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To Do: May 4–May 18, 2016

Twenty-five things to see, hear, watch, and read.


TV
1. Watch The Good Wife
Court is adjourned. 
When The Good Wife premiered in 2009, nobody expected it to become one of the great dramas of network-TV history, much less a portrait of legal and governmental ethics that, at its best, suggests a woman-centric cousin of The Wire or The West Wing. It stumbled a bit in the homestretch, but the cast (led by Julianna Margulies) kept the series humming along anyway. The finale should be bittersweet. —Matt Zoller Seitz
CBS, May 8 at 9 p.m.

Theater
2. See The Judas Kiss
“True friends stab you in the front.” 
Despite starring Liam Neeson as Oscar Wilde (or maybe because of that), the 1998 Broadway bow of David Hare’s play about the tragic aphorist’s betrayal and downfall was a bit of a dud. BAM gives New Yorkers a second look with this revival from London’s Hampstead Theatre, starring Rupert Everett and directed by Neil Armfield. Hare has said that this is the first production that gets it right. —Jesse Green
BAM Harvey Theater, May 11 through June 12.

Pop
3. See Justin Bieber
You won’t be sorry.
With last year’s Purpose, Justin Bieber found that the road to critical acceptance was paved with an unshakable mix of EDM-lite and tropical house. Consider Bieber’s live show the most epic of “Sorry” dance parties; if YouTube spoilers are to be trusted, expect lots of white outfits and onstage rain.
Barclays Center, May 4 and 5.

Movies
4. See Tale of Tales
Not quite a bedtime story. 
Mirror, mirror on the wall: What’s the best fairy-tale movie of all? In the Hollywood corner, there’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War, the prequel no one wanted that’s a mush of Game of Thrones and Frozen with one redeeming feature: a Kabuki-like performance by Emily Blunt. In the opposite corner there’s Tale of Tales, Italian director Matteo Garrone’s potent, grisly English-language adaptation of one of his country’s oldest fairy-tale collections — which explores, among other things, women’s relationships to their bodies and proves fairy tales can be more than skin deep. —David Edelstein
In theaters.

Art
5. See The Marionette Maker
Cardiff and Miller, beautiful dreamers. 
This sculpture-making duo — known for their incredible surround-sound installations — here give us something like a magic-lantern show. A cramped camper contains a lifelike cast of Cardiff’s body; she seems to dream a wonderful world of handmade, animated marionettes who seem to want to please, coax, seduce, and love her. —Jerry Saltz
Luhring Augustine, through June 11.

Books
6. Hear Adam Haslett
Plumbing pain, beautifully. 
Haslett’s story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here revolved around the devastating communal effects of mental illness; it made you wonder if its debut author had already gone as far as he could. He hadn’t. His third book, Imagine Me Gone, circles back to the subject in even smarter and more polyphonic ways — never mind that it bears down on only one family’s story. Haslett, whose art consoles while still being art, will read from his novel and expand on its painful themes. —Boris Kachka
BookCourt, May 5.

Classical Music
7. Hear Yuja Wang
Pianistic prowess. 
The Chinese-born, North American–trained pianist plays with a fearsome mixture of muscle and grace. She’ll need both for a recital program that sticks to the center of the German tradition (Brahms, Schumann, Beethoven) but covers vast emotional expanses. —Justin Davidson
Carnegie Hall, May 14.

TV
8. Watch Fresh Off the Boat
Getting better with age. 
In its second season, the comedy about an Asian-American family in Florida has grown more assured in its weirdness — especially when it leans on parents Louis and Jessica Huang (Randall Park and Constance Wu), who capture the immigrant experience with the right balance of hyperbole and realism. Come for the pinpoint ’90s humor; stay for Wu, who’s giving one of the most unexpectedly brilliant performances on television.
ABC, Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

Dance
9. See Mark Morris Dance Group
Up close and personal.
Mark Morris’s ebullient works shine on big stages, but it’s a rarer pleasure to see them on a more intimate scale, at his Fort Greene dance center, with the expert MMDG Music Ensemble playing live right alongside the dancers. Grab tickets to one of just six performances, including two premieres and two works (Cargo and Foursome) not seen here in several years. —Rebecca Milzoff
Mark Morris Dance Center, May 17 through 22.

Pop
10. Listen to Free the Real
Get to know Bibi Bourelly’s voice. 
Before she could legally drink, Bibi Bourelly had collaborated with Lil Wayne and penned Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money.” But singing remained the objective for the Berlin native, now 21. Her soulful, husky voice gets its own showcase on her debut, including danceable pop gems (“Sally”) and vulnerable ballads (“What If”).
Def Jam, May 6.

Cabaret
11. Hear Megan Hilty
Let her be your star. 
On Smash, Megan Hilty got plenty of opportunities to flaunt her brassy soprano. But though she sings the hell out of showpieces like “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” Hilty has shades other than platinum. Her new show is mostly Rosemary Clooney, but she may also bring out a few old ­favorites like her poignant, downtempo take on Don Henley’s “The Heart of the Matter.”
Café Carlyle, through May 14.

Movies
12. See Band of Outsiders
A film apart. 
The premiere of a lustrous restoration of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1964 masterpiece is the ideal chance to see the director’s most charming and, arguably, influential film: a free-associative meditation on the gangster genre that revealed a new way of framing our dreams and our reality. There would be no Bonnie and Clyde without it, nor would Tarantino have named his production company A Band Apart (after the French title). Its star, New Wave goddess Anna Karina, will appear in person on May 6. —D.E.
Film Forum, May 6 through 12.

Dance
13. See La MaMa Moves!
Movement with meaning. 
In keeping with La MaMa’s deeply experimental history, few dance festivals offer the breadth of viewpoints on display among the 17 artists (12 from outside the U.S.) here. From Silvana Cardell’s exploration of the immigrant journey to Katy Pyle’s queer-ballet take on “Sleeping Beauty,” these are modern dances to make an audience think about the world beyond the stage. —R.M.
Various theaters, see lamama.org; through May 29.

Classical Music
14. See Classical Moonlighters
The next generation. 
The word amateur has a pejorative tinge, but a musician can have no higher purpose than an unreasoned love of the art. With that in mind, WQXR organized a competition for the cream of tristate ensembles, singers, and instrumentalists. The finals feature some staggeringly talented non- (or maybe not-yet) professionals. —J.D.
The Greene Space, May 6.

Theater
15. See Indecent
Such a tsimmes
Paula Vogel, not represented on a major New York stage since A Civil War Christmas in 2012, returns with this meditation on the controversial Yiddish potboiler God of Vengeance. How controversial? The entire cast of a 1923 Broadway production was arrested for obscenity: specifically, a lesbian kiss. Presumably that won’t be a problem this time. Rebecca Taichman, who conceived the play as part of her drama-school thesis 15 years ago, directs. —J.G.
Vineyard Theater, through June 12.

TV
16. Watch Adele: Live in New York City
All the feels, in the privacy of your own home. 
Adele is one of those performers whose mournful commitment to heartbreak songs turns stoics into blubbering nostalgia heaps and whose kiss-off ballads inspire spontaneous sing-alongs. If you weren’t among the emoting masses at Radio City for this concert, maybe that’s for the best; think long and hard about who you’re okay to share a couch with for the 90-minute telecast. —M.Z.S.
NBC, May 6 at 8 p.m.

Art
17. See Dismantled Spirits
Gudmundur Thoroddsen’s deeply felt work.
Super-talented, spooky-strange Icelander Thoroddsen offers clunky, highly glazed ceramic sculptures that look like chalices with horns, phallic hot dogs, or maybe arms crossed with tarot-card-like cups; his cartoonish paintings have elements of collage, cutout paper shapes, athletic gestures, whiffs of classical figures, and that damn hot dog again. It all adds up to a sweet shamanic experience. —J.S.
Asya Geisberg Gallery, through May 14.

Pop
18. & 19. Listen to Hopelessness, Then See Anohni
Subverting the listening and live experiences.
If it’s possible to be lulled to the dance floor, Anohni — the transgender performer formerly known as Antony Hegarty — could do it with the floating, amoebic vocals and seductive electronic beats on her new album, Hopelessness. Her lyrics, on the other hand — touching on everything from drone attacks to climate change — would wake anyone up. If there’s anywhere especially suited to dance to Anohni’s sense-saturating music, it’s at the premiere of her live show, an audiovisual affair with a backing band including Oneohtrix Point Never.
Rough Trade/Secretly Canadian, May 6; Park Avenue Armory, May 18 and 19.

Books
20. Read Hystopia
David Means succeeds beyond short stories.
JFK survives multiple assassination attempts and soldiers on into a sinister third term; so does the Vietnam War, abetted by a new treatment that “enfolds” PTSD-suffering vets and reintroduces them into society with mixed results. It’s easy to think of Oliver Stone on a psychedelic sci-fi bender, but Means brings rigorous interiority to the characters enmeshed in a violent, careening plot. —B.K.
FSG.

Theater
21. See Do I Hear a Waltz?
Such lovely “Blue Danube”–y music!
The only collaboration of Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim, this 1965 musical about an American lady looking for love in Venice, was no hit; the collaborators despised each other, and the show, Sondheim says, was merely pleasant. Yesterday’s pleasant is today’s surprisingly good, with beautiful tunes, superior lyrics, and a fine book by Arthur Laurents. Melissa Errico stars in the long-anticipated Encores! production. —J.G.
New York City Center, May 11 through 15.

Classical Music
22. Hear Borromeo String Quartet
Mega midday music.
Maybe it doesn’t make that much sense to pair music by the Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera with Beethoven — but why not? Trinity Church has used Ginastera’s centennial to explore that tenuous but still intriguing relationship, and the Borromeo plays one quartet by each of the composers in a lunchtime concert of rare intensity. —J.D.
Trinity Wall Street, May 5.

TV
23. Watch Pulling
A spiritual cousin to Catastrophe.
Amazon’s charming Catastrophe (now in its second season) jolts along so quickly you can almost hear a whooshing sound as you binge-watch. Fortunately, there’s more where that came from. Before teaming with Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan had this BBC comedy, about a woman who calls off her wedding. Part of what makes Pulling so compelling is its protagonist’s refusal to change; its willingness to show the unromantic side of single life is prescient, too. But Horgan is the miracle here: Even when she’s speaking absurdity, she does it with conviction. 
iTunes.

Jazz
24. See José James
Not your typical jazzman.
Singer José James recalls plenty of past greats — Billie Holiday’s rainy-day melancholy, Gil Scott-Heron’s poetic rhythm, D’Angelo’s oozing sex appeal — but his muscular, easy style is all his own. At their Blue Note residency, James and his nimble band should treat genre like they always do — as a construct to be toyed with. 
Blue Note, May 10 through 15.

Theater
25. See Bianco
No elephants at this circus.
Not content merely to occupy its beautiful new water­front home, St. Ann’s Warehouse hosts a 42-foot-high “flying saucer” tent beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. There, shepherded promenade style by guides, theatergoers can experience the artistic acrobatics and high-tech pageantry of the Wales-based NoFit State Circus, complete with trapeze, ropes, and a rock band. —J.G.
Near St. Ann’s Warehouse, through May 29.


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