write a book defending the young Aussie perpetrator. Real and fictive history unfolds and fragments, people are kidnapped and freed, conspiracies are unveiled, and full-fleshed characters make it work. Just as ambitious and urgent as it sounds, but more fun. —Boris Kachka
Knopf.

Film
10. See Jupiter Ascending
Bloody fun.
You never know what you’re going to get from the Wachowski siblings, who transformed pop culture with The Matrix. Their newest sci-fi epic was bumped from release in 2014 amid rumors that it stank. But let’s go in with our minds freed. Mila Kunis is the Neo figure, an Earthling who finds out she’s actually Queen of the Cosmos (or something) when friendly Terminator-like Channing Tatum whisks her into space. —D.E.
In theaters February 6.

Pop
11. Listen to Joey Bada$$
Three mix tapes later, a sharp debut.
If Instagram is to be believed, Malia Obama is a fan of Pro Era, the collective whose breakout member is this 20-year-old Brooklyn native. On B4.DA.$$, Joey’s harsh vocals and aggressive beats belie his introspective lyrics.
Cinematic Music Group/Pro Era.

Classical Music
12. Hear NYFOS Next
Singing a new song.
A wide-angle panorama of a miniature landscape, the New York Festival of Song’s three concerts of fresh tunes start with excerpts from works-in-progress by Adam Guettel, a composer of great talent and long silences, and George Steel, last seen at the helm of New York City ­Opera. —J.D.
National Opera Center, February 3.

Theater
13. See Lady, Be Good
Always shaking, just like a flivver.
Encores! presents the 1924 musical comedy that pretty much inaugurated the genre’s golden age. As if the reconstructed orchestrations of the Gershwin score weren’t inducement enough, how about Tommy Tune, dusting off his tap shoes for “Fascinating Rhythm”? —J.G.
New York City Center, February 4 through 8.

Art
14. See Chris Ofili: Night and Day
Closing time for a sparkling show.
Brave the cold and treat yourself to Ofili’s dazzling-hot color in early works depicting pimps and goddesses, the brooding blacks of his middle period, and the paradises found of his most recent works. —J.S.
New Museum, through February 1.

Dance
15. See Douglas Dunn & Dancers
Goddess energy.
A 40-year modern-dance veteran, Dunn is still coming up with fresh ideas, like this evening inspired by Aidos, the Greek goddess of shame; she’s portrayed here by two six-foot-tall ladies, joined onstage by the choreographer himself. —Rebecca Milzoff
BAM Fisher, February 11 through 15.

Theater
16. See The Lion
Storytelling, one-man-band style.
Spending an evening in a theater with one dude playing guitar might sound high risk, but the dude in question, Benjamin Scheuer, is pretty likable, and his autobiographical show has an unexpectedly light touch: It’s a poignant tale of family, illness, and growing up buoyed by immensely hummable, folky tunes.
Culture Project, in previews February 3.

Books
17. Read The Dogs Are Eating Them Now
Newsy nonfiction.
As Afghanistan endures yet another Taliban resurgence, this exemplar of front-lines reporting has finally been published south of the (Canadian) border. War correspondent Graeme Smith writes a little about his country’s conflicted Afghanistan policy but mostly about what he and his interlocutors see on the ground. What’s revealed is bleak, sometimes graphic, and often ­devastating. —B.K.
Counterpoint.

Pop
18. See Girlpool
Two punks without drums.
Girlpool is a bit like the sonic Broad City: two weird, joyful besties against the world. They’re also a killer live act—their banter every bit as caustically witty as their songs (which have titles like “Blah Blah Blah” and “Slutmouth”). —L.Z.
Silent Barn, January 28.

Classical Music
19. Hear Bach & Beyond
Still the big B.
Is there a living composer who doesn’t feel J. S. Bach’s deep influence? The violinist Jennifer Koh has been matching up his solo sonatas and partitas with more recent Bach-laden music, and she ends a multiyear series here, pairing the sonatas Nos. 2 and 3 with Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIII and a new work by John Harbison. —J.D.
92nd St. Y, January 31.

TV
20. Watch The Americans
Soviet-spy suspense.
The new season of this great domestic drama and espionage adventure tightens the screws on Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) yet again, even though you might not have thought such a thing possible. In the heart-ripping season-two finale, the couple learned that their daughter had been targeted for recruitment by the same KGB handlers they dream of escaping; season three plunges them deeper into compromise. —M.Z.S
FX, Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

Theater
21. See Between Riverside and Crazy
Seven characters, river view.
A grieving ex-cop, a rent-controlled palace, a thief, a witch, and a secret: From these odd elements, Stephen Adly Guirgis conjures a moving inquiry into the nature of personality. After a sold-out run at the Atlantic last summer, the play returns for a well-deserved encore. —J.G.
Second Stage, through March 22.

Pop
22. Listen to Jazmine Sullivan’s Reality Show
She’s the realest.
Sullivan is a true R&B diva, with a voice that swoops between a thick low range, floating high notes, and a gritty, ladies-first attitude. Her first album in five years, built on deep grooves and incisive lyrics written by Sullivan herself, feels both forward-looking and like a ’90s throwback in the best way.
RCA Records.

Dance
23. See Parsons Dance
And friends.
The work of David Parsons’s contemporaries is the draw here, notably a duet by the talented Trey McIntyre (who recently dismantled his exceptional troupe) and a piece by Robert Battle, the Alvin Ailey director whose work should be seen more in his hometown. —R.M.
Joyce Theater, through February 1.

Classical Music
24. Hear Joyce DiDonato and the Brentano Quartet
Soprano in charge.
Carnegie Hall gave the superb soprano Joyce DiDonato the latitude to program and perform whatever she wants this season. That, it turns out, is French—or French-tinged—music for string quartet and voice: Debussy, Charpentier, a handful of new lullabies, and Jake Heggie’s theatrical tribute to the sculptor Camille ­Claudel. —J.D.
Zankel Hall, February 5.

Theater
25. See You Can’t Take It With You
Before the dinner party ends.
Turns out that Kaufman and Hart’s great comedy can still spring off the page, and James Earl Jones, Elizabeth Ashley, Anna Chlumsky, and the delicious Annaleigh Ashford know how to keep it aloft from there. Hurry, while it’s still airborne.
Longacre Theatre; closes February 22.


Related:

Advertising
Current Issue
Subscribe to New York
Subscribe

Give a Gift

Advertising