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To Do: July 1–July 15, 2015

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

Taylor Swift in concert, 10 Out of 12 at Soho Rep, and more New York events.  

1. See Taylor Swift
On a very, very big stage.
Until now, you’ve pretty much known what you were going to get out of a Taylor Swift show: twangy acoustic-guitar anthems, humbly confessional asides, possible shriek-­induced hearing damage. But Swift’s 1989 world tour is her big coming-out party as a grown-ass pop star; it’ll be fascinating to watch the transition. —Lindsay Zoladz
MetLife Stadium, July 10 and 11.

2. Watch Why? With Hannibal Buress
Because he’s hilarious.
Buress’s laid-back provocateur attitude and pleasingly off-kilter observations rarely feel scripted, even when he’s been obsessing over a subject. Comedy Central, where he recently appeared as a very chill dentist on the great Broad City, has now given him his own weekly show, combining stand-up, man-on-the-street segments, interviews, and filmed sketches. —Matt Zoller Seitz
Comedy Central, July 8 at 10:30 p.m.

Classical Music/Movies
3. Hear Danny Elfman
A career in scores.
From the spacey chorales of Edward Scissorhands to the dark massed brasses of Batman, Elfman has intensified the bright colors and surreal atmospherics of Tim Burton’s movies for three decades. At the Lincoln Center Festival, the soundtracks bust out of the screen and onto the concert stage. —Justin Davidson
Avery Fisher Hall, July 6 through 12.

4. Watch Dope
A hit of originality.
Rick Famuyiwa’s punk-hip-hop coming-of-age thriller wears its referentiality on its sleeve: It’s about a trio of pop-culture-obsessed nerds from the L.A. projects who wind up with someone else’s drugs and have to figure out how to sell them. That plot may sound familiar, but the sheer inventive energy of the filmmaking wins you over. —Bilge Ebiri
In theaters.

5. See George Caleb Bingham
Bask in mid-19th-century placidity.
In 16 dreamy scenes of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, Bingham paints peace, geometry, and Manifest Destiny dreams of young America; paintings that take us to a time that never quite was and can certainly never be but that helped American artists break away from traditional European academicism. —Jerry Saltz
Metropolitan Museum of Art, through September 20.

6. Watch The Legacy Project
Mentors and mentees.
Insightful pairings—Adam Guettel interviewing Stephen Sondheim; Will Eno interviewing Edward Albee—make the Dramatists Guild Fund’s series of conversations with American theater writers fresh and relatively fawn-less. The six available online also feature the likes of John Kander and the team of Lynn Ahrens and ­Stephen Flaherty. —Jesse Green

7. Read Jess Row’s Your Face in Mine
Eerily timely.
There’s a special shelf for novels that see into the future, and Row’s seriocomic satire about a Baltimore man who undergoes (and then markets) “racial reassignment surgery” might have just earned its place there. What seemed a little outlandish last August looks like straight social commentary in a Dolezal world—sharp, witty, and full of insights. —Boris Kachka
Riverhead Books.

8. See Un Break à Mozart
A century-crossing collaboration.
There’s something inspired about pairing the rhythmic virtuosity of break dance with that of Mozart; here, the breakers of French company Accrorap will try their moves out against the shimmering canvas of Mozart’s Requiem, performed in a strings-only arrangement by members of the Champs-Elysées Orchestra. —Rebecca Milzoff
SummerStage, Central Park, July 2.

9. Hear Super Furry Animals
At the 4Knots Music Festival.
Even though they’re at least as good, this Welsh psych-rock quintet never got the same respect that their ’90s Britpop brethren Blur, Pulp, and Oasis did—so enjoy the extra elbow room at the band’s first headlining New York gig in six years.
Pier 84 in Hudson River Park, July 11, 9 p.m., $25.

10. See 10 Out of 12
The rehearsal’s the thing.
Anne Washburn’s odd and often hilarious new comedy takes on the perverse challenge of making exciting theater out of the dullest part of theatrical life: the soul-crushing purgatory of tech rehearsals. With the help of a great cast and design team under Les Waters’s superb direction, she astonishingly succeeds. —J.G.
Soho Rep, through July 18.

11. Watch Shark Week
Have your chum and eat it, too.
Ah, Shark Week: that time of year when Discovery unveils a slate of programming that plays out our ancient fear of the ocean’s silent, deadly predators while assuring us that they’re misunderstood and endangered. Among this year’s features: a documentary on the Gulf of Mexico’s mako sharks, and Bride of Jaws, about the search for the largest-ever female great white. —M.Z.S.
Discovery, July 5 through 12.

12. Listen to Nate Ruess
Blast it to the rafters.
Think of the front man of theatrical pop-rockers fun. as the Freddie Mercury of postcollegiate millennial angst. His first solo album, Grand Romantic, is full of the billowing hooks and feats of yelpy vocal daring we’ve come to expect from him—albeit with a newfound AM Gold warmth. —L.Z.
Atlantic Records.

13. See Sarah Charlesworth
Looking back at a fork in the road.
The late Sarah Charlesworth had just graduated from Barnard when she saw some conceptual art that made her so nauseated that she stopped painting; this first major local survey shows what happened when she turned to photography.
New Museum, through September 20.

14. Watch The Grateful Dead
The end of the golden road.
This week, the Grateful Dead’s four surviving original members, joined by kindred spirits like Phish’s Trey Anastasio, perform their last five shows ever. They’re sold out, but the Bowery Presents will live-simulcast the final three on wide cinema screens with concert-quality sound.
Brooklyn Bowl, July 3 through 5.

15. Read Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event
One for the grown-ups.
The author’s first novel for adults in 17 years draws on a communal tragedy you could easily imagine in the hands of Philip Roth: In the early ’50s, when Blume was 14, three planes crashed within two months in her hometown. But Blume’s semi-­autographical treatment isn’t Roth­ian at all, focusing on personal transformations and adult struggles. It’s a satisfying portrait of a time when many things really were taboo. —B.K.

16. See De Wain Valentine
Works from the West Coast.
Nobody makes polyester resin look so damn good—sexy, even—as Valentine. His minimalist sculptures transcend ordinary synthetic material to become transparent geometric forms that reflect and distort the surrounding light and space.
David Zwirner, through August 7.

17. See The Third Man
First-rate digital restoration.
The Third Man began when director Carol Reed asked Graham Greene to write a film set in a bombed-out, postwar city that showed pervasive cynicism and murderous, parasitical capitalism. The seedy, hurdy-gurdy Vienna melodrama that emerged featured Orson Welles as American predator Harry Lime, and his entrance is classic: A cat scurries over his shoe, light hits his face, and he looks abashed, like a naughty boy who’s too delighted with his own cleverness to mind being caught. —David Edelstein
Film Forum.

18. Watch What Happened, Miss Simone?
She’s got life.
Liz Garbus’s searing documentary beats the controversy-laden Nina Simone biopic to release and turns out to be a kind of corrective to the Hollywood-ification of this uncompromising artist. Through incisive family interviews and riveting performance footage, Garbus reminds us that, in a country still with entrenched racial inequity, Simone’s message is as prescient as ever. —L.Z.
On Netflix streaming.

19. See Swirlies
Still rocking and hitting the road.
When the shoegaze craze reached its peak, every band seemed to hail from the U.K.; the Swirlies were one of the few outfits that honed the sound Stateside. Twenty-five years later, their masterfully loud, bendy guitars still rock live.
Baby’s All Right, July 5.

20. See Magic Mike XXL
Chan and the boys are back.
Unseen at this writing apart from the witty trailer, this male-stripper sequel appears to transform Steven Soderbergh’s entertaining parable of how capitalism turns sex into a soulless commodity into a Pitch Perfect–like “Let’s put on a show” competition comedy (with lots of tanned, toned torsos). What can one say except “Hubba hubba”? —D.E.
In theaters July 1.

21. Read Ashley’s War
Special-ops reporting.
Theoretically, American women do not serve in combat. In real life, Cultural Support Teams—squads of tough-as-iron female soldiers—are fighting alongside the men. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, a national-security journalist and Council on Foreign Relations fellow, reports the story of pioneering CST member Ashley White and her squad’s successes and personal tragedy.

22. Listen to PigPen Theatre Co.
Song, offstage.
PigPen Theatre Co. (its The Old Man and the Old Moon got raves here in 2012) plays live music in its shows but also exists as a stand-alone, real band. The company’s sophomore album, Whole Sun, is a great blend: melodious folk rock with dramatic propulsion. —J.G., July 7.

23. Watch Bridget Everett
Letting it all hang out.
Everett recently laid her soul (and plenty more) bare in her hilarious Joe’s Pub show Rock Bottom; she’ll continue the magnetic oversharing in this special, appropriately titled Gynecological Wonder.
Comedy Central, July 11 at 12:30 a.m.

24. See Gibney Dance Company
In the great oudoors.
Amy Miller’s latest work considers the place of the individual within the community. What better place to contemplate that than among the Brooklyn throngs, waterside? —R.M.
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, July 11.

25. Go to ThrillerFest X
With great expectations.
Meet (and learn from) Nelson DeMille, author of the best-selling Radiant Angel; Charlaine Harris, author of True Blood’s literary inspiration; and the forensic specialist behind Bones, Kathy Reichs, who will all be honored at the tenth annual grokfest of thriller writing and publishing.
Grand Hyatt, July 7 through 11.