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To Do: April 18–May 2, 2018

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

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Movies
1. See Blockers
A real coming-of-age story.   
Don’t let anyone block you from seeing this screamingly funny film in which three close but very different teenage girls make a pact to lose their virginity after senior prom, and three parents — Leslie Mann, John Cena, and Ike Barinholtz — embark on a hysterical odyssey to stop the plan from reaching fruition. Director Kay Cannon (who wrote Pitch Perfect) has a background in improv comedy, which might be why the actors seem so slaphappily in their element. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.

Pop
2. Listen to Dirty Computer
Shake it up. 
R&B-pop dynamo Janelle Monáe writes proggy story songs you can dance to. Her new album follows 2010’s The ArchAndroid and 2013’s The Electric Lady, telling tales of a futuristic android revolution through state-of-the-art hip-hop–soul bops like “Django Jane” and “Make Me Feel.” —Craig Jenkins
Wondaland/Bad Boy/Atlantic, April 27.

Art
3. See Brent Green: A Brief Spark Bookended by Darkness
Horror, intensity, and mad fun.
This gallery has been quietly great for well over a decade and is key in bringing scores of so-called outsider artists to light. Witness Brent Green’s wild objects — full-size pseudo-garments that become angelic or demonic when they’re put on. Elaborate animated films combined with puppeteer figures give us an original artist equally at home with sculpture, drawing, and fantasy. —Jerry Saltz
Andrew Edlin Gallery, 212 Bowery, through April 28.

Theater
4. See Miss You Like Hell
On the road. 
A new musical from songwriter Erin McKeown and Tony- and Pulitzer-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes. Lear deBessonet directs this genre-bending American road-trip tale of 16-year-old Olivia and her estranged mother, Beatriz, an undocumented immigrant in danger of deportation. —Sara Holdren
The Public Theater, through May 6.

Books
5. Read God Save Texas
Heading south.   
Lawrence Wright, a lifelong Texan and acclaimed author (The Looming Tower, Going Clear), knows his way around the Lone Star State’s contradictions, from its wild borderlands to its craziest legislators. His Texas biography is important, timely, and — most important — riveting. —Boris Kachka
Knopf.

Movies
6. See Where Is Kyra?
Woman on the verge. 
Andrew Dosunmu’s films have their arty longueurs, but Where Is Kyra?, his reteaming with Darci Picoult, the boundlessly empathetic writer of Mother of George, offers a gem of a pedestal for the great Michelle Pfeiffer as a deeply depressed middle-aged divorcée living with her Brooklyn mother — whose death leaves her with no viable support, emotional or financial. Her solution is novel, stirring, and none too bright. —D.E.
In theaters now.

Art
7. See Carole Freeman: Unsung
The difference-makers. 
These transporting portraits are beautiful meditations in paint on great women and men like Rachel Carson, who wrote the world-changing Silent Spring, and Hugh Thompson Jr., the helicopter pilot who tried to halt the 1968 My Lai massacre. Each is rendered lovingly and intensely; the works impart that the chariot to greatness comes in many forms and that every artist is also one of these mighty figures, laboring with passion in private shadows. —J.S.
Jim Kempner Fine Art, 501 West 23rd Street, through April 22.

Classical Music
8. Hear Time Travelers to Versailles
If these walls could talk. 
Versailles wasn’t just a château with a garden; it was the West’s own Xanadu, the pleasure palace of the divinely entitled. In conjunction with the exhibit “Visitors to Versailles (1682–1789),” the 18th century and ours talk to each other through music inspired by the headquarters of the ancien régime. Charpentier, who was there, shares a program with new works by Timo Andres and Caroline Shaw. —Justin Davidson
Metropolitan Museum of Art, April 21.

Theater
9. See Light Shining in Buckinghamshire
Country on fire. 
Director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) returns to New York Theatre Workshop — where she staged the award-winning musical Hadestown — to tackle the incomparable Caryl Churchill’s tale of revolutionaries, power struggles, and political and social upheaval in
1647 England. —S.H.
New York Theatre Workshop, April 18–May 27. 

Opera
10. Hear Lawrence Brownlee and Friends
A dialogue set to melody. 
An opera singer famous for whipping off Rossini showstoppers with his clear, warm, high-flying tenor, Lawrence Brownlee turns close to home with a timely new song cycle. Written by two — count ’em — MacArthur fellows, poet Terrance Hayes and composer Tyshawn Sorey, Cycles of My Being explores the experience of being a black man in America. —J.D.
Zankel Hall, April 24.

Movies
11. Go to the Tribeca Film Festival
It’s all happening downtown.
NYC’s lovable giant mongrel film fest is back for its 17th year, with a slew of features and docs and panels and Big Events like the Schindler’s List reunion with Spielberg, Neeson, and others. Among the highlights are the Rachel Weisz lesbian drama Disobedience, the stand-up teenage-girl-comedian drama Jellyfish, and about 100 other films. —D.E.
Various locations, April 18–29.

Pop
12. See Todd Rundgren
All aboard the way-back machine. 
Todd Rundgren is a rock and pop genius, from ’70s AM-radio staples like “I Saw the Light” and “Hello It’s Me” to headier outings as front man for the prog outfit Utopia. Catch the legend live for a trip through a fearless back catalogue. —C.J.
Bergen Performing Arts Center, April 20.

TV
13. Watch Westworld
Mind-bendingly postmodern.
The acclaimed Western–science-fiction drama returns for a second season with (if reports are to be believed) a change in direction, with many of the robots seemingly arrayed against their human masters in violent rebellion, and Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s story line looking more forward than backward. —Matt Zoller Seitz
HBO, April 22.

Books
14. Read Theory of Bastards
Packing it in.
At the start of Audrey Schulman’s fifth novel, scientist Francine Burk has just won a MacArthur grant and been invited to pursue her pioneering theory among a midwestern camp of bonobos. But there are complications: endometriosis, a love affair, and a catastrophic dust storm. As the kids say, it’s a lot, but Schulman pulls it off beautifully. —B.K.
Europa, April 24.

TV
15. Watch The Handmaid’s Tale
Season two is here. Praise be. 
One of the most talked-about dramas of 2017 returns, picking up where it left off, but with a much lighter, brighter tone … just kidding, it’s still the realization of your worst feminist nightmares.
Hulu, April 25.

Theater
16. See The Seafarer
Joker’s wild.
Matthew Broderick stars in this revival of Conor McPherson’s witty, wily tale of desperate men playing games for immortal stakes. On the outside, The Seafarer is the story of Sharky, unemployed and just trying to make it through Christmas Eve while caring for his recently blinded brother. But with the arrival of a mysterious stranger, Sharky’s life gets a diabolical twist. —S.H.
Irish Repertory Theatre, through May 13.

Movies
17. See Avengers: Infinity War
Jumbo popcorn is a must.
Are people already in line for this one? If they don’t die of exposure, they’ll be the first to know if Iron Man or Captain America (who has apparently ditched his uniform) dies or if Black Panther has anything to say to Teen Groot or Black Widow eats Ant-Man or how many planets blow up. This is what passes for a cultural event these days. —D.E.
In theaters April 27.

Books
18. Read Elmore Leonard: Westerns
Crime stories were his second love.
Back when he was paid by the word for his pulp fiction, it must have cost Elmore Leonard a fortune to follow his own Rule for Writing No. 10: “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” But thankfully his strict adherence to a stripped-down style gave us the four resonant novels and eight short stories in this handsome new collection edited by film writer Terrence Rafferty, including the story that inspired the movie 3:10 to Yuma.          
Library of America, April 24.

TV
19. Watch Bobby Kennedy for President
A look at the sadly short-lived campaign.
In this four-part docuseries, filmmaker Dawn Porter revisits one major plotline from the vast shuddering story of 1968: the 83 days that Robert Kennedy spent running for president before he was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles that June.
Netflix, April 27.

Classical Music
20. Hear Los Angeles Philharmonic
Visit from the West Coast.
L.A.’s reliably fearless orchestra performs three flavors of high-octane modernism: Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, Varèse’s brilliantly noisy Pollux, and Amériques, a new, New York–inspired work by the L.A. Phil’s former chief Esa-Pekka Salonen. —J.D.
David Geffen Hall, April 27.

Movies
21. Watch Kodachrome
Driving with heart.
Hitting every sweet spot for people who are nostalgic for film, as well as for the kind of medium-budget American indies that don’t get seen in theaters anymore, Mark Raso’s family drama stars Jason Sudeikis as a man who drives his father (Ed Harris) and his father’s nurse (Elizabeth Olsen) cross-country to Kansas to drop off four rolls of Kodachrome film for development before the last lab that can process them closes forever. —M.Z.S.
Netflix, April 20.

Theater
22. See Travesties
The vital importance of being Stoppard.
Tom Hollander stars in this much-lauded London transfer of Tom Stoppard’s brilliantly zany, effervescently erudite comedy about writers, artists, and revolutionaries holed up in neutral Zurich during the First World War. James Joyce spouts limericks, Dadaist Tristan Tzara makes mischief, and Vladimir Lenin preaches proletarian uprising as Stoppard crafts what is at once a hilarious riff on The Importance of Being Earnest and a playful, poignant memory play. —S.H.
Roundabout Theatre Company, opens April 24.

Books
23. Go to One Book, One New York: Authors in Conversation
Vote early, vote often.
As part of the PEN World Voices Festival and the second annual One Book, One New York program (this year in partnership with Vulture and New York), the four living nominated authors Imbolo Mbue, Hari Kunzru, Esmeralda Santiago, and Jennifer Egan will sit down with Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins and moderator Jennifer Finney Boylan for a panel discussion in advance of the winning book’s reveal on May 3.
The New School, April 19.

Multimedia
24. Go to The Shed: Prelude
Catch a sneak peek.
While the Shed’s sliding shell takes shape at Hudson Yards, inching toward its opening next year, the new cultural juggernaut teases its inaugural season with a two-week preview. Sound, dance, and moving architecture will merge in a temporary space a block from the Shed’s future home. —J.D.
Tenth Avenue at West 30th Street, May 1–13.

Pop
25. Listen to Eat the Elephant
Put on your thinking cap. 
The latest studio album from alternative-metal outfit A Perfect Circle, started by guitarist Billy Howerdel and Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan, is the first since the Bush administration, and picks up right where their last one, eMOTIVe, left off, with a dozen new meditations on sci-fi, government, and pious people who weaponize their faith against political enemies. —C.J.
BMG, April 20.


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