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To Do: March 7–March 21, 2018

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

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Art
1. See Peter Plagens
Going to new painterly heights. 
The super-smart critic Peter Plagens has always been a painter of note. His new work blows the doors off visual charisma, smashed space, and mutant geometry. Like freak flags of form floating in flat fields of rich color, these large-scale beauties are gripping, refreshing, and have an internal solidity that conjures new ideas about structure in formation. —Jerry Saltz
Nancy Hoffman Gallery, 520 West 27th Street, through March 10.

TV
2. Watch Rise
Clear eyes, full hearts, jazz hands. 
If you watched even a few minutes of NBC’s live Olympics coverage, you probably saw an ad for this new drama by Friday Night Lights head writer Jason Katims that applies an FNL sensibility to a different extracurricular activity: theater. Initial episodes of the series are heartfelt and lovely, especially in their portrayal of the kids — including a closeted gay teen and a trans student — who are having their own awakenings while attempting to stage Spring Awakening.
NBC, March 13.

Theater
3. See Angels in America
Still spinning forward.
Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer-winning, moment-defining two-part epic returns to Broadway in a highly anticipated production from London’s National Theatre, directed by Marianne Elliott and featuring a starry cast including Nathan Lane, Andrew Garfield, and Denise Gough. Kushner’s “Gay Fantasia on National Themes” first exploded into the American theater in the 1990s, and its interweaving stories of AIDS, religion, bigotry, love and loss, hope, and despair feel ready for a reexamination in our fractured, politically frightening moment. —Sara Holdren
Neil Simon Theatre, in previews through March 30.

Pop
4. See Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Things will get loud. 
Any opportunity to bask in the punishing, colossal electric-guitar noise of this Canadian post-rock collective is a gift. Come with an open heart and reliable earplugs. —Craig Jenkins
Brooklyn Steel, March 12.

Classical Music
5. See Cellular Songs
The groundbreaking continues. 
If you’ve never attended a Meredith Monk performance, you’ve never experienced anything quite like it either: She was blending dance, theater, ritual, vocal play, and incantation before the word multimedia even existed. Her latest work explores nature at the microscopic level, something her music has been doing all along. —Justin Davidson
BAM, March 14 to 18.

Movies
6. See Police Story
Overlooked but not forgotten. 
Jackie Chan was at his physical and artistic peak in 1985 when he concocted this virtuosic hash of sight gags and cop-movie tropes that would have thrilled both Bruce Lee and Buster Keaton. The movie (which co-stars Maggie Cheung) was actually selected for the 1987 New York Film Festival, where the New York Times’ Janet Maslin dismissed it as “a work of karate-based comedy hardly in keeping with the festival’s usual fare.” Karate?! —David Edelstein
Metrograph, March 9 to 15.

Art
7. See Laurel Nakadate: The Kingdom
Layers of devotion. 
It’s rare to see visual invocations of one of the oldest painting traditions in Western art: a mother’s love. In shamanic photographic conjurings, Laurel Nakadate — always among the strongest artists working with a camera — portrays her late mother, who died before she could meet her new grandson, holding this baby boy. In scores of pictures we see daughter to mother, mother to grandson, all in this happy imagined melancholy kingdom. —J.S.
Leslie Tonkonow, 535 West 22nd Street, sixth floor, through March 17.

Movies
8. See A Wrinkle in Time
Great expectations for this one. 
If you weren’t at least partly formed by reading Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, you have a black hole in your inner galaxy that needs filling now. After you finish the book, see Ava DuVernay’s Disney-produced adaptation, which follows two “tessering” (space-time-traveling) kids through multiple dimensions in the company of, among others, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Chris Pine. Unseen at this writing. Let’s hope they don’t screw it up! —D.E.
In theaters March 9.

TV
9. Watch Deception
MacGyver with spangles, basically.
The kind of breezy, low-calorie entertainment that broadcast networks have all but forgotten how to do, this series stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as a grandiose illusionist in the David Copperfield vein who lends his expertise to the U.S. government, helping it understand exactly how people pulled the wool over its eyes and creating illusions to fool criminals, terrorists, and the like. —Matt Zoller Seitz
ABC, March 11.

Theater
10. See Folk Wandering
Wayfaring strangers. 
A new musical conceived by playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, Folk Wandering follows three women of three different generations in the first half of the 20th century. Pipeline Theatre Company creates a collaborative celebration of American hope and heartache, in a sweeping theatrical epic with an acoustic twist. —S.H.
Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T., 502 West 53rd Street, through March 25.

World Music
11. Go to Pan-Asia Sounding Festival
Far-flung sonic adventures. 
Du Yun, the Shanghai-born composer who won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in music, curates a six-concert festival that packs a lot of geography into a small hall. The miniature extravaganza kicks off with Gamelan Dharma Swara performing contemporary music for traditional Indonesian ensemble, followed by Du Yun’s own improvisational band, OK Miss. —J.D.
National Sawdust, March 9 to 11.

Comedy
12. Go to Employee of the Month With Catie Lazarus
Pulling out all the stops. 
For nine years, Catie Lazarus has interviewed guests with enviable jobs using a signature combination of insight and comedic sensibility. For this big anniversary installment of her live talk show, she welcomes comedian Hannibal Buress, Hamilton’s Alex Lacamoire, actress Emily Mortimer, and musical guests Resistance Revival Chorus.
Gramercy Theater, March 15.

Movies
13. See Amazon Adventure
Natural extravaganza.
One thing that gets us off our derrières is the promise of spectacle, and you can get a vertiginous dose of it from this 3-D dramatized docudrama. It’s 40 minutes of wondrous Amazonian panoramas, exotic-animal close-ups, and Grade B (but decent) reenactments of the 11-year journey of 19th-century naturalist and explorer Henry Walter Bates, who provided the so-called beautiful proof of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. —D.E.
American Museum of Natural History, opens March 9.

TV
14. Watch Collateral
Carey Mulligan takes on a mystery.
This four-part limited series, a co-production between BBC2 and Netflix, has already won positive reviews from U.K. critics. Given its ambition and pedigree — Sir David Hare wrote the episodes and Carey Mulligan stars as the detective inspector investigating the death of a Syrian refugee — it belongs on your March binge-watch schedule.
Netflix, March 9.

Art
15. See Carrie Moyer: Pagan’s Rapture
Sweeping auras and boreal nights.
Carrie Moyer is making the hottest, most ambitious and optically ferocious abstract paintings of her life. Sensual passages of stains, drips, and what look like imprints made from available female bodies conjure a world of light, cloud-scapes, body interiors, sex up close, and diamond gasses. The spaces she creates are simultaneously deep, biological, psychological, and metaphysical. —J.S.
DC Moore Gallery, 535 West 22nd Street, through March 22.

Books
16. Read The Friend
Literary references and bittersweet laments. 
An unnamed narrator inherits a Great Dane from a friend, a writer of Rothian sexual appetites, who recently committed suicide. A serious book about a big sloppy dog, Sigrid Nunez’s seventh novel displays intellectual heft and a distinctive sense of humor and narrative momentum. —Boris Kachka
Riverhead.

Theater
17. See The Brobot Johnson Experience
The bot who fell to Earth …
Award-winning solo performer and poet Darian Dauchan stars in a multimedia Afrofuturist sci-fi epic of his own creation. Following one of the Brobots — a race of hip-hop androids spreading their message of “peace, love, and dopeness” through the universe 100 years in the future — Dauchan’s space odyssey jumps from beat-boxing to live looped vocals in a theatrical concert experience that sounds both trippy and delightful. —S.H.
The Bushwick Starr, through March 17.

Pop
18. Listen to Now Only
Going deep. 
Singer-songwriter Phil Elverum follows up last year’s breathtaking, heartbreaking A Crow Looked at Me with this new album from his Mount Eerie project, which cranks up the distortion for a series of stories about people “all absorbed in their own personal catastrophes.” —C.J.
P. W. Elverum & Sun, March 16.

Books
19. Read Pure Hollywood
Gone girls.
A collection of deeply unsettling, sparse stories by expert writer Christine Schutt. An exhausted young mother, a mysterious disappearance, desert dreams: This bite-size book reads like a hysterical mirage.
Grove Press, March 13.

Movies
20. Stream Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Because we all need a laugh.
This hilarious send-up of music biopics kinda flopped at the box office a decade ago, and it shouldn’t have. But John C. Reilly’s goofball rock-star persona has since found a cult following, and Jake Kasdan’s epic spoof continues to suck up new fans faster than Dewey can plow through musical eras.
Netflix.

Classical Music
21. Hear The Philadelphia Orchestra
A sparkling evening.
The Netherlands has produced more than its share of superb classical musicians. Among them is violinist Janine Jansen, who, as part of her “Perspectives” series, performs a violin concerto by another Dutch overachiever, Grawemeyer Award–winning composer Michel van der Aa. Then Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2.      —J.D.
Carnegie Hall, March 13.

Pop
22. Listen to There’s a Riot Going On
Soon to be playing at a Bushwick bar near you.
The veteran Hoboken indie rock trio Yo La Tengo has borrowed the name of Sly & the Family Stone’s 1971 classic for its new album, which oscillates gorgeously between singers James McNew, Ira Kaplan, and Georgia Hubley’s plaintive vocals and lengthy stretches of hazy, gauzy guitar noise.      —C.J.
Matador Records, March 16.

TV
23. Watch Life Sentence
Now, that’s a new one.
This is the rare sitcom with a premise you’ve never seen before. Lucy Hale stars as a young woman who reacted to a cancer diagnosis by spending the next eight years living like the free-spirited heroine of a Hollywood movie about cancer, and now finds herself living with the consequences of her carpe diem decisions (including her marriage to a handsome Englishman, played by Elliot Knight, who thought she didn’t have long to live). —M.Z.S.
The CW, March 7.

Opera
24. See Così Fan Tutte
A reinvented classic.
Mozart’s sly, heartbreaking opera about the tug-of-war between cynicism and romance never goes out of date, and director Phelim McDermott sets it in Coney Island in its honky-tonk heyday because … well, why not? Christopher Maltman and Kelli O’Hara sing the jaded puppeteers, with Amanda Majeski, Serena Malfi, Ben Bliss, and Adam Plachetka as their sentimental victims — and victors. —J.D.
Metropolitan Opera, opens March 15.

Classical Music
25. See Alarm Will Sound
Outside the box. 
Few composers embodied the extremes, both tragic and absurd, of life in the 20th century with as much aplomb as György Ligeti did. Bold, controlled, funny, and outrageous, his music seems constantly fresh. Alarm Will Sound interweaves his work with the story of his drama-filled life. —J.D.
Zankel Hall, March 16.


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