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To Do: April 6–April 20, 2016

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


Pop
1. See Duran Duran and Shamir
Perfect pop, past and present. 
Duran Duran certainly know how to pick an opening act: Post-gender party animal Shamir is the perfect artist to prepare the crowd to sing along to some of the most anthemic synth-pop songs ever recorded. To celebrate the occasion, he even recorded a twangy, acoustic cover of “Hungry Like the Wolf” — check it out. —Lindsay Zoladz
Barclays Center, April 12.

Theater
2. See She Loves Me
Such delicious tingles. 
By day, they trade barbs in a Budapest parfumerie; by night, they pour out their hearts to each other in anonymous love letters. Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi star as the lovers-who-don’t-yet-know-it in the most charming of all golden-age musicals, with a perfectly engineered book by Joe Masteroff, endlessly witty and revealing lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and a nigh-perfect score by Jerry Bock. —Jesse Green
Studio 54, through June 12.

Movies
3.–5. See Miles Ahead, Born to Be Blue, and I Saw the Light
Must-see men of music.
How about a triple bill proving that (a) musician biopics are inevitably compromised by the genre’s dopey conventions and (b) musician biopics offer amazing opportunities for actors to shine? Don Cheadle is a wild-eyed, electrifying Miles Davis in the half-great Miles Ahead, in which everything outside the contrived story line works like gangbusters. Ethan Hawke is a poetically moody — if a tad insecure — Chet Baker in the somewhat tin-eared Born to Be Blue. And Tom Hiddleston manages to save parts of I Saw the Light as a wasted, tormented Hank Williams. Even when you don’t like what you’re looking at, you can close your eyes and be transported. —David Edelstein
In theaters.

Art
6. See You Are Everything
Sarah Braman, sensational sculptor. 
In this solo show, Braman embraces a sort of dilapidated but still-loved found-sculpture aesthetic, assembling in beautiful agglomerations with tinted glass; wonderfully colored fabrics; and unruly discarded furniture, household items, and cut-up plywood. She arrives among Rachel Harrison, Mike Kelley, Richard Prince, and Donald Judd, putting a marker down as one of the strongest sculptors working anywhere. —Jerry Saltz
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, through April 16.

Opera
7. See Elektra
A blistering one-act. 
Strauss’s opera of savagery, nightmares, and family loathing isn’t exactly date-night material, but it is one of the 20th century’s most thrillingly fearsome works. The great director Patrice Chéreau died before his production made it to the stage, but if there’s anyone he would have trusted to get it right, that would be conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, his regular collaborator. The cast features soprano Nina Stemme in the title role; let’s just say you don’t want to get on her bad side. —Justin Davidson
Metropolitan Opera, opening April 14.

TV
8. Watch The Girlfriend Experience
Ace adaptation. 
This take on Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film stars Riley Keough as a Chicago law student making money on the side as an escort specializing in something like being a girlfriend, only not. Created and directed by indie filmmakers Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan, this series has the iceberg cool of Soderbergh’s original and its mournful intelligence as well. —Matt Zoller Seitz
Starz, April 10 at 8 p.m.

Dance
9. See Miami City Ballet
A major homecoming. 
Former New York City Ballet star Lourdes Lopez, now artistic director of Miami City Ballet, brings her superb company (considered on a par with NYCB) to the stage she once danced on, and the repertoire is enough to make any city balletomane consider a trip south: Balanchine, Tharp, Scarlett, and the much-anticipated local premiere of Justin Peck’s Heatscape. —Rebecca Milzoff
David H. Koch Theater, April 13 through 17.

Art/Design
10. See Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History
A colorful world brought to life.
Anyone lucky enough to have seen Isaac Mizrahi’s ’80s and ’90s fashion shows recalls walking on air: His fresh designs embodied the vision of a true artist and made women feel like a million bucks. This lively show — leading with a vivid wall of fabric swatches into oh-so-Isaac ensembles like an “exploded-sequin” parka and “orange-orange” coat—exudes that same joy. —Wendy Goodman
The Jewish Museum, through August 7.

Pop
11. See Julianna Barwick
Prepare to be transported who knows where. 
Brooklyn-based Julianna Barwick’s music is like a fine mist, transforming any room into a tranquil, transcendent space. This performance at MoMA (a few weeks before the release of her gorgeous new album Will) will be one-of-a-kind; it’s a collaboration with the L.A. visual artist Matthew Brandt, known for his nature-themed installations. —L.Z.
MoMA, April 14.

Books
12. Read Consequence
Eric Fair’s war stories. 
A certain orange candidate’s savage blustering is reason enough to revisit our abuses in Iraq. Fair, who followed brutal orders as an Abu Ghraib interrogator, has no choice but to relive those moments in nightmares; his decision to assemble them into a memoir isn’t in itself heroic, but his self-lacerating moral clarity might qualify. —Boris Kachka
Henry Holt.

Theater
13. See The Effect
Viagra for the heart. 
Two of the subjects of an antidepressant trial have a strange symptom: They are falling in love. Is their altered brain chemistry affecting their emotions or vice versa? And does it matter? Lucy Prebble’s smashing comic drama, directed by David Cromer, puts pharmaceuticals — and attraction — under the microscope, gradually revealing itself as an argument about free will and self-knowledge. —J.G.
Barrow Street Theatre, through June 19.

Movies
14. Go to the Tribeca Film Festival
A feast of films. 
It’s the 15th Tribeca Film Festival — this year with a digital hub and “virtual arcade”! — which we can wholeheartedly embrace now that De Niro dumped the spurious anti-vax doc. What to see? Who knows — that’s the fun! But we’ll recommend Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey as Elvis & Nixon, films by and starring comedians Demetri Martin and Mike Birbiglia, and … oh, just download the schedule. —D.E.
Various venues (tribecafilm.com),April 13 through 24.

Classical Music
15. Hear Brooklyn Rider
Cool kids with bows.
The hometown quartet of the world’s coolest borough is, naturally, the world’s coolest chamber group, and also the group in residence at Williamsburg’s impeccably cool new venue. With all this excellence rattling around and with such a versatile gang, you never know what you might hear; on this night, it’s the local premiere of music from the ensemble’s 2014 release, Almanac, with works by an assortment of indie-rock and jazz natives. —J.D.
National Sawdust, April 12.

TV
16. Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race
It will give you life.
This is still the freshest reality show around. Well into its eighth season, there have already been spot-on parodies of everything from Empire to the Supreme Court — but what really makes this drag-queen competition sing are the shades of real pathos and heartbreak. You’ll gag on the eleganza, but you might cry, too. 
Logo, Mondays at 9 p.m.

Art
17. See Utopian Erotic
From an intriguing unknown.

The artist (whose identity is unknown to the public) who goes by the New Age–y name Alphachanneling has long been known on Instagram, where his erotic modern Kama Sutra images of see-through sex regularly garner thousands of “likes.” I thought I discovered him a few years ago and wrote about him; turns out visionary dealer Jack Hanley has been on the phantasmagoric-pervert artistic trail as well. Tingle, giggle, or scoff at the stupidity. I love ’em. —J.S.
Jack Hanley Gallery, through April 17.

Pop
18. See Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair
Do you love the ’90s? 
The dream of the ’90s is alive for two nights, when the Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair — both darlings of the Chicago alt-rock boom — will share a bill. The Pumpkins came back last year, but the real draw here is Phair, who hasn’t toured in years and whose tart anthems have only gotten better with age. —L.Z.
Beacon Theatre, April 4 through 6.

Dance/Music
19. See Migguel Anggelo: Another Son of Venezuela
A new kind of music theater.
Venezuela’s Migguel Anggelo and the Immigrants put on a show that’s fast and furious, alive with music (Latin, pop, and folk) and dance and punctuated by a heart-searing theatrical monologue. It’s deserving of a permanent venue; for now, squeeze into Joe’s Pub for one of two nights.
Joe’s Pub, April 11 and 21.

Movies
20. Go to Old School Kung Fu Fest
Kick-ass.
You can’t do what I did in the ’70s and ’80s: see kung fu movies in the scary theaters of the Deuce or the decrepit ones of Chinatown. But you can pretend at the “Old School Kung Fu Fest,” featuring such Golden Harvest Films classics as Tsui Hark’s The Blade and Pedicab Driver, a funny but surprisingly violent action picture with the chubby, shockingly fleet Sammo Hung. Don’t miss tacky but exhilarating mess The Man From Hong Kong, with ex-Bond George Lazenby and Yu Wang. —D.E.
The Metrograph, April 8 through 10.

Classical Music/Dance
21. See Les Fêtes Vénitiennes
Opulent opera.
Venice in the 18th century was famously the headquarters of excess, and director Robert Carsen doesn’t stint in his production of André Campra’s Baroque opera-ballet. Giant puppets, dancing gondoliers, ball gowns, and a voluptuary air swirl through this show, conducted by William Christie with his customary mix of vigor and restraint. —J.D.
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, April 14 through 17.

Urban Adventuring
22. Go to Obscura Day
Shades of gray.
There’s no tour guide through New York ephemera quite like Atlas Obscura, so take this opportunity to use its vast knowledge of the city’s hidden treasures for a dedicated day of exploration; among the dozen-plus options, you can attend a secret garden party in a hidden East Village cemetery, find a submarine in Coney Island Creek, and taste period food at a Victorian banquet.
Various venues (see atlasobscura.com), April 16.

TV
23. Watch Supergirl
Flying high.
A delightful and surprising success, this sprightly version of the DC Comics title about a Kryptonian superwoman (Melissa Benoist) has some of the grace and likability of the ’70s and ’80s Superman movies. It also gives Ally McBeal herself, Calista Flockhart, a hilarious and multilayered supporting role as the reporter heroine’s publisher.  —M.Z.S.
CBS, April 18 at 8 p.m.

Theater
24. See Cagney
Tell all the gang on 43rd Street …
As the Broadway season reaches its usual peak of April hysteria, you may want to give your regards to an Off Broadway musical bio of one of the movies’ great song-and-dance men. Robert Creighton, hoofing to Josh Bergasse’s choreography, stars as the tapping tough guy; the music includes George M. Cohan standards as well as new material by Creighton and Christopher McGovern. —J.G.
Westside Theatre.

Classical Music
25. Hear Jeremy Denk
Rethinking the piano recital.
Scanning one of Denk’s programs is a little like coming across a diary entry, notes from an investigation, or an upper-level seminar syllabus. The range is huge, the connections cryptic, and the topic difficult to pin down. In his next recital, Denk makes a 400-year sweep from William Byrd to Conlon Nancarrow, with detours to ragtime, pseudo-ragtime, and — why not? — Schubert’s last ­sonata. —J.D.
Carnegie Hall, April 17. 


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