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To Do: July 16–30, 2014

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Theater
13. See Romeo n Juliet
“Our whole city is much bound to him.”
Classical Theatre of Harlem’s production continues in the great tradition of African-American reinterpretations of Shakespeare; it’s set in, as well as being staged in, the Harlem of today.
Richard Rodgers Amphitheatre, Marcus Garvey Park, through July 27.

Books
14. Read Megan Abbott’s The Fever
If you’re in your weekend rental upstate, read at your own risk.
The writer of stylish mysteries returns to the teen-noir milieu of her last novel, Dare Me, with a story loosely based on a recent case of mass hysterical illness in upstate New York. The new novel subtly evokes the creepy atmospherics of Twin Peaks or the more recent (and apropos) Top of the Lake. —Boris Kachka
Little, Brown.

Theater Music
15. Listen to Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Deep song.
It would have been enough to record for history Audra McDonald’s profane, repellent, hilarious, heartbreaking (and Tony-winning) inhabitation of Billie Holiday in Lanie Robertson’s flawed bioplay. But this 85-minute, two-disc live rendition of the event—from preshow cocktail music to closing ovations—in many ways improves on the stage experience, as everything extraneous to the central performance melts into audience hum. In a great season for cast recordings, this is surely the greatest. —Jesse Green
PS Classics.

TV
16. Watch Face Off
Makeup text.
Face Off is to special-effects makeup what Top Chef is to cooking—but minus all the infighting and bitchiness. The contestants are talented, the judges sage and entertaining, and the skill sets covered in each episode are almost completely foreign to ordinary viewers. Enjoy true human drama while learning the ins and outs of silicone molding!
Syfy, July 22.

Movies
17. See Land Ho!
Road trip! To Iceland!
The price of gas notwithstanding, we’ll never lose our yen for road movies. In Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens’s Land Ho!, you can see ­Iceland in the company of two elderly ex-­brothers-in-law. Earl Lynn Nelson is the leering American M.D., Paul Eenhoorn the Aussie ­widower who’s quietly appalled. The juxta­position of mundane silliness and those primordial, mythic landscapes proves unexpectedly ­magical. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.

TV/Theater
18. See Two Mary Rodgers Musicals Onscreen
A genuine princess is exceedingly rare.
Mary Rodgers wrote the music for one of the best-known American musicals and also one of the least. The former is Once Upon a Mattress, first broadcast on TV in 1964, with much of the original 1959 cast, including Carol Burnett, Jane White, and Jack Gilford. The latter is Feathertop, a 1961 adaptation of a Hawthorne tale of a scarecrow brought to life. Both will be shown (with a panel discussion in between) as part of a Rodgers celebration that, with her death on June 26, has become an impromptu memorial. —J.G.
Paley Center for Media, July 19, 2 p.m.

Books
19. Read Adam
Another Dyke to Watch Out For.
The lesbian graphic memoirist Ariel Schrag, a successor to Alison Bechdel, breaks out with a novel somewhat conventional in form—California boy crashes with sister in Bushwick, comes of age, falls in love—but completely radical in capturing the gender blur of postmillennial gay New York. Adam, you see, is repeatedly mistaken for trans and decides to play along in pursuit of his supposed soul mate, a gay woman. —B.K.
Mariner.

Movies
20. Sample NewFest
LGBT film is everywhere. But especially here.
A time traveler from 26 (or even six) years ago wouldn’t believe the mainstream drawing power of the 26th annual NewFest, New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender film festival. The U.S., the Netherlands, Brazil, Slovenia, Mexico: The whole world’s gone gay! It opens with Karim Aïnouz’s Futuro Beach, in which a Brazilian lifeguard fails to save a swimmer from drowning and then tumbles for the victim’s German biker friend. Closing night is Bruce LaBruce’s Gerontophilia, about a handsome teen who “refuses to feel shame about his unquenchable appetite for older men.” Even Isaiah Washington—infamous for gay slurs—joins the party for Blackbird, as the dad (married to Mo’Nique) of a gay teen in a Southern Baptist town. —D.E.
Lincoln Center, July 24–29; lineup at filmlinc.com.

Pop Music
21. Listen to Stick Against Stone
A very analog album.
A 1980s Brooklyn-via-Pittsburgh band that blended jazz, ska, and funk into wildly danceable tunes, Stick Against Stone has just released The Oregon Bootleg Tapes, a 30-year-old live performance at a crunchy food market that’s been ­exhumed and remastered from a VHS cassette.
MediaGroove Music.

Movies
22.–24. See a Planet of the Apes Triple Feature
One new, two old.
The postapocalyptic world of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes notwithstanding, this terrific new film is actually among the warmest of the whole orangutan saga. You want something a little more harsh? Try the series’ first sequel, 1970’s Beneath the Planet of the Apes, in which nearly everyone dies horribly and the fade-out is as bleak as anything in mainstream film. Or Escape From the Planet of the Apes, which has a cheerier tone but ends in dvastating tragedy. —D.E.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is in theaters now; Beneath and Escape, on Amazon and iTunes.

Books
25. Read Fourth of July Creek
A family with Big Sky–size problems.
The debut novelist Smith Henderson comes bearing a blurb from Philipp Meyer, author of the best-selling Old Texas epic The Son, and the connection is easy to see. Here, too, is a family story written in muscular, laconic prose. But in Henderson’s novel, the malady is contemporary—the rot of rural poverty, shot through with drugs, survivalism, and bastardized Christianity—and the story told through the eyes of Pete Snow, a Montana social worker trying to head off a Waco-size standoff. —B.K.
Ecco Press.


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