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To Do: March 8–March 22, 2017

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


1. See Logan
Prepare to be gobsmacked. 
The new Marvel number is deservedly R-rated for splatter, dismemberment, disembowelment, decapitation, and the bleakest story line this side of Manchester by the Sea. Is it good? Yes, but if you think studios never dump major characters for fear of ending so-called franchises — boy, do you have some surprises in store. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.

2. Watch Underground
Forging ahead.
Season one of this action thriller about slave rebellion ended mainly in frustration, leavened by notes of hope: Most of the Macon 7 were recaptured, injured, or killed, but one made it out and allied herself with abolitionist Harriet Tubman (Aisha Hinds). Essentially Roots by way of Prison Break, this is a series that found itself as it went along, and it stands poised to enjoy a terrific second season.            —Matt Zoller Seitz
WGN, March 8.

3. Go to Green Day and Against Me!
Stadium showdown.
It’s shocking that the purveyors of lean, hooky punk rock that explores the intersection between matters personal and political, NorCal game-changers Green Day and Gainesville, Florida, vets Against Me!, have never done a full tour together before. Be there at Barclays for the sparks. —Craig Jenkins
Barclays Center, March 15.

4. See Julian Lethbridge
Labyrinthine visions. 
Feel time slow down, undulate a little, and deepen and then flex in the structures of these sensually intellectual paintings. Chancy dashes and perfectly placed daubs are combed over with homemade tools, creating intense fluctuations of abstracted petal shapes, beaks, and ocean swells. —Jerry Saltz
Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 West 21st Street, through March 18.

5. See Fidelio
Music for the resistance. 
You couldn’t ask for a timelier classic than Beethoven’s stirring ode to anti-authoritarianism. The composer’s ideas of democracy were hardly ours, but the opera has stood for victory over fascism, opposition to communism, and so on. However, since large opera companies’ schedules move more sluggishly than shifting political winds, the fact that this work is returning for the first time in over a decade is purely coincidental. —Justin Davidson
Metropolitan Opera, opens March 16.

6. See The Last Laugh
In on the joke. 
Ferne Pearlstein’s doc is about the joy and danger of offending people — those on the political right and left or just people who don’t think you should joke about, say, the Holocaust. Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, and Harry Shearer are among the brave (but, more important, funny) interviewees. —D.E.
In theaters now.

7. Read Age of Anger: A History of the Present
Attitude adjustment.   
Dusting off that old Nietzschean byword ressentiment, Pankaj Mishra argues that irrational envy wasn’t defeated in 1945 or even in 1989. The book is a provocative call to reexamine our Enlightenment pieties that couldn’t be better timed. —Boris Kachka

8. Hear Hot Thoughts
Another knockout. 

Austin quartet Spoon is an indie-rock institution that, after over 20 years, seems reliably incapable of releasing a bad record. Hot Thoughts is album No. 9, and just like the band’s 2008 single “Don’t You Evah,” the aim is to nudge the group’s taut, perfect timing as close to straight-up funk as it gets. —C.J.
Matador, March 17.

9. Watch Shots Fired
Superior social-problem drama.
Racially charged shootings in a small southern town create a ripple effect, jostling the local power structure out of its complacency and unearthing very old grievances. Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Helen Hunt, Aisha Hinds, Richard Dreyfuss, and Will Patton lead the formidable cast. —M.Z.S.
Fox, March 22.

10. Hear New York Philharmonic
Virtuosos unite.   
Esa-Pekka Salonen keeps giving music lovers new reasons to be happy that he pulled back from conducting in order to compose; the latest is a cello concerto he wrote for Yo-Yo Ma. Alan Gilbert leads into the new piece with John Adams’s 32-year-old The Chairman Dances (Foxtrot for Orchestra), a winsome hallucination of an evening chez Mao, and concludes with Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Sold out; check secondary outlets. —J.D.
David Geffen Hall, March 15 through 18.

11. See The Strangest
Both sides now. 
The plot of Albert Camus’s The Stranger turns on the murder of a man never identified except as “the Arab.” The Strangest, suggested by the classic novel, turns the tale inside out, exploring the mysterious murder through the device of a traditional Arab storytelling café in which the audience is immersed. Betty Shamieh (The Black Eyed) is the author; May Adrales (Vietgone) directs. —Jesse Green
4th Street Theatre, March 11 through April 1.

12. See Vija Celmins
Quiet brilliance. 
If you want to see the greatest visionary realism being made in America today, go get lost in the show of MacArthur-grant-winning artist Vija Celmins (pronounced Vee-ah Sell-mens). See her perfect small-scale paintings, drawings, and prints of waves and the night sky and uncanny replicas of rocks. Stars glimmering and water rolling never beckoned so beautifully. —J.S.
Matthew Marks, through April 15.

13. Read Running
International affair.  
Cara Hoffman’s third novel follows three drifters in Athens who work as “runners,” hustlers who lure tourists back to low-rent hotels in exchange for kickbacks. Spanning multiple continents and time periods, Hoffman’s haunting, original narrative weaves a gauzy portrait of youthful longing, sticky romance, and regret.    
Simon & Schuster.

14. See God of Vengeance
Uptown girls. 
Earlier this winter at La MaMa, the New Yiddish Rep produced a rare revival of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance (Got fun Nekome) — the controversial 1907 play (with lesbianism!) at the center of Paula Vogel’s Off Broadway hit Indecent. Now that Indecent is making the move to Broadway, where it opens in April, why shouldn’t God of Vengeance move uptown too? The Times Square incarnation is completely restaged, as befits its new location in a church. —J.G.
Theatre at St. Clement’s, March 14 through 26.

15. See Deafheaven
Commanding yowl.
With the texture of shoegaze and the unyielding rhythms of black metal, this Bay Area quintet is one of the most creative metal acts around. Front man George Clarke sweetens the deal with his extreme vocals.
Warsaw, March 14.

16. Watch American Crime
You reap what you sow.
John Ridley’s anthology series is back for another round with Regina King & Co., this time tackling couldn’t-be-timelier topics such as reproductive rights and the economic divide in America. The show has a slower burn this season but is no less unsettling.
ABC, March 12.

17. See Curlew River and Dido and Aeneas
Double feature.
Nearly three centuries separate Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas from Britten’s Curlew River, and three decades divide Mark Morris’s productions of the two chamber operas. That double span compresses into a haunting evening of music about faithfulness and loss. —J.D.
BAM, March 15 through 19.

18. See The Ottoman Lieutenant
Your escort awaits you.
Game of Thrones’s most romantic mercenary, Michiel Huisman, is well on his way to becoming the thinking woman’s heartthrob. In this WWI drama (and his first leading role), he’s a Turkish officer on the eastern front who falls for the strong-willed American nurse he’s tasked with chaperoning.
Opens March 10.

19. See The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project
Family circus.
Brothers Hari and Ashok Kondabolu return to Littlefield for another improv-based show of political comedy and meandering conversation. Expect riffs on everything from gentrification to family embarrassments. 
Littlefield, March 19.

20. See Home/Sick
They are a-changin’.
The Assembly’s much-praised 2011 panorama of 1960s activism traces the lineage that led from idealistic antiwar protests to the Weather Underground. This timely revival is less a history lesson than a chance “to reconsider the promise and peril of radical activism and dissent.” —J.G.
JACK, March 9 through 25.

21. Hear The Navigator
Activist pop.
Bronx Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra’s acclaimed folk-rock act Hurray for the Riff Raff infuses its acoustic sound with a shock of electrics on their new album, an auspicious collection of songs about gentrification and immigrants being squeezed out of cities. —C.J.
ATO Records, March 10.

22. Go to The Brit New Wave
Explosive cinematic Brexits.
Two John Osborne adaptations directed by Tony Richardson — Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer — launch this festival of ’60s British classics. —D.E.
Film Forum, March 22 through April 6.

23. See Africa Now!
Global all-stars.
The World Music Institute presents this showcase of five groundbreaking African artists, including lively reggae-rock from the Congo’s Mbongwana Star and Tuareg 12-bars from Mali’s Songhoy Blues.
Apollo Theater, March 11.

24. Go to In Situ
Let the choir sing!
Creative Time and the NYPL kick off their new site-specific conversation series with the theme “How to Reasonably Believe in God.” Watch a matchup of Iranian-American artist Shirin Neshat and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, moderated by Sister Helen Prejean.      
St. John the Divine, March 16.

25. See Paul Taylor Dance Company
American-made moves. 
The much-lauded modern-dance company returns to Lincoln Center for classic PTDC dances, as well as the world premiere of Taylor’s Ports of Call and the New York premiere of his The Open Door.
Koch Theater, March 7 through 26.

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