Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

To Do: January 24–February 7, 2018

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


1. Watch One Day at a Time
Up on your feet. 
The heartfelt and imaginative reboot of Norman Lear’s 1970s single-mom sitcom is back for a
second season, with its core cast, including 80-something scene stealer Rita Moreno, returning from last year. —Matt Zoller Seitz
Netflix, January 26.

2. Listen to Man of the Woods
Is it R&B? Is it country? 
No one knows what Justin Timberlake is planning to unleash on the world with his forthcoming outdoor-themed album. But with a list of collaborators that includes producers Pharrell and Timbaland and the singers Chris Stapleton and Alicia Keys, it’s bound to be worth a try. —Craig Jenkins
RCA, February 2.

3. See Survival Research Laboratories
Noise, confusion, chaos.
Wayward, jerry-built machines belching fumes, moving like reptiles, and running amok are the stuff of the famous collective Survival Research Laboratories. All of these miraculous, mad sculptures have been brought back to life, made from discarded, obsolete, or otherwise purloined materials. Witness awe-inspiring forces falling apart. —Jerry Saltz
Marlborough Contemporary, 545 West 25th Street, through February 10.

4. Read A State of Freedom
Hope wrestles with despair. 
Neel Mukherjee’s new novel is episodic and ambitious: five linked novellas branching out from a devastating opening vignette — about an Anglo-Indian touring Agra with his 6-year-old son — into lives determined and divided by castes, communities, and generations. —Boris Kachka
W.W. Norton.

5. See Miles for Mary
Stars of track and field. 
Lila Neugebauer directs this play by the Mad Ones set in 1988 in a high-school phys-ed-teachers lounge during the annual Miles for Mary Telethon. A hit at the Bushwick Starr in 2016, it’s now reaching a wider audience through Playwrights Horizons’ Redux series. —Sara Holdren
Playwrights Horizons, through February 4.

6. Hear Haydn: The Seasons
Turn, turn, turn. 
Nature’s cycles of violence, serenity, and change have seduced many composers — think of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony — but few have turned a year of weather into a human drama as sweepingly or incisively as Haydn. One of the world’s great ensembles, the Cleveland Orchestra, does its miraculous best to emulate the great outdoors. —Justin Davidson
Carnegie Hall, January 24.

7. See Have a Nice Day
One crazy night. 
Want to have a blast watching a cartoon for grown-ups? Check out Liu Jian’s rollicking (and blessedly short) Chinese gangster thriller, which recalls both the Tarantino-scripted True Romance and the film A Hard Day — i.e., farce and carnage in equal measure, plus some breaks for Eastern contemplation. —David Edelstein
In theaters January 26.

8. Listen to Digital Rain
The enigmatic Johnny Jewel, leader of synth-pop act Chromatics, returns with this instrumental solo album. Expect another serving of the hazy, shoegaze-y sounds Jewel brought to the soundtracks to films like Ryan Gosling’s Lost River. —C.J.
Italians Do It Better, January 26.

9. See Cruzar la Cara de la Luna
Across the divide. 
You might think that mariachi and opera go together about as well as goulash and ice cream, but both are flexible enough genres to find some overlap. This music drama about a family riven by the U.S.-Mexico border had its premiere in Houston in 2010 and now gets a four-performance run at New York City Opera. —J.D.
Rose Hall, January 25 through 28.

10. Read Grist Mill Road
Cruel intentions. 
In his new novel, Christopher J. Yates tracks the consequences of youthful sins with a long lens. Patrick and Hannah have a seemingly solid marriage paving over a secret: Unseen, he witnessed a savage, near-fatal attack on the young teen Hannah by his friend Matthew. (Never has so much pain and suspense sprung from a BB-gun attack.) —B.K.

11. Listen to Amen
Sounds of transition. 
Rich Brian (formerly Rich Chigga), the teen from Jakarta, is graduating into a more reflective vibe on his debut album. Self-oriented and likely self-produced, Amen will show whether the internet phenomenon has what it takes to build a more substantial career.
88records, February 2.

12. See [PORTO]
Stepping out. 
Under the direction of Lee Sunday Evans, Kate Benson’s smart, soulful play about food, sex, gentrification, and an unexpected encounter between a regular and a stranger at a bar in an all-too-recognizable Brooklyn neighborhood makes its much-anticipated Off Broadway premiere. —S.H.
WP Theater, 2162 Broadway, January 28 through February 25.

13. Go to Fight the Power: Black Superheroes on Film
Can you dig it?
As the world gets ready for Marvel’s Black Panther, the biggest black-superhero film of all time, BAMcinématek reminds you of the movie’s ancestors in this series that highlights blaxploitation classics like Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and Shaft along with odd but inspired choices like The Brother From Another Planet. —D.E.
BAM, February 2 through 18.

14. Hear Here Be Sirens
Call of the wild.
Composer Kate Soper has embedded these mythical lethal creatures in an all-soprano opera rich in irony and literary luggage. Here, she presents a new performance of her entertaining and extreme music drama. —J.D.
National Sawdust, January 28.

15. Read The Line Becomes a River
Faces behind the wall.
This immigration story from Francisco Cantú stands out for its dramatic emotional arc and its many perspectives. It’s a sharply political and deeply personal narrative about the author’s time working with the Border Patrol. —B.K.
Riverhead, February 6.

16. See A Chronicle of the Madness of Small Worlds
The search for signs of intelligent life.
Director Elena Araoz adapts two short stories by Mac Wellman into a pair of fantastical monologues about the lives of the imagined inhabitants of an asteroid belt. Aliens, amnesia, love, loss, and interstellar anxiety meet live music and design by Justin Townsend. —S.H.
New York Theatre Workshop, through February 5.

17. See Byron Kim: Sunday Paintings, 1/7/01 to 2/11/18
Mark your calendar. 
Byron Kim unchains his heart in a series of small paintings of the sky, each painted on a Sunday and each incorporating his diary entry for that day. Where usually Kim’s paintings drill into theoretical-conceptual corners, these works impart a far more personal, accessible, open vulnerability, recording family traumas, dinner plans, and other days in the life of an artist. —J.S.
James Cohan, 533 West 26th Street, through February 17.

18. Go to This Alien Nation
Voices from all around.
Serbian-Australian writer Sofija Stefanovic hosts this comedic storytelling show on the topical subject of immigration. Hear fish-out-of-water stories from comedian Aparna Nancherla, writer and activist Nancy Mercado, actress Emma Ramos, and tech expert Anil Dash.
Joe’s Pub, February 7.

19. Watch Waco
We’re not in Dillon anymore.
Taylor Kitsch stars as cult leader David Koresh in this intense, psychologically oriented look at the siege of Waco, which ended in a fiery, fatal assault by FBI agents in 1993. Michael Shannon balances him out as the lead FBI negotiator on the case, and Melissa Benoist and John Leguizamo shine in supporting roles. —M.Z.S.
Paramount Network, January 24.

20. See Fire and Air
Pas de deux.
CSC artistic director John Doyle directs the world premiere of Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally’s new play about the great Ballets Russes, the Russian ballet company led by Sergei Diaghilev, whose storied and stormy relationship with the dancer Vaslav Nijinsky changed the world of dance forever.    —S.H.
Classic Stage Company, through February 25.

21. See Julius Eastman: That Which Is Fundamental
Paying respects.  
The life of the minimalist composer Julius Eastman is among the sadder stories of modern American music. A gay black militant during the Reagan years, he died at 49 in 1990, largely ignored in the movement’s chronicles. Now the posthumous rediscovery rolls on with an exhibition and six concerts, including a performance of Eastman’s simultaneously monumental and jaunty hourlong Femenine. —J.D.
The Kitchen, through February 10.

22. Go to Ingmar Bergman
The most thrilling retrospective of the year.
It’s the global centennial celebration of the films of Ingmar Bergman: 47 movies the tortured, guilt-ridden, but ever-randy master directed or wrote or both, 40 newly restored. See the obvious masterpieces (The Seventh Seal, Persona) but don’t miss the less-obvious ones, among them the ne plus ultra of bleak religious torment, Winter Light. —D.E.
Film Forum, February 7 through March 15.

23. See Yung Lean & Sad Boys
Trap jams you can dance to.
Scandinavian rapper Yung Lean makes music that’s perfect for winter: The towering, synth-laced productions underfoot evoke vast expanses of ice, while Lean and rap partners like Bladee ponder life’s ups and downs in an Auto-Tuned sigh. —C.J.
Irving Plaza, February 7.

24. Watch Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
No, you’re crying watching a makeover show.
Queer Eye is a show that belongs to a very specific early-aughts moment, when gay culture was just edging into the mainstream in a big way. That the Netflix reboot of the series actually works in 2018 is perhaps the biggest surprise of the year. Politics is touched on — including an episode where they make over a Trump supporter — but what’s most effective are the moments of genuine human connection.
Netflix, February 7.

25. See Hangmen
Left in the lurch. 
Olivier- and Oscar-winning playwright Martin McDonagh’s newest play, about the fate of a hangman when England abolishes hanging in 1965, makes its U.S. premiere in a transfer from the Royal Court in London. —S.H.
Atlantic Theater Company, through March 4. 


Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift