1. See T.J. Wilcox: In the Air
The other Panorama of New York City.
A year ago, the artist T. J. Wilcox put a panoramic camera on his Union Square rooftop and shot for a whole day. “In the Air” shows that 360-degree film, sped up, interspersed with short tales associated with the views: to the north, the Empire State Building and its failed plan to dock zeppelins; to the west, Manhattanhenge, that summer night when the sunset aligns with the street grid.
Whitney Museum of American Art, September 19
2. Hear Lionel Richie
All night long (all night).
Drop your too-cool ’tude and submit to one of the most delicious, florid, and downright tuneful songbooks of the past three-plus decades. Richie knows how to put on a show, and his singing has grown more robust, more casually virtuosic, as the years have passed. —Jody Rosen
Barclays Center, September 24.
3. See Dexter
Someone’s gonna die tonight. (Maybe.)
America’s most sympathetic serial killer might spill his last drop of blood tonight, or have it spilled by someone else, or rot in prison, or head to some Caribbean island. There are plenty of loose threads to tie up, including the complex relationship between Dexter and his cop sister, Debra, which has been on tenterhooks since she learned that her brother was a butcher of butchers. —Matt Zoller Seitz
Showtime; series finale, September 22, 9 p.m.
4. See Angela Strassheim: Story Telling
Rare birds, strange creatures.
Eeriness, bodily confirmation, new beauty, and the darkness of the American night all come to the fore in the strange large-scale photographs of Angela Strassheim. Hygienic silent pictures of midwestern homes, grandmas in pastels, and a sort of American rendition of Courbet’s L’Origine du Monde make our blood run cold as we wonder whether these are staged—yet Strassheim never tips her hand. —Jerry Saltz
Andrea Meislin Gallery, through October 26.
5. Revisit The Wizard of Oz in Imax 3-D
We’re off to see it.
Take the beloved Wizard of Oz and rejigger it for Imax 3-D? I can think of worse ideas. I saw the film a few years back on a super-high-end digital projector and couldn’t believe how theatrical it was—painted sets, obvious makeup. It was a revelatory screening, and this will probably be more so. Oh, and it’s one of the best musicals ever made. —David Edelstein
Opens September 20.
6. Hear the xx
Radio City may not seem to be the ideal setting in which to absorb the xx, whose music conjures spaces a good deal more dank and sepulchral. But this trio’s eerily spacious post-punk ballads hold lovelorn sentiments as flamingly romantic as the torch songs that were in vogue when the Music Hall opened in 1932. —J.R.
Radio City Music Hall, September 23 and 24.
7. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Galleries 823 and 826
Vincent van Gogh’s pied-à-terre.
Last week, art experts in Amsterdam announced that they had I.D.’d a long-lost Van Gogh. Unfortunately, it’s not coming here anytime soon. Fortunately, you can go commune with a generous handful of his paintings, any day of the week, in these two adjoining rooms at the Met. Oleanders (1888) and the self-portrait are probably the best ones. (You can see The Starry Night at MoMA, too, of course, if you fight the flocking tourists, but 823 and 826 are often nearly empty.)
1000 Fifth Ave.
8. See After Tiller
The murder of Dr. George Tiller—one of the country’s last late-term-abortion providers—inspired Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s moving documentary, which spotlights the remaining doctors who know there’s a possibility they’ll die on the job. The focus, though, is primarily on the often traumatized women who come to exercise a legal right. —D.E.
Film Forum, September 20.
9. See Employee of the Month
Catie Lazarus’s comedy podcast, onstage.
The insanely eclectic guest list for this installment includes Mo Rocca, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lady Rizo, Robert Smigel, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and a guy who calls himself “Lee Daniels’ the Danny Strong.”
Bell House, September 18, 8 p.m.
10. See Eugene Onegin
An irony at the Met.
As Vladimir Putin cracks down on “gay propaganda,” two of his most visible supporters, conductor Valery Gergiev and soprano Anna Netrebko, step into Eugene Onegin, by that notably gay composer Tchaikovsky.—Justin Davidson
Metropolitan Opera, September 23.
11. See The Metamorphosis
Actually creeping and crawling.
The Royal Ballet’s Edward Watson transforms himself into Gregor Samsa’s insect alter ego astonishingly in Arthur Pita’s adaptation of Kafka’s fable. Any performance described as a “freakish” tour de force (by the Guardian) has our attention. —Rebecca Milzoff
Joyce Theater, September 17 through 29.
12. Hear The Last Five Years
Now on CD.
The new cast album of Jason Robert Brown’s musical, from this year’s Off Broadway production starring Adam Kantor and Betsy Wolfe, is great, and Sh-k-boom is co-owned by Sherie Rene Scott, who was so great as Cathy on the original. Let the compare-and-contrast fights begin!
Sh-k-boom Records; September 24.
13. Read Floating City
A deep look at illegal New York.
If you live in the New York of Shake Shack burgers and business meetings at the W Hotel, you should read Sudhir Venkatesh’s Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York’s Underground Economy. If it’s criminal or iniquitous and happens here, it’s probably to be found in this book. Venkatesh focuses chiefly on New York’s sex trade and the ways it emphasizes, enforces, and crosses race and class divides. —Kathryn Schulz
14. See the 2013 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards
The techies deserve a little love.
If you want to know how much respect the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has for cinematographers, special-effects people, composers, and the like, all you need to know is that this ceremony is being aired on a new cable channel that few people have heard of, and that it was taped a week ahead. Show your support for behind-the-scenes artists—if you can find FXX on your grid, that is. —M.Z.S.
FXX, September 21, 9 p.m.
15. See Così Fan Tutte
At least one more chance to hear James Levine.
The Met’s music director has spent nearly two years on the injured list and now conducts from a wheelchair—the Met has built an elevator into his podium. But judging by a concert last spring, his return should be full of vigorous music. —J.D.
Metropolitan Opera, September 24.
16. Watch The X-Files
“No matter how paranoid you are, you’re not paranoid enough.”
Chris Carter’s horror-comedy series debuted twenty years ago this month—and the mix of grim mythology episodes and monster-of-the-week one-offs still holds up. Will there ever be another TV couple with the sexy-platonic chemistry of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny? We still want to believe. —M.Z.S.
On Netflix and Hulu.
17. Celebrate John Zorn
A birthday tonic.
John Zorn has been presiding over the musical anti-Establishment for so long that it must come as a surprise to him, at 60, to be so widely fêted. The Anthology marks the milestone with a weeklong mini-festival of his film scores, and Miller Theatre is rolling out a three-day bash. —J.D.
Anthology Film Archives, September 20 through 28; Miller Theatre, September 25 through 27.
18. See Fetch Clay, Make Man
Stings like a bee.
Playing the notorious screen stereotype Stepin Fetchit, K. Todd Freeman delivers a kaleidoscopic performance in Will Power’s rangy dramatization of the odd friendship between the “laziest man in the world” and Muhammad Ali. —Scott Brown
New York Theatre Workshop, through October 13.
19. See the New York Philharmonic’s New Season
Second night’s the charm.
Yo-Yo Ma will help the Philharmonic open its season at the gala, and hoi polloi will start arriving the following evening, when the thunderous pianist Yefim Bronfman roars through Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. —J.D.
Starts September 25.
20. See Everything Is Ours
Surprise! We’re pregnant.
Colt Coeur opens up a branch of Pee-wee’s Playhouse in Brooklyn and stocks it with childless, emotionally dead hipsters (the hilarious Katya Campbell and Geoffrey Arend) who must contend with the advent of unexpected progeny. —S.B.
HERE, through September 21.
21. See The Heirs of Tantalus
Bloody bloody early music?
The imaginative Salon/Sanctuary Concerts—rarely heard early music in rarely seen Manhattan places—takes over this historic room for an evening that pairs readings of Aeschylus and Euripides (starring Ethan Peck, Gregory’s grandson) with music by Monteverdi, Scarlatti, and Handel.
Broad Street Ballroom, September 19 and 21.
22. Hear Tenement Talks
Because we all came from somewhere else.
This installment of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum’s series is a panel to launch One Out of Three: Immigrant New York in the Twenty-First Century, a new anthology about our newly remagnetized city. The book’s editor, Nancy Foner, will moderate; the Pulitzer finalist Suketu Mehta will be there, too.
103 Orchard St., September 18, 6:30 p.m.; details at tenement.org; RSVP required.
23. Visit the Brooklyn Book Festival
Read all about it.
Temporally and geographically, the Brooklyn Book Festival is around the corner, which means that you can absorb about as many literary events in one day as a citizen of another city could enjoy in a decade. Drop by to hear basically any writer you’ve ever heard of, plus a zillion wonderful ones you haven’t, discuss everything from ghost stories to comics, the surveillance state to the legacy of Prince. —K.S.
Borough Hall, September 22, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; details at brooklynbookfestival.org
24. Attend the New York Film Festival
Here’s where to start.
They’re calling it the “Opening Act” of this year’s NYFF, and it’s a great amuse-bouche: Sixteen earlier films by directors in this year’s fest. Among the less familiar must-sees: At Sea + Skagafjördur, Peter Hutton’s 2007 “compressed epic” that follows a container ship from construction to scrapping, and James Gray’s 1994 Little Odessa, a crime drama about the “slow implosion” of a Russian-Jewish family. —D.E.
September 20 through 26; details at filmlinc.com.
25. See Slacker
Lo-fi film, in hi-def.
Two things about Richard Linklater’s first, defining film about Gen-X anomie in Austin: It was made for $3,000, and it’s 22 years old. Well worth a revisit; as you watch, imagine those kids in their forties, with office jobs and toddler car seats.
On Criterion Collection Blu-ray DVD.