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To Do: May 6–May 20, 2015

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

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Ethan Hawke in Good Kill, Othello at the American Ballet Theatre, and more New York events.  

Pop
1. Listen to Blur’s The Magic Whip
Modern life, not rubbish.
Blur’s first album in 12 years finds the formerly boyish Britpoppers maturing into a band with a knack for gentle, melodic melancholy — though with a spring in their step that recalls their buoyant 1994 masterpiece Parklife. Your move, Oasis. —Lindsay Zoladz
Warner Bros.

TV
2. Watch Wayward Pines
Mysteeeerious.
Twenty-five years after the debut of Twin Peaks, we’re still seeing shows that badly want to replicate at least some of its genre-upending magic. This creepy procedural about a Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) searching the titular town for two missing colleagues isn’t anywhere near that level, but it has its moments, many of them due to executive producer and pilot director M. Night Shyamalan and a gifted cast, which also includes Melissa Leo, Juliette Lewis, and Terrence Howard. —Matt Zoller Seitz
Fox, May 14 at 9 p.m.

Classical Music
3. Hear The Met Orchestra
No singing allowed!
The Metropolitan Opera has had its troubles in recent years, but its orchestra has remained ­immovably superb. James Levine unleashes it in Carnegie Hall with a program of Brahms’s First Piano Concerto (with Yefim Bronfman) and ­Berlioz’s theatrical, but not operatic, Symphonie Fantastique. —Justin Davidson
Carnegie Hall, May 17.

Movies
4. Watch Gigi Onscreen
Thank heaven!
The version of Lerner and Loewe’s Gigi now playing on Broadway is at best a jumble, at worst a desecration, of the original Colette novella. But the 1958 Warner Bros. movie on which it’s based ­remains available in all its pervy, politically incorrect, mid-century wide-screen glory. Squirm over Maurice Chevalier’s paean to “little girls,” if you must, but Leslie Caron and the rest are irresistible. —Jesse Green
Amazon Instant Video.

TV
5. Watch Mad Men
Plunging toward a conclusion.
Obviously we haven’t seen the finale yet — ­nobody has, except the people who made it — but you can rest assured that, like so many episodes of Matthew Weiner’s historical-psychological drama, the last one will satisfy almost no one in the hours following its premiere, then be endlessly argued over for years after other, neater shows are forgotten. —M.Z.S.
AMC, May 17 at 10 p.m.

Art
6. See Joan Semmel’s ‘Across Five Decades’
Shining a light.
It’s become a default mode for galleries to ­retrieve so-called important or forgotten artists of the 1970s. Usually the results do little more than confirm that this artist was left behind for a reason. But this survey gives deserved attention to five decades of work by a brave painter whose self-portraits from the ’70s and ’80s ­demand to be seen. —Jerry Saltz
Alexander Gray Associates, through May 16.

Books
7. Read Christopher Bollen’s Orient
Intrigue on the Island.
Residing in the Venn-diagram overlap of murder mystery, literary stemwinder, and art-world roman à clef, Bollen’s second novel draws on the pleasures of all three with barely a genre hiccup. It’s a story worthy of Patricia Highsmith — or, it turns out, the former editor of Interview. —Boris Kachka
Harper.

Pop
8. Listen to Brandon Flowers
Killer, even by himself.
On his second solo record, The Desired Effect, the Killers front man’s soaring, tremulous tenor is in top form, and the synth-tastic tunes (with guest spots from the likes of Danielle Haim and Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant) feel beamed in from some glittery, ’80s-worshipping planet.
Island Records, May 19.

Theater/Books
9. & 10. See Fun Home and Read Are You My Mother?
A Bechdel primer.
In its transfer to Broadway, Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s incredibly moving musical, based on Alison Bechdel’s “family tragicomic,” somehow becomes more intimate, hilarious, and heartbreaking. Its 2012 graphic-memoir sequel was even more formally daring: an illustrated look at Bechdel’s family’s relationship with her creative output, structured around the interpretation of several dreams.
Circle in the Square Theatre; Mariner Books.

Movies/TV
11. Watch TCM’s Orson Welles Celebration
Ode to a master.
Welles was born May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, ­Wisconsin. To mark his centennial, New York’s David Edelstein will present 18 Welles films on TCM, including his 12 finished features. One highlight: the network’s premiere of Chimes at Midnight on May 15, shown along with Welles’s Macbeth and Othello.
TCM, Fridays May 8 to 30 at 8 p.m.

Pop
12. See Buffy Sainte-Marie
A living legend in action.
The nervy, electrifying voice behind songs like “Universal Soldier” and “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone,” Buffy Sainte-Marie was every bit as important to the ’60s folk scene as Bob Dylan or Joan Baez — though, unlike those two, she’s never really gotten her historical due. Her stirring new album, Power in the Blood, shows she’s just as vital as ever. —L.Z.
Highline Ballroom, May 20.

Books
13. Read Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins
Expertly layered suspense.
The great British writer’s sideways sequel to Life After Life takes up the story of Teddy Todd, the repeatedly reborn brother of the previous novel’s protagonist. Here Atkinson is more subtly postmodern, shifting between past, present, and future in ways both subversive and perfectly organic. —B.K.
Little, Brown.

Movies
14. See The Apu Trilogy
A cornerstone of humanist filmmaking.
The most important revival of the year comes from Janus Films, which launches its national release of Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy at Film Forum. Go to worship the near-religious restoration and lose yourself in three very different masterpieces, following Apu from his rural childhood (Pather Panchali) to his family’s move to the big city (Aparajito) to his life as a cosmopolitan writer and father (Apur Sansar). —David Edelstein
Film Forum, May 8 to 28.

New Music
15. & 16. Listen to and Then See Missy Mazzoli
Composer, center stage.
Mazzoli’s secular ritual Vespers for a New Dark Age swaddles vocal lines in glassy harmonics, glittering percussion, trembling chords, and plush electronics. There’s an immersive, apocalyptic beauty to the recording; Mazzoli will perform excerpts of the piece live with her crackerjack all-­female, half-electric band, Victoire. —J.D.
New Amsterdam Records; (Le) Poisson Rouge, May 7.

Dance
17. See Othello
A riveting revival.
Lar Lubovitch’s gripping take on the Shakespearean tragedy, a “dance in three acts” made for ABT in 1997, originally starred a visceral Desmond Richardson as the Moor. If anyone can match his intensity, it’s the gifted Marcelo Gomes, with magnetic Julie Kent as Desdemona. —Rebecca Milzoff
American Ballet Theatre, starting May 19.

Movies
18. See Pitch Perfect 2
Aca-back.
Some await the new Avengers picture, others the return of Mad Max. But the cool kids are doing vocal warm-ups for the sequel to the most exhilarating dumb movie of the last several years. No advance word as of this writing, but the cast — led by the charmingly edgy Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy — is back, along with screenwriter Kay Cannon, plus new director Elizabeth Banks, who, after playing Effie Trinket, knows a thing or two about showmanship. —D.E.
In theaters May 15.

Art
19. See Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian
The global art world in a nutshell.
In “I won’t wait for grey hairs and worldly cares to soften my views,” three Dubai artists give us a crazy-quilt installation of painted floors, sculptures, paintings, videos, all with satiric twists. It’s fantastic to see this traveling troupe of artists on these shores: commedia dell’arte mixed with cutting insight and some pretty wantable art. —J.S.
Callicoon Fine Arts, through May 31.

TV
20. Watch Jonathan Crombie in Anne of Green Gables
An immortal character.
Crombie — who died last month at 48 — and his co-star Megan Follows helped turn this beautifully realized CBC mini-series (based on L. M. Montgomery’s novels) into a beloved cult object. Revisit it once more to see the sharp wit and dreamy ardor that made Crombie’s Gilbert Blythe the ideal for a generation of young girls.
DVD available on Amazon.

New Music
21. Hear John Luther Adams
Outer-borough originals.
Bet you didn’t know that Queens had a new-­music festival. It’s already a tradition, actually, and its fourth edition features the Lost Dog New Music Ensemble performing tundra-­inspired works by the formerly Alaskan, now Manhattanite ­Pulitzer Prize winner John ­Luther Adams. —J.D.
The Secret Theatre, May 14.

Art
22. See Kacper Kowalski’s ‘Above & Beyond’
Way, way above (and way, way beyond).
Kowalski photographs landscapes from a glider, shooting straight down and painstakingly assembling huge tableaux from hundreds of images. The impossible vantage point and vivid color turn the Earth nearly flat, and features like hills and ice floes transform into giant-size ­geodes filled with crystalline forms and colors.
Curator Gallery, through May 30.

Pop
23. Listen to Young Thug’s Barter 6
Possibly the weirdest rapper alive.
Thug’s scat flow, sometimes mumblecore lyrics, and don’t-give-a-fuck attitude have, on this third album, transformed the Atlantic native into the artist best equipped to carry Lil Wayne’s legacy. Tracks like “Check” and the six-minute “Can’t Tell” more than convey Thugger’s energy and futuristic promise.
300 Entertainment/Atlantic.

Theater/Music
24. Listen to On the Twentieth Century
It shines again.
The sparkliest musical revival of the season gets a superbly recorded cast album that preserves its sweep, its silliness — and the astonishing comic performance of Kristin Chenoweth. —J.G.
PS Classics, May 19.

Movies
25. See Good Kill
A war movie like no other.
Ethan Hawke reteams with his Gattaca director Andrew Niccol, playing a drone pilot who sits in a comfortable room in the Nevada desert, overseeing and wreaking havoc in a war zone halfway across the world. A chilly, gripping, and provocative look at how we fight now. —Bilge Ebiri
In theaters May 15.


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