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To Do: May 16–May 30, 2018

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

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Movies, TV, Art, and More
1. Attend Vulture Festival
This is us. 
Vulture’s annual celebration of all things culture is back for a fifth year, featuring dozens of live events with the likes of Samantha Bee, Claire Danes, the casts of Mindhunter, Younger, and Queen Sugar, and the teams behind podcasts like S-Town and Crimetown. Early-rising Anglophiles should catch the royal-wedding watch party (May 19) with the hosts of Who? Weekly.
Various locations, May 19 and 20.

Pop
2. Listen to Wide Awake!
Change of speed.
Brooklyn indie rockers Parquet Courts linked up with the hotshot rock-and-rap producer Danger Mouse for this spring’s new album. It’s Parquet Courts’ seventh overall, and it slows the pace on the band’s trademark peppy, punk-adjacent grooves and teases out a winning taste for funk and atmospherics in the process. —Craig Jenkins
Rough Trade, May 18.

Theater
3. See Singlet
Going to the mat. 
Actor, singer, performance artist, and self-described genre-defier Erin Markey creates an intimate new work with actress Emily Davis, a friend and collaborator, that draws on Jean Genet’s The Maids, women’s wrestling, couples counseling, and Precious Moments dolls (among other things) to explore hysteria, friendship, rivalry, and power. Things are gonna get weird. —Sara Holdren
The Bushwick Starr, May 16 to June 3.

Movies
4. See Tully
The fourth trimester.   
As an ardent hater of Jason Reitman’s directing, I can’t believe I’m saying “Go see Tully.” But screenwriter Diablo Cody’s intimate portrait of Marlo, a woman (Charlize Theron) in the throes of postpartum depression, is beautiful and mysterious, especially when Mackenzie Davis is onscreen as a 26-year-old night nurse with uncanny insight into Marlo’s broken dreams. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.

TV
5. Watch The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
She’s still alive, dammit! 
The fourth season of this comedy about a cult escapee finding herself in NYC is back for the summer. Well, it’s partially back. Six episodes stream now, with more to follow later in the year.
Netflix, May 30.

Books
6. Read Some Trick
On the edge. 
Helen DeWitt’s 13 ornery but self-aware stories home in on the raptors who tear apart our culture. Artists resist the money changers via the art of self-sabotage, which ranges from craven capitulation to, say, an unhealthy obsession with mathematical formulas. There’s some bitterness here but no sanctimony, because the author is almost as funny and self-deflating as she is smart — which is saying a lot. —Boris Kachka
New Directions, May 29.

Opera
7. Hear The Met Orchestra
Changing of the guard. 
For years, the Metropolitan Opera orchestra was James Levine’s creature, especially when it emerged from the pit to play Carnegie Hall. Now Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla will become the fifth woman ever to lead the ensemble, in a program featuring mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili in Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death. —Justin Davidson
Carnegie Hall, May 18.

TV
8. Watch The Final Year
Cautionary tale. 
Documentarian Greg Barker didn’t set out to make a film about the awful surprises that lie in wait for the complacent, but that’s what he ended up capturing when he and his filmmaking team followed President Barack Obama’s foreign-policy team around the world during the closing months of his second term. —Matt Zoller Seitz
HBO, May 21.

Movies
9. Go to New York African Film Festival
Voices from the continent. 
The 25th anniversary of this festival will include some 70 films from 25 countries — made by both the old masters and a new generation. Opening Night is Apolline Traoré’s Borders, in which four women travel from Dakar to Nigeria while battling sexism and corruption. —D.E.
Film Society of Lincoln Center, May 16 to 22.

Books
10. Read Last Stories
Amplifying internal lives. 
William Trevor’s final stories, written before his death in 2016, were among his darkest. A morbid pall looms over even his tales of coupling, in which motives are generally transactional and never pure. But there’s always comedy, as well as Trevor’s genius for compression and sly wit. —B.K.
Viking.

Pop
11. Listen to Sparkle Hard
Long time coming. 
Stephen Malkmus releases his seventh album with his long-standing flagship act, the Jicks. The songs showcase his unfussy range, from wistful acoustic jams like “Middle America” to the guitar theatrics of the arresting opener “Cast Off.” —C.J.
Matador, May 18.

Classical Music
12. See Yo-Yo Ma With Maria Popova
Master class. 
For many years, the cellist has supplemented his around-the-world routine of performing brand-name concerts with activities that feed his curiosity. His appearance with equally omnivorous blogger Maria Popova is billed as an intimate talk, but it’s a good bet he’ll have his cello handy. —J.D.
National Sawdust, May 18.

Art
13. See Keltie Ferris
Pay attention to this live wire.
Ferris can always be counted on to push the perimeters of her intensely optical abstract paintings, and this show finds her, now 41, experimenting, rethinking, slowing down, mixing marble dust into her oil paint, laying down stenciled polygonal shapes, wiping out areas of canvas, and leaving severe spray-painted black lines as structure. —Jerry Saltz
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, through May 19.

Classical Music
14. Hear Daniel Gortler
Stacking the deck.
The pianist Daniel Gortler has gathered composers who talk to each other across two centuries, including John Corigliano, who recently turned 80; whose 1985 Fantasia on an Ostinato takes some of Beethoven’s obsessions to modern extremes. —J.D.
The Jewish Museum, May 24.

Art
15. See Lucy Dodd
Magic potions and old idols.
If you want mad stuff and metaphysics conjured by an artist who’s absorbed in a “journey across the eternal feminine,” behold Dodd’s third solo show in this gallery. Dodd, known for caramelized swirling spills of paint, here brightens her color, refines her touch, and gives her huge canvases more space. —J.S.
David Lewis Gallery, through May 20.

TV
16. Watch The Break With Michelle Wolf
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner’s firebrand gets her own talk show.
Remember when Michelle Wolf performed at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and lit the joint on fire until all that was left was a heap of ash that could be used to create a perfect smoky eye? Of course you remember it — people are still arguing about whether it was offensive. Well, now the comedian has her own Netflix talk show. Something tells us she’ll have a few things to say.
Netflix, May 27.

Theater
17. See A Pink Chair (In Place of a Fake Antique)
A Polish Odyssey.
The Wooster Group premieres a new show examining the life and work of the legendary experimental Polish stage director Tadeusz Kantor. Kantor’s daughter Dorota Krakowska joins director Elizabeth LeCompte to help craft this exploration of Kantor’s 1988 play I Shall Never Return, in which the director took on his obsession with the myth of Odysseus. —S.H.
The Performing Garage, 33 Wooster Street, through June 2.

TV 
18. Watch Terrence Howard’s Fright Club
Bait and switch. 
Wherein the Empire star invites a bunch of fans to his secluded New Orleans home promising an intimate meet and greet, only to deliver an epic prank that’s somewhere in the ballpark of Disney World’s Haunted Mansion ride coupled with the “Teddy Perkins” episode of Atlanta. —M.Z.S.
Fox, May 24.

Books
19. Read The Perfectionists
Capitalism at its best and worst.
Simon Winchester illuminates a rather technical field that really did change the world: precision engineering. Winchester skirts the legendary inventors in favor of people who either perfected machines or scaled them up, juxtaposing Henry Ford’s mastery of interchangeable parts with the limited-edition hand precision of the Rolls-Royce. —B.K.
Harper.

Movies
20. See Revenge
It’s payback time.
We’ve all had enough male-revenge fantasies, but French director Coralie Fargeat’s debut is a horse of a different gender — a hypnotic feminist subversion of the male gaze that’s as bloody as any of its counterparts. Get ready for rebirth and retribution with XX chromosomes. —D.E.
In theaters now.

Theater
21. See Woman and Scarecrow
Taking stock.
Ciarán O’Reilly directs the New York premiere of renowned playwright Marina Carr’s drama about a woman at the end of her life, reckoning with the paths she traveled — her eight children, her unfaithful husband — and the things she left undone, all while her surreal alter ego, Scarecrow, stands by. —S.H.
Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 West 22nd Street, through June 24.

Pop
22. Listen to World’s Strongest Man
Coming into his own.
On his last solo album, Gaz Coombes kept the volume low, accompanying himself mostly with mellow synthesizers. But on this new collection, he embellishes sturdy songs like “Walk the Walk” and “Shit (I’ve Done It Again)” with fuzzy guitars, talk boxes, and children’s choirs.
Hot Fruit/Caroline International.

Pop
23. Listen to Tell Me How You Really Feel
Right on the money.
Courtney Barnett chose the best possible title for her new album, as her music bounces from resignation to bemusement to rage and back, just like a therapy session. Barnett’s songs are the perfect soundtrack for the struggle to get out of bed each morning in a year that feels colossally tiresome. —C.J.
Milk! Records/Mom + Pop Music, May 18.

Art
24. See Nadia Haji Omar
Complete control.
This shoebox-size gallery is showing six small abstract paintings from 32-year-old Australian-born Nadia Haji Omar. Adept at dotting surfaces with glimmering photons of paint, she makes works that visually buzz like a hummingbird. —J.S.
Kristen Lorello, 195 Chrystie Street, through May 25.

Classical Music
25. Hear The New York Philharmonic
Sounds of spring. 
Semyon Bychkov settles in for ten days, first conducting a program that includes Shostakovich’s phenomenally emotive Symphony No. 5, then Luciano Berio’s riotous and still bracing Sinfonia from 1968, with the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. —J.D.
David Geffen Hall, May 17 to 26.


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