1. Listen to Welcome to Night Vale
A small-town episodic story, set in a mysterious spot in the Southwest, that routinely turns spooky and supernatural. A visit to the grand days of the radio horror drama, with a muted overtone of irony.
Available for download in the iTunes store.
2. See Running From Crazy
Digging into the so-called Hemingway Curse.
The director Barbara Kopple teams with Mariel Hemingway to explore the history of mental illness in the Hemingway clan, from grandpa Ernest to sister Margaux and beyond. Actually, it’s the footage of Margaux—from an incomplete first-person documentary—that’s most remarkable. What a whimsical, sardonic, brilliant mind was there, even when it was clearly in pieces. —David Edelstein
Angelika Film Center, through November 7.
3. Hear Paramore
Better than their niche.
You could call Paramore, the trio led by Hayley Williams, the best emo group going. But better instead to call them a great rock band, period, and you may as well throw “pop band” in there, too. On their self-titled album, one of the year’s best, they’ve refined their mix of fury and hooks and brought a new maturity to the lyrics’ usual confessions and fulminations. They’re a little band that has grown into the big stage they’ll occupy at the Garden. —Jody Rosen
Madison Square Garden, November 13.
4. See Vivian Maier: Self Portrait
Mysterious photographer shows face.
Maier, the Chicago street photographer who never revealed her (tens of thousands of) pictures while alive, has posthumously become a surprise celebrity. Here, we’ll see her self-portraits—especially interesting from an artist who was so thoroughly anonymous for so long.
Howard Greenberg Gallery, November 8 through December 14.
5. See Akram Khan in Desh
In Desh (from the Bengali word for “home”), the British choreographer and dancer Akram Khan explores his own Bangladeshi heritage, particularly his relationship with his father. Khan’s vigorous mix of classical kathak and modern movement is set within a dreamlike stagescape designed by Tim Yip (of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). —Rebecca Milzoff
White Light Festival, Lincoln Center, November 6 and 7.
6. See The Britannia Awards
We’re not entirely convinced that the Britannia Awards are much more than a slightly classier and much funnier version of the Golden Globes that amounts to “Let’s give statuettes to people we like, mostly from the U.K.” But that’s not a bad thing when you consider who’s being honored this year and why: Idris Elba, for promoting charitable causes; Sacha Baron Cohen, for carrying on in the tradition of Charlie Chaplin; George Clooney, for doing Stanley Kubrick proud; and Benedict Cumberbatch and Kathryn Bigelow, for generally being awesome. —Matt Zoller Seitz
BBC America, November 10, 9 p.m.
7. Watch Inside the Actors Studio: Arrested Development
James Lipton: analyst and therapist?
Finally, the group interview! James Lipton, who played Warden Stefan Gentles on Arrested Development, whips out the blue cards on six cast members—Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor, and Jessica Walter—plus series creator Mitch Hurwitz. (Conspicuously absent is David Cross, who sent up Lipton viciously onstage and on Mr. Show.) —M.Z.S.
Bravo, November 7, 8 p.m.
8. See Diane Simpson
A sculptor you ought to have encountered by now.
This petite Lower East Side gallery just keeps getting better. Into its impressive lineup steps the underknown Chicago veteran Diane Simpson with finely crafted sculptural forms in unexpected materials, echoing kimonos, cowls, bonnets, bibs, and dresses. Simpson’s sculptures hover like disembodied department-store mannequins and the ghosts of fashions past. —Jerry Saltz
JTT, 170a Suffolk Street, through December 15.
9. See The Freshman
Harold Lloyd’s great campus comedy.
Some revivals have to be seen with a crowd—comedies, especially. The Freshman just edges out Safety Last! as Lloyd’s best, a perfect work from start to finish, and it’s now even perfecter in a new restoration with a new score by Carl Davis. The genius of Lloyd is that we almost never see the gag coming. Stuff just happens. —D.E.
Film Forum, November 8 through 14.
10. Hear Elvis Costello
Spin the wheel, pump it up.
E.C. has been featuring the Spectacular Spinning Songbook since the mid-eighties, and it’s always a can’t-miss event: a mix of concert and game show, with audience members choosing the evening’s repertoire by spinning a giant roulette-style wheel. The results, invariably, include odd covers and rarely performed deep cuts. These two dates in Westchester are solo shows, a format in which Costello excels. —J.R.
Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, November 11 and 12.
11. See The Films of Jan Nemec
Meet the bad boy of the Czech New Wave, Jan Nemec, at BAM, in his first full-career U.S. retrospective. The centerpiece is his debut, the 63-minute Diamonds of the Night (1964), about the escape of two concentration-camp prisoners. You’ll never see anything like the long traveling shots as the two young men run through the woods—or the way Nemec weaves in sequences of their past life and of the life they dream of having. —D.E.
BAMcinématek, November 8 through 14.
12. See Kate Weare Company
Live your fantasy.
Weare is the first artist-in-residence at BAM’s newish black-box theater. Known for her focus on her dancers’ individual personalities, she’ll premiere Dark Lark, a series of sexually potent solos, duets, and trios. —R.M.
BAM Fisher, November 6 through 9.
13. Read Dana Goodyear’s Anything That Moves
Just not over your own dinner.
I like to eat, and I like to read, but with a few exceptions—R. W. Apple; Anthony Bourdain at his bawdiest—I’m not one of those people who loves to read about eating. So I picked up Anything That Moves expecting to put it down again promptly. Nope. Here, eating is an extreme sport, meals are anything but square, and food becomes anthropologically, ecologically, ethically, and aesthetically fascinating. Also startling, scary, disturbing, and not infrequently just gross. —Kathryn Schulz
Riverhead Hardcover, November 14.
14. See The Day Before
End of an era.
Symphony Space’s Laura Kaminsky must have called in a lot of chits to get John Guare, B. D. Wong, and dozens more artists to contribute two-minute pieces to her JFK quilt. The whole assemblage reimagines November 21, 1963—the day before the president was shot. —Justin Davidson
Leonard Nimoy Thalia, November 8.
15. See Good Person of Szechwan
Brecht for beginners.
The Foundry Theatre finds a way to do Brecht without headaches in its remounting of the faux-Chinese parable. Lear deBessonet’s imaginative staging and a star-making turn by gender wonder Taylor Mac offer moral instruction, great songs, and plenty of glitter. —Jesse Green
Public Theater, through November 24.
16. See Die Frau Ohne Schatten
You can’t see this one at the movies.
Richard Strauss’s large-canvas phantasmagoria returns to the Met after a decade of banishment, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski—and, since it won’t be shown in an HD broadcast, the only way to catch it is live. —J.D.
Metropolitan Opera, opens December 8.
17. Hear Word Made Flesh
Music made Baltic.
Estonia has turned meditative choral music into a major export, perfectly attuned to the spiritual overtones of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival. The country’s national orchestra and choir bring in two works by the de facto national composer Arvo Pärt, plus some Sibelius and Mozart. —J.D.
Avery Fisher Hall, November 10.
18. Hear Sinéad O’Connor
During her hit-single days, you’d never have been able to see O’Connor this close up; at City Winery, the intense Celtic belter will be just a few yards from you.
City Winery, November 8 through 10.
19. Meet Geoff Dyer
Big man in the middle.
Based on my one in-person encounter with him, I’d estimate that Geoff Dyer is seventeen feet tall, which doesn’t seem like enough to contain the insane scope, insane brilliance, and insane insanity of his prose. If you’ve never read him—well, do. (Out of Sheer Rage if you want a wack biography of D. H. Lawrence; Otherwise Known As the Human Condition if you want essays; Zona if you are a Tarkovsky fan or would like to write in and tell me to which genre it belongs.) But you can also go hear Dyer read at the wonderful rare-book dealers Spoonbill and Sugartown, at the highly un-literary-reading time of 10 p.m. —K.S.
Spoonbill and Sugartown Booksellers, 218 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, November 12.
20. Hear Justin Timberlake
After this, it’s bye-bye-bye.
JT (with a little help from Jay Z) filled up Yankee Stadium twice over the summer; this is Brooklyn’s only chance at him this year. He’ll be in Jersey on the 9th, too.
Barclays Center, November 6.
21. Hear Era la Notte
As the chilly season begins, heat.
One more foray into darkness from the White Light Festival: a program of Baroque arias strung together into a solo-soprano show, sung by Anna Caterina Antonacci. —J.D.
Rose Theater at Time Warner Center, November 13 and 14.
22. Try Scaryoke!
Terrifyingaoke, if you ask us.
Last year, Dan Kois published a story about John Brophy, the Portlander behind a new form of karaoke in which your friends pick a song and spring it on you while you’re onstage. Well, Kois has taken his discovery one step further, creating a venue where New Yorkers can try it out. Brophy will emcee on opening night. Sing at your own risk.
Apexart, 291 Church Street, November 7 through December 21 (reception November 6, 8 p.m.).
23. See Tatiana Blass’s Interview
Buzz buzz buzz.
This Brazilian artist’s slowly morphing sculpture, paintings, and videos take on the paranoid information gluttony of our media culture, where nobody can seem to just say “No comment.”
Johannes Vogt Gallery, through November 16.
24. Listen to Quality Street
Nick Lowe: Baby Jesus of cool?
That’s right: Nick Lowe, the sly, snarling punk who once rhymed “Rick Astley” with “ghastly,” has made a rockabilly holiday album. A characteristically great, wry one, too, with a song called “Christmas at the Airport.” Ho ho ho.
Yep Roc records.
25. Watch Mulholland Dr.
Best horror movie in 40 years? We say so.
David Edelstein and Bilge Ebiri have posted (on Vulture) an extended list of the 25 best horror movies since The Shining. And No. 1 is David Lynch’s horror-thriller-wheels-within-wheels fantasy mind-bender.
On Netflix and Amazon Prime.