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To Do: February 10–February 24, 2016

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

1. See Maxwell and Nas
Your Valentine’s Day dates.
Here’s a fun relationship barometer: You know your man’s not the jealous type if he takes you to a Maxwell concert on Valentine’s Day. The sultry Brooklyn neo-soul singer hasn’t played a show in town since 2010, so it will mark a homecoming for him and his co-headliner, Nas. —Lindsay Zoladz
Barclays Center, February 14.

2. Watch Better Call Saul
S’all good, man.
In season one of this Breaking Bad prequel, Vince Gilligan’s masterstroke was reimagining the original’s “from Mr. Chips to Scarface” plot as very dry comedy. Saul has splashes of suspense and violence, but it’s mostly content to observe the flailings of its well-meaning title character (Bob Odenkirk), his afflicted lawyer brother (Michael McKean), and his future fixer (Jonathan Banks). Season two promises to pick up at a crossroads; we know where the road must lead, but it should be fascinating to watch the journey. —Matt Zoller Seitz
AMC, February 15 at 10 p.m.

3. See Naz and Maalik
Refreshing right now.
Given the anger about the lack of racial diversity in American cinema, it’s nice to be able to recommend Jay Dockendorf’s fine indie feature. Its title characters are African-American teenage boys who happen to be devout Muslims who happen to be gay. That’s three outsider perspectives for the price of one. But the point is not mere representation. The triple layer of alienation lets you see the world with fresh eyes, so the film is exhilarating even at its most downbeat. —David Edelstein
In theaters and on demand.

4. See Marisa Merz
In a super-sweet space.
Now 90 and working wonders in Turin, Merz makes paintings, sculptures, and drawings that all pull us in. Faces hover, eyeholes appear and then disappear, heads materialize as smudging next-to-nothings; these works on paper show pictorial intelligence and touch, firmly in place and enticing. —Jerry Saltz
Gladstone Gallery, through February 20.

5. Read Master of Ceremonies
Fremde, étranger, stranger.
If you thought you knew Joel Grey from his 65 years of performances, well, you didn’t. In this painful and revealing memoir, he recalls his narcissistic mother, a teenage affair with his synagogue’s cantor, and the tough road from the Borscht Capades to Cabaret and beyond: a crowded life in which his publicly coming out in his 80s is the least of the surprises. —Jesse Green
Flatiron Books, February 16.

Classical Music
6. Hear Dmitri Hvorostovsky
The barihunk is back.
Out for months while being treated for a brain tumor, the lava-voiced baritone is back. His recital traces a path from Rimsky-Korsakov’s soil-kissing Russian melodies to Glinka’s and Tchaikovsky’s cosmopolitan art songs. —Justin Davidson
Carnegie Hall, February 17.

7. Watch the Grammy Awards
Yes, actually still worth viewing.
Will Adele’s first Grammy performance in four years blow the roof off? Yes. Will Kendrick Lamar win a much-deserved Album of the Year? Will Kanye West have something unscripted to say about the proceedings? Guess we’ll all have to tune in. —L.Z.
CBS, February 15 at 8 p.m.

8. Read My Father, the Pornographer
Chris Offutt’s lovingly ambivalent tribute.
Under 17 pseudonyms, Chris Offutt’s father secretly wrote some 400 dirty paperbacks, initially to pay for Chris’s orthodontia. Offutt’s Kentucky home could easily be painted in gothic strokes, but he avoids melodrama, producing a memoir as candid and methodical as Dad’s assembly line of bondage fantasias. —Boris Kachka

9. Watch You, Me and the Apocalypse
It’s not the end of the world!
This British-American series — focused on how people respond to the news that they have 34 days left on Earth — is a charmer: smart, original, oddball, and probably the best show on NBC’s current roster. The slightly cartoonish tone makes the premise palatable, and its characters can have moments of emotional depth without too much realism. For a show about the end-time, it’s very cheery. —Margaret Lyons
NBC, Thursdays at 8 p.m.

10. See Dance on Camera
Join the movement.
This annual fest presents a rich portrait of dance onscreen. See the making of a master in Jack Walsh’s Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer; watch the four female dancers of After the Curtain fight to keep their art alive in Tajikistan; and sigh over Cyd Charisse in Vincente Minnelli’s The Band Wagon. —Rebecca Milzoff
Film Society of Lincoln Center, February 12 through 16.

11. Listen to Good Advice
Basia Bulat’s got some for you.
Few singers write catchy, jangly pop songs that also convey heartache; fewer still can mix soaring and sinking emotions. On Canadian Basia Bulat’s slick fourth album, she does both, her powerful voice shining.
Secret City Records, February 12.

12. See The Secret Garden
The girl she was meant to be.
In 1991, Daisy Eagan became the youngest female Tony winner ever for her unaffected Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden. Had she been born 20 years earlier, Sydney Lucas (Fun Home’s Tony-nominated Young Alison) might have given Eagan stiff competition; it should be especially delicious to see her Mary at this concert production — alongside Eagan, no less, as Mary’s confidante Martha.
David Geffen Hall, February 21 and 22.

13. Watch Must See TV: A Tribute to James Burrows
Golden years.
What do Cheers, Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Will & Grace, Friends, Frasier, The Big Bang Theory, and Two and a Half Men have in common? Director James Burrows, whose whip-crack timing and elegant blocking made bad scripts bearable and good ones even better. He’ll be fêted here by those whose careers he helped make; how to pick the best moments from a 40-year career? —M.Z.S.
NBC, February 21 at 9 p.m.

14. Read Strange Gods
Susan Jacoby will convert you.
Neither a scathing New Atheist tract nor a dry, objective history, Jacoby’s sweeping account of religious conversion brings a new angle to many old stories, focusing not on spiritual and psychological motives but on the social forces that drive religious change. In her hands, it’s a lively story. —B.K.
Pantheon, February 16.

15. See Betty Tompkins: WOMEN Words, Phrases and Stories
Hear her roar.
Badass Betty Tompkins is back, with 1,000 little text paintings, each with a solicited word or phrase of terms used about women. This much hatred and sexualizing of women coming from all sides may be the perfect preelection metaphor for the Hillary hatred now spiking on all fronts. Were I woman, it might drive me mad. —J.S.
FLAG Art Foundation, through May 14.

16. Hear Mitski
Low-key, lo-fi.
Brooklyn crooner Mitski’s Bury Me at Makeout Creek was one of 2014’s most underrated albums: sharply observed folk songs that erupted into fuzz-pop explosions. Her next record’s slated for later this year; catch her on a stage as intimate as the Knitting Factory’s while you still can. —L.Z.
Knitting Factory, February 14.

17. Listen to The Color Purple
Too beautiful for words.
John Doyle’s stripped-down revival of the 2005 musical is, paradoxically, a more powerful work with a greater range of expression, thanks to Cynthia Erivo, who as the woebegone Celie pulls off one of the great stage transformations, not just physically but in her songs. She is strongly supported by Jennifer Hudson’s vocal éclat as Shug Avery and Danielle Brooks’s seismic rumble as Sofia. —J.G.
Broadway Records, February 12.

18. See Manon Lescaut
A noir-esque new production.
When tenor Jonas Kaufmann pulled out because of illness, operagoers were left teary even before the curtain went up on Puccini’s weepie. Still, Richard Eyre’s new production, set in occupied France, will open with Roberto Alagna as des Grieux — pretty good consolation casting. —J.D.
Metropolitan Opera, opening February 12.

19. See Pacific Northwest Ballet
Choose your Balanchine purveyor.
As New York City Ballet’s winter season closes, another great Balanchine company visits, led by former City Ballet star Peter Boal. Expect pristine renditions of Mr. B classics like Square Dance and Stravinsky Violin Concerto. —R.M.
New York City Center, February 24 through 27.

20. Watch 11.22.63
Streaming Franco!
Pacing’s no problem in this mini-series ­adaptation of Stephen King’s novel: James Franco travels to the past to try to prevent the assassination of JFK, then ends up stuck in the ’60s. Exec-producer J. J. Abrams knows when to amp up the action and paranoia or linger on period details. Bonus for Franco-philes: He’s not a bad dancer!
Hulu, February 15.

21. Listen to Malibu
And learn Anderson .Paak’s name.
Anderson .Paak popped up all over Dr. Dre’s Compton last year, but he’s also a solo artist, whose delightful sophomore set exudes timeless swagger and puts a refreshing spin on funk while also doing its history justice.
Empire/OBE/Steel Wool/Art Club.

22. See Made in California
Sun over slush.
It’s worth the trip to Jersey City to visit this PS1-analog aspirant, here assembling work from postwar Golden State masters of painting and sculpture.
Mana Contemporary, through August 1.

23. Listen to The Floor Above Me
The multitalented Tony Yazbeck.
On the Town featured his dancing. Taking over for Matthew Morrison in Finding Neverland no doubt exercises his dramatic heartthrobbability. Now, in his debut CD, Tony Yazbeck shows off some superbly creamy vocals in a collection of tunes that form a portrait of the artist as a young triple threat. —J.G.
P.S. Classics.

Classical Music
24. & 25. Hear Liszt’s Piano Concertos
Titanic twofer.
If you plan perfectly, you can hear both monster concertos within 24 hours: Marc-André Hamelin tosses off the warp-speed flourishes of No. 1 with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and Yefim Bronfman plays the more sublimely weird No. 2 with the New York Philharmonic. —J.D.
Carnegie Hall (Hamelin, February 18) and David Geffen Hall (Bronfman, February 18 through 23).