Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

To Do: June 1–June 14, 2016

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

1. Go to Governors Ball
So many singers!
It’s got competition from the Coachella-spawned Panorama fest, but the Ball is still the official start to outdoor-concert season, with 67 acts ranging from Chvrches to Kanye West to the Strokes. Come for the music; stay for Kanye’s last-day antics.
Randalls Island Park, June 3 through 5.

2. Watch Carol Burnett’s Favorite Sketches
Queen of comedy. 
One of the pioneering women of sketch comedy, who just turned 83, selects highlights from The Carol Burnett Show. Starlet O’Hara, Nora Desmond, Mrs. Wiggins, and Eunice will all be represented (along with beloved characters portrayed by Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, and Harvey Korman); I’m betting that oblivious secretary Mrs. Wiggins’s sketches will be somewhat truncated, as it seems to take her six minutes to cross a room. —Matt Zoller Seitz
PBS, June 3 at 9 p.m.

3. See The Importance of Being Earnest
An opera for Oscar.
Oscar Wilde’s meringuelike confection isn’t something you’d think would benefit from loud singing and a noisy orchestra. But Gerald Barry’s raucous, acrobatic, high-octane opera has made even hardened skeptics grin. Be warned: Plates are thrown and flannel work shirts are worn. Ramin Gray directs, Ilan Volkov conducts, and the New York Philharmonic takes the pit. —Justin Davidson
Rose Theater, June 2 through 4.

4. See Shining City
Back in the lights of 22nd Street.
The Irish Rep’s ambitions long ago outgrew its Chelsea home’s L-shaped auditorium and wacko sightlines. Now, after 18 months in exile, the company marks its return to an entirely renovated space with a revival of Conor McPherson’s great ghost play. Matthew Broderick stars as a widower haunted by his late wife. —Jesse Green
Irish Repertory Theatre, through July 3.

5. Hear Brian Wilson
It would be nice. 
The Beach Boys’ classic album Pet Sounds just turned 50, so Brian Wilson and his touring band (which includes original Beach Boy Al Jardine) are playing it in its entirety at Williamsburg’s Northside Festival. Come decide if ballads like “God Only Knows” still hold up.      
McCarren Park, June 12.

6. See Transitional Object (Psycho Barn)
Creak, creak. 
Look up from different points around the Met: Above, you might see British artist Cornelia Parker’s creepy, 30-foot-tall re-creation of Norman Bates’s house from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. It’s like a corpse in the attic of the Met, another consciousness, shadows crystallizing in an architectural apparition, or just a fabulously bizarre public sculpture well worth seeing. —Jerry Saltz
Metropolitan Museum of Art, through October 31.

7. & 8. Read Homegoing then See Yaa Gyasi
Believe the hype. 
Seven long months after Ta-Nehisi Coates tweeted “Stay woke” in reference to the young Ghanaian-American’s debut novel, the awakening has finally come. In 14 fine, searing, chapter-long character studies, Gyasi follows the bloodline of two Ghanaian half-sisters through Africa and the U.S. across seven generations, their descendants stalked by sorrow and racism. She will be discussing Homegoing with the Pulitzer-winning poet Tracy K. Smith. —Boris Kachka
Knopf, June 7; Brooklyn Public Library, June 13.

9. Watch Below Deck
Rocking the boat.

It doesn’t stray far from Bravo’s reality-show formula — booze, sexual tension, fighting — but in its fourth season, set in the Mediterranean, this voyeuristic look at the lives of a megayacht captain and his crew has become arguably the channel’s most compelling show. We’ve already had a deckhand-passenger scandal and a romance between cook and first mate. Trashy, yes, but highly bingeable.
Bravo, Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

10. See Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Contemporary meets classic. 
This season, five programs cover oodles of new and classic works. Robert Battle’s The Hunt, inspired by his martial-arts background, is a fierce showcase for the company’s awe-inspiring male dancers, and the return of Alvin Ailey’s iconic solo Cry (starring Linda Celeste Sims), dedicated in 1971 to “black women everywhere,” feels especially timely. —Rebecca Milzoff
David H. Koch Theater, June 8 through 19.

11. Learn From Howard Chaykin
Boot camp for the funny-books. 
What is it about comics that makes them such fertile material for TV and movies? Veteran writer and artist Howard Chaykin (best known for his groundbreaking American Flagg!) leads a workshop on comic-book storytelling, teaching the medium’s different schools of creative thought, explicating how to lay out a page of panels narratively, and guiding aspiring artists in the creation of their own comics. —Abraham Riesman
Society of Illustrators, June 6 and 7.

12. See Brian De Palma
A month of the macabre master. 
Sit close to the screen at this retrospective to ­savor the masterly, mysteriously controversial director Brian De Palma’s spatiotemporal genius — he owes something to Hitchcock, yes, but adds an Italian voluptuousness uniquely his own. What to choose? His bleak, uncompromising masterpiece Blow Out, for sure. But also the spectacularly emotional Casualties of War, the irresistible rock musical Phantom of the Paradise, the early, unhinged “White Negro” satire Hi, Mom!, the merely perfect Carlito’s Way — I could go on and on.    —David Edelstein
Metrograph, through June 23.

13. See The First Folio
Brush up against your Shakespeare. 
Not many books get their own national tour, but in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Folger Shakespeare Library is sending one of its 82 copies of the First Folio on the road. The 1623 compilation of 36 plays, many not published in his lifetime, will be in New York for six weeks only. —J.G.
New-York Historical Society, June 7 through July 17.

14. Watch Cleverman
Hairy stuff.
This smart, sleek Australian sci-fi drama presents an intriguing new twist on race relations. An older, hairier — and superior — group of nonhumans announce that they’ve been living among us all along (what we do to them when they refuse to assimilate is not pretty).
SundanceTV, June 1 at 10 p.m.

Classical Music
15. Hear The Aspen Music Festival and School
Water music.
You could hardly ask for a more idyllic place to soak in music than a campus by the Roaring Fork River — one reason why, come summer, great musicians make a beeline for Aspen’s big white tent in the Rockies. Now the festival sends its contemporary ensemble east to give the New York premieres of half a dozen recent pieces, including Esa-Pekka Salonen’s fly-fishing-themed Catch and Release.   —J.D.
Whitney Museum, June 8.

16. Listen to Living
Vérité is for real.
Vérité has been releasing brooding pop for a few years now, but her latest EP captures a new maturity and hard-won confidence. The stark, slow-build title track is a harsh look at relationships and bad decision-making even as she sounds ready to throw up her arms and dance.

17. See Nuggets
Catch the imagination of Tom Sachs.
New York is lucky that impresario art dealer Jeffrey Deitch has reopened his local emporium of unpredictability. In his wonderful old Grand Street digs we get the squirrelly sculptor and Houdini Tom Sachs, who makes replicas of Xerox machines, movie cameras, and electric generators out of plywood, resin, and whatever else he can get his dexterous hands on. Sustainability meets ingenuity meets amazement and entertainment. —J.S.
Jeffrey Deitch, through June 4.

18. Go to World Science Festival
Physiology meets performance.
Various venues, June 1 through 5.
At 50 events over five days, see why this broad-thinking festival has attracted not only great scientific thinkers like Stephen Hawking and E. O. Wilson but performance luminaries like John Lithgow, Philip Glass, Julie Taymor, and Alan Alda. It’s chock-full of fascinating looks at the intersections among math, science, and art: This year’s offerings range from an examination of drone warfare as presented in movies to a science-stories Moth night to a multimedia evening honoring Oliver Sacks.

19. Watch O.J.: Made in America
A story that’s still got juice. 
Just when you thought you were O.J.’d out after Ryan Murphy’s superb mini-series, lightning strikes a second time with Ezra Edelman’s five-part documentary. Edelman interviews more than 65 people, including lead prosecutor Marcia Clark and defense lawyers F. Lee Bailey and Barry Scheck, eliciting some startling moments, as when Scheck hesitates after being asked if he believes his own arguments, or when O.J.’s former agent admits that, right before the Juice tried on the glove, O.J. told him that if he didn’t take his arthritis medication, his hands would swell. —M.Z.S.
ABC, June 11 at 9 p.m.; ESPN, June 14, 15, 17, and 18 at 9 p.m.

20. Listen to Breakin’ Point
Peter Bjorn and John, grown up.
The whistle-happy Swedish trio of “Young Folks” fame is back, and while the Scandinavian scene has exploded since their last album in 2011 (they’ve been busy building a studio and starting a label), Breakin’ Point slides comfortably into the Scandi-dance diaspora, alongside acts like Robyn and Aviici. The whistles remain, but lyrics confronting the very real sadness of desire lurk underneath.
Ingrid, June 10.

21. & 22. See Confusions and Hero’s Welcome
Ayckbourn’s No. 17 and No. 79.
Over the past few years, the Brits Off Broadway festival has been staging what amounts to an installment-plan Alan Ayckbourn retrospective. This season brings two more examples of the prolific playwright’s formal wizardry: Confusions, a classic 1974 daisy-chain farce; and his latest, Hero’s Welcome, about a man trying to return to the neighborhood he was once hell-bent on escaping. The author directs both productions, probably while writing another. —J.G.
59E59 Theaters, through July 3.

Classical Music
23. Hear Ligeti Forward
A perpetual pioneer.
With each passing decade, Hungarian composer György Ligeti seemed to snuffle down some new path that his peers ignored: He made the avant-garde entertaining and the outrageous obvious, and though he died in 2006, he’s not done shaping the way composers think. The New York Philharmonic Biennial lays out the evidence for his influence, presenting three of his concertos on consecutive days with music by Marc-Andre Dalbavie, Unsuk Chin, John Zorn, and others.        —J.D.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, June 3 through 5.

24. See Tame Impala
The millennial’s stadium-rock band.
Since the release of their nouveau-flower-children debut in 2010, Tame Impala have grown from Australia’s best-kept indie secret to boldface summer-fest headliner. At their two-day Celebrate Brooklyn! stint, expect psych-pop cuts from last year’s Currents, gleaming tunes tailor-made for a big stage.
Prospect Park Bandshell, June 14 and 15.

25. See Universal Robots
Take me to your playwright. 
Karel Capek’s 1921 farce R.U.R. popularized the word robot and the idea of a robot revolution. Mac Rogers’s 2009 Universal Robots uses the earlier work to posit a tragic counter­history. Jason Howard returns to the role of lead robot Radius in Rogers’s reworked revival. —J.G.
The Sheen Center, June 3 through 26.