1. See Enemy
Jake Gyllenhaal plays a history professor who stumbles on his own double in this grippingly weird portrait of spiritual dislocation. The brilliant Canadian director Denis Villeneuve doesn’t quite nail José Saramago’s novel The Double—the book has a better punch line—but right until the final perplexing image, the film’s a corker. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.
TV and Movies
2. & 3. Watch Lindsay and Then Mean Girls
Now and then.
Some of the interest in Lindsay Lohan’s reality series is morbid and cynical, yes. But a lot of it is affectionate, for reasons stemming largely from Mean Girls. (The movie turns ten this month. “Fetch” still hasn’t happened.) A then-and-now viewing is weirdly touching: You get a look at a really good, sweet-seeming actress, and wonder whether she’ll ever figure herself out again.
OWN, Sundays at 10; on Netflix DVD and Amazon.
4. Bring Your Child to Sid the Science Kid—Live!
Catalyst for the future.
The extremely likable animated PBS Kids series, about a preschooler named Sid and his science-obsessed classmates and family (fun mom, goofy dad, groovy grandma), gets the live-action treatment. Beats anything Disney by a mile.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College, April 6, 2 p.m.
5. See Jessica Hecht in Stage Kiss
Down-market diva deconstructed.
Sarah Ruhl’s backstage farce gives us two hilariously bad plays inside a seriously good one. It also gives us Jessica Hecht in a career-redefining performance of such neurotic realism and stagy falseness as to derange your internal gyroscope completely. She poses outrageously, invents the worst drawing-room accent ever, and generally offers a master class in bad acting. —Jesse Green
Playwrights Horizons, through April 6.
6. See Tony Tasset’s Artists Monument
An outpost of the Biennial, near its next home.
Tasset’s massive multicolored work is a big rectangular prism etched with the names of 392,486 artists. They range from Matisse to emerging talents, with all hierarchies flattened, a giant catalogue of lives lived unfiltered by curators and gallerists. It’s a kind of act of faith. —Jerry Saltz
Hudson River Park at 17th Street, through May 25.
7. Hear Kelela
Who’s that girl?
Over the past couple years, we’ve seen dozens (hundreds?) of young R&B singers trying to merge traditional song forms with the brooding beats from clubland’s hipper precincts. Generally, the results have been dull, but Kelela has the voice, the presence, the hooks. She doesn’t just dial up art-school experiments; she writes songs. —Jody Rosen
Rough Trade NYC, April 3.
8. Watch Game of Thrones
Season four makes its debut.
“You know what they did to my brother and my mother,” Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) tells Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) during GoT’s fourth season, presumably ignorant of the story behind the massacre at the Red Wedding. This is the sort of intrigue that makes the series so compelling: It’s all treachery all the time, and the plotted-against don’t always know just how deep the roots of conspiracy reach. —Matt Zoller Seitz
HBO, premiering April 6, 9 p.m.
9. Hear Kronos Quartet and Friends
Foursome, four decades.
The evergreen ensemble has spent 40 years reinventing the string-quartet genre, and it celebrates with a tricky event: the forward-looking retrospective. Minimalism god Terry Riley contributes a new work, and the rest of the program includes music by an assortment of companions, including Laurie Anderson and Philip Glass, plus new friends like Jherek Bischoff and the National’s Bryce Dessner. —Justin Davidson
Carnegie Hall, March 28.
10. Hear Sherie Rene Scott’s All Will Be Well
Woman on the verges.
As part of her restless exploration of the no-man’s-land between pop and theater music, Sherie Rene Scott has retooled her 54 Below concert “Piece of Meat” as a studio album. In ten voluptuous cuts—highlighted by Noah and the Whale’s cheerful calypso “Five Years Time” and Talking Heads’ “Life During Wartime”—Scott demolishes the distinction between singing actress and acting singer. —J.G.
11. Hear the Theremin Orchestra
En masse, no hands.
There’s no earthly sound quite like that of the electronic instrument invented in roughly the 1920s by the Russian tinkerer Léon Theremin. Whether eerily soundtracking B horror movies or bobbing up on American Horror Story, the theremin never fails to grab your ears and unsettle your mind. Dustin Yellin’s cavernous Red Hook performance space is perfect for soaking up those vibrations, good and otherwise. —J.R.
Pioneer Works, March 29.
12. See Big Men
A country that works, on the brink of going bad.
Rachel Boynton (Our Brand Is Crisis) began work on this absorbing, unnerving documentary with the idea of exploring the impact of sudden oil wealth on Nigeria, land of macho corruption and wide disparity of wealth. Then she found a (maybe) budding Nigeria in Ghana—and tagged along to watch the dealings among the Ghanaian government, Big Oil, and American capitalists looking for the billion-dollar score. —D.E.
At the IFC Center through March 27.
13. Watch Review With Forrest MacNeil
We give it 4.5 stars out of 5.
Any synopsis of this series (from Eastbound & Down’s Andrew Daly) makes it sound like another one-joke premise: A critic decides to move beyond food or movies or books to review life itself, participating in unusual experiences (becoming a drug addict, sex with a celebrity, tasting human flesh) and then rating them. Yet the show gets weirder and deeper with each episode, to the point where it evokes the various incarnations of Steve Coogan’s talk-show host Alan Partridge. —M.Z.S.
Comedy Central, Thursdays, 10 p.m.
14. See Broad City
The season finale.
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have a renewal in hand for their smart, Amy Poehler–produced comedy, so now you can safely get hooked without fear of sudden withdrawal.
Comedy Central, Wednesdays, 10:30 p.m.
15. See The Bridges of Madison County
A weepie, repurposed.
Yes, it’s based on an insipid novel, but The Bridges of Madison County is a very serious musical, both rapturous and moral, with a gorgeous score by Jason Robert Brown. —J.G.
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.
16. Hear Juan Gabriel
Mexican superstar without Anglo peer.
Imagine a Spanish-speaking Tom Jones in peak hip-swiveling form, with a dash of, say, Bob Dylan. Juan Gabriel, in other words, is a Vegas-worthy showbiz dynamo—drizzling sex and schmaltz over five decades’ ballads—and national troubadour, mining Mexico’s history, politics, and folklore. He’s a cutup, too. Unforgettable. —J.R.
Madison Square Garden, April 6.
17. Hear Jonathan Franzen and Lydia Davis
Two varieties of disturbance.
The fictional geniuses of, respectively, the long road and the short jolt will be reading together at Symphony Space—Davis from her new short-story collection Can’t and Won’t, Franzen from we’ll-find-out. —Kathryn Schulz
Symphony Space, April 2, 7:30 p.m.
18. See Stephen Petronio Company
From limb to limb.
For 30 years, Stephen Petronio has paired new scores with full-throttle movement that tests the limits of the body; luckily, he also has one of the great troupes in modern dance, ten performers who blend elegance and rigorous training with fierce attack. This anniversary season showcases Petronio’s experimentation, in-cluding a new solo performed by the man himself. —Rebecca Milzoff
Joyce Theater, April 8 through 13.
19. Hear (and See) Jean-Baptiste Barrière
Multimedia, c’est moi.
The French video artist and electronic-music composer creates work that forces presenters to stretch beyond their comfort zones. For this three-part extravaganza, Miller has teamed up with the Musée Gadagne in Lyon to bring in Barrière’s installation The Garden of Dreams, weaving together sound, video, and the voices of visitors recounting their dreams. —J.D.
Miller Theatre, March 24 through 29.
20. Sample Permanent Vacation: The Films of Jim Jarmusch
Celebrating a great outsider.
Jarmusch is one of the true American independents: a director who not only works outside the system but makes angry, deadpan, oblique films that indict nearly every element of the mainstream. To celebrate his new Only Lovers Left Alive, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will present a retrospective of 11 of Jarmusch’s features plus shorts, music videos, and appearances by the (indie) man in black himself. There are some duds here, but you owe it to yourself to see Stranger Than Paradise—the indie classic—on the big screen, along with the anti-Western Dead Man, starring Johnny Depp as a witness to (and unwilling participant in) the dehumanization of Manifest Destiny. —D.E.
April 2 through 10, full schedule at filmlinc.com.
21. Listen to John Ashbery and Mark Ford
Poets reading themselves.
April is National Poetry Month, though presumably not because it is also the cruelest; to jump-start it, John Ashbery and British poet Mark Ford are reading together at the Y. “If it’s boring / in a different way / that’ll be interesting too,” Ashbery wrote. But it won’t be—boring, that is. —K.S.
92nd Street Y, April 3, 8 p.m.
22. Hear Yefim Bronfman
Playing chamber music.
The tireless pianist, now in residence with the New York Philharmonic, joins a handful of the orchestra’s members for an evening of chamber music, including Bartók’s Contrasts and Brahms’s glorious Piano Quintet. —J.D.
92nd Street Y, March 30.
23. See Arabella
Back at the Met, after a dozen years.
Richard Strauss understood better than any opera composer in history the way romance is shot through with wistfulness, beauty with decline, and comedy with melancholy. His Arabella distills all these tensions into a score of beauty and convoluted drama. —J.D.
Metropolitan Opera, opening April 3.
24. Browse The Digital Comic Museum
Fifteen thousand scanned golden-age comic books, downloadable and readable for free. They’re all in the public domain—there’s no Superman or Spidey here—but that just makes it more fun to root around and find a forgotten hero to embrace.
25. See Laurie Simmons: Kigurumi, Dollers and How We See
The photographer is best known for her compelling images of dolls. In this body of work, she’s looking at people who dress as dolls: cosplay enthusiasts in bright colors and plastic masks, treading the line between human and plastic.
At Salon 94 Bowery, through April 28.