1. Shaw in the Park
New York Classical Theatre, the group known for performing on-the-go Shakespeare (that is, enacting plays outdoors in the park, sans stage, with actors and audience traipsing from location to location between scenes) has moved on to George Bernard Shaw. Misalliance, in which an underwear salesman, a parachute-borne acrobat, and a group of aristocrats butt heads to great bumbling effect, is a satire on the absurdities of class and marriage. Bring vegetarian snacks, in honor of the playwright’s pet cause. (But make sure your food and drink are easily totable—you won’t be in one spot for more than fifteen minutes.) First scene at 7 p.m. at 103rd St. and Central Park West; Thursdays through Sundays through August 24.
2. Art Break
The Public Art Fund’s “Everyday Eden” exhibition was intended to show off art devoted to the places where the natural and man-made worlds collide. Trees are planted in milky silicone tubs; plastic bottles form bubbly clumps in the trees; and, in Nina Katchadourian’s sound installation, human voices mimic birdsong and are piped through speakers hidden in the greenery. Appropriately enough, it’s located in a fully built-out “natural” environment: the park within Brooklyn’s otherwise steely MetroTech Center. Flatbush Ave. at Myrtle Ave.; through September 7.
3. Dock Shoes Optional
On Friday nights during the summer, the South Street Seaport actually flirts with hipness, as the Seaport Music Festival brings in acts (and audiences) that the tourista hordes are unlikely to comprehend. The season’s down to its last two nights: This week, the buzzy Brooklyn art-pop band Violens, displaying its newfound full and infectious sound, opens for the Seattle act Grand Archives. A week later, you’ll have a chance to start off Labor Day weekend with their fellow Brooklynites Oneida, whose noisy, cerebral psychedelia is a perfect fit for the expansive acoustics of the pier. August 22 and 29, 7 p.m.; Fulton St. at South St.
4. Dancing in the Street
Richard Move (how could he not be a dancer, with that name?) is best known for his drag performances, in which he uncannily impersonates Martha Graham. But he also runs a company, MoveOpolis!, and for its thinky spectacle “Hostile Takeover,” his dancers will perform site-specific solos, created for locations like a Fulton Fish Market stall and the display window at Hermès. For fans of more conventional work, there’s the Battery Dance Company’s 27th Annual Downtown Dance Festival, which takes over an array of downtown spaces with an eclectic lineup of funky free performances—everything from the Latin flair of Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana to the arty visual theatrics of Axis Danz. Through August 25 (MoveOpolis!) and August 24 (BDC); see lmcc.net and batterydance.org for times and locations.
5. Cinema Alfresco
Unless you’re one of those tiresome cinéastes who insist on absolutely pristine screening-room conditions, you could make a case that the perfect way to watch the trippy final sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey is in a Williamsburg park, with a couple thousand other New Yorkers. (None of whom, we’re sure, will be stoned.) And it just so happens that the “Mondays Under the Moon” film series has saved it for last. Moreover, if it’s Kubrick you want, you can double down three days later, when a print of The Shining comes to Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, right under the Manhattan Bridge. August 25 at 8:30 p.m., East River State Park, Kent Ave. at N. 8th St., Williamsburg; and August 28 at sundown, Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, New Dock St. at Water St., Dumbo.
6. Beat Connection
If you’ve read this far, you probably aren’t heading out to the country much between now and Labor Day. So if you require a little whiff of eau de compost, and its subway equivalent just won’t do, mosey over to the little green ski slope that constitutes “P.F. 1 (Public Farm One)” at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. The installation is by WORKac, the enviro-architecture firm known for its high-concept urban plantings. If you plan your visit for a Saturday, you can see the frenetic Warm Up dance party take over P.S.1’s courtyard, and on August 30, the $10 museum admission will include a chance to hear no-wave icon James Chance, microhouse D.J. Matthew Dear, and others. Through 9/15; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, 22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City.
7. All the City’s a Stage
For those who like their Bard in the park relatively straight up (that is, minus the singing, stringy-haired hippies), two richly imagined free productions are picking up the slack: the fragmented, bluegrass-driven Twelve Ophelias at McCarren Park, and the Gorilla Repertory Theater Company’s well-received uncut (!) and intermissionless (!!) Hamlet at the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park. Definitely rewarding, but also best for those with sturdy glutes and strong kidneys. August 20 to 22 at 8 p.m., Lorimer St. at Driggs Ave., Greenpoint; Thurs.–Sun. at 8, through August 31; Cabrini Blvd. at Fort Washington Ave.
The Summer Guide