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To Do: July 13–July 27, 2016

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

1. Watch BoJack Horseman
Season three, satirical gold. 

When last we left our equine celebrity, he’d made a shambles of his life after nearly sleeping with an ex’s daughter, but he’d also completed a plum biopic role as Secretariat. The new season picks up with BoJack on the cusp of a comeback. “If I win an Oscar, my life will have meaning!” he crows. If only. —Matt Zoller Seitz
Netflix, July 22.

2. See Ryan Adams & the Shining
The man is nonstop. 
Country-rock troubadour Adams is gifted but hard to pin down: One year, he channels early Replacements in the quick-hit hardcore-punk EP 1984; the next, he offers up a dejected song-for-song redux of Taylor Swift’s 1989. Catch him in Central Park to watch a sage at work. —Craig Jenkins
Central Park SummerStage, July 20.

3. See Life, Animated
Moving, even when you’re arguing with it. 
Roger Ross Williams’s provocative doc tells the story of Owen Suskind, whose autism manifested itself at age 3 and who — the film asserts — only emerged from his shell after prolonged exposure to animated Disney features. Williams mixes footage of the then-23-year-old Suskind with home videos, along with animated scenes that attempt to depict the cartoons’ impact on an often wayward adolescent psyche. —David Edelstein
In theaters.

4. Listen to Waitress
Sugar, butter, flour. 
Waitress was one of this past Broadway season’s few non-Hamilton hits. A big part of its success is the accomplished pop-crossover score by Sara Bareilles, who hits most of the musical-theater marks while maintaining her own voice; the other is its star, Jessie Mueller, who sounds terrific on the new cast album, negotiating the rocky terrain of Bareilles’s melodic lines while delivering a wallop of emotion with every phrase. —Jesse Green
DMI Soundtracks.

5. Watch Stranger Things
An eerie echo of the past. 
Viewers weaned on ’80s sci-fi and horror (especially early Spielberg) are the target audience for this series, set in 1983 Indiana, about a missing boy and some mysterious creatures who may be responsible for his disappearance. The wood-paneled rec rooms, rotary phones, and Toto songs effectively evoke the E.T. era; so do cast members Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine. —Jen Chaney
Netflix, July 15.

6. See The History of Photography in Pen and Ink, 1646–1990
Charles Woodard’s history in pictures. 
This gallery specializes in unexpected wonders: here, 60 fabulous little Charles Woodard drawings of famous photographs, all made for a photography survey. Woodard is a brilliant human visual-­algorithm machine, picking up on the details that make pictures great; the body posture in a Nan Goldin, a soldier at Normandy Beach by Robert Capa, Robert Frank’s flag. Send this guy to the Met! —Jerry Saltz
Higher Pictures, through August 5.

7. Hear La Fanciulla del West
Most operatic start-ups launch with a Baroque curiosity or a contemporary unknown, but Apotheosis Opera set the dial to epic when it staged Tannhäuser last summer. It’s back with Puccini’s lyric spaghetti Western, The Girl of the Golden West, performed in English with a young cast, a full orchestra, and cheap tickets.           —Justin Davidson
El Museo del Barrio, July 22 and 24.

8. See L.A. Dance Project
Welcome West Coasters. 
One major upside to Benjamin Millepied’s impending departure from the Paris Opera Ballet: He’ll return full-time to his wonderful L.A. troupe. On this program, they tackle new and newish works by Millepied and Justin Peck juxtaposed with classic Martha Graham duets. —Rebecca Milzoff
Joyce Theater, July 26 through 30.

9. Listen to Everybody Looking
All eyes on Gucci Mane.
Atlanta trap godfather Gucci Mane’s two-year incarceration has been offset by a trickle of mixtapes culling brusque, uncompromising drug yarns from his formidable vaults. He’s out now and sharper than ever: Everybody Looking should restore his kingship one crass party anthem at a time. —C.J.
Atlantic, July 22.

10. Read Ninety-Nine Stories of God
Joy Williams, pure and uncut. 

This sardonic devotional of mostly very short vignettes, whose characters range from Kafka to O. J. Simpson to the befuddled Lord himself, is hilarious, bizarre, tragic. Williams addicts will mainline it; newcomers should chase the high with last year’s The Visiting Privilege. —Boris Kachka
Tin House Books.

11. Watch Looking: The Movie
Pour one out for Patrick & Co. 
HBO’s canceled Looking was criticized for being too upscale, too nice, and not dramatic-sexy enough, but Andrew Haigh’s series was always good: intelligent, sensitive, and dedicated to avoiding easy answers and too-neat situations. Haigh and his collaborators got a chance to wrap things up with this The Big ChillPeter’s Friends–type comedy-drama, which sends Patrick (Jonathan Groff) back to San Fran from Denver to attend a wedding and take stock of his life. —M.Z.S.
HBO, July 23 at 10 p.m.

12. & 13. See Small Mouth Sounds and Men on Boats
Inner and outer journeys. 
Bess Wohl’s Small Mouth Sounds had a much-praised run at Ars Nova last spring; Jaclyn Backhaus’s Men on Boats was likewise a hit last summer for Clubbed Thumb. In what could be the start of a lovely new trend, both return for extended runs in bigger houses, so more of us can get to know Wohl’s almost-entirely-silent characters as they avoid spirituality at a spiritual retreat, and Backhaus’s zany adventurers (all played by women) as they explore the American West in 1869. —J.G.
Pershing Square Signature Center, through September 25; Playwrights Horizons, July 20 through August 14.

14. Hear The Rake’s Progress
Small can be special.
In a city of cultural juggernauts, mini-companies pop up wherever they can, fed by deep wells of young talent. With its tangy neoclassicism and 18th-century morals, Stravinsky’s masterwork is a piquant interloper in a summer of tiny opera. —J.D.
Roulette, July 21 and 23.

15. See Guns N’ Roses
Is this for real?
This summer’s shock GNR semi-reunion jaunt is called the Not in This Lifetime … Tour for good reason: No one tracking the years of infighting between Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan believed the trio would ever join forces again. Come because word-of-mouth says they’re absolute murder; stay in case the whole thing goes up in smoke. —C.J.
MetLife Stadium, July 23.

16. Hear The Illuminated Heart
Yes, there is such a thing as new Mozart.
In the absence of Mozart bootlegs, lost symphonies, or basement tapes to feed the craving for his music, the Lincoln Center Festival commissioned director Netia Jones to create a Frankenstein opera out of existing parts. A theatrical installation and video projection make the whole experience more than the sum of Mozart’s greatest hits. —J.D.
David Geffen Hall, July 25 and 26.

17. Go to Four More Years: An Election Special
When the news gets to be too much. 
Can any election film match the Trump campaign’s lunacy? Consider the 21 here. The Gore Vidal adaptation The Best Man? Too classy. The cynical The Candidate? Not cynical enough. Robert Altman’s bleak ’70s panorama Nashville? Too sunny. The Manchurian Candidate? Um, maybe. Among the others: Shampoo, Wag the Dog, The War Room, and rare docs like Emile de Antonio’s America Is Hard to See, about the raucous ’68 election. —D.E.
BAMcinématek, July 15 through August 3.

18. See I Talk With the Spirits: Thornton Dial, Jay Heikes, Lee Mullican
A triptych of artists.
Check in on the ever-broadening definitions of insider, outsider, and what art can be when it isn’t only about art. Self-taught rural-Alabama outsider Dial gives us paintings of totemic animals and incredible thrones made of sticks and other things; well-known Heikes makes almost-alchemical sculptures; the underknown Mullican offers wondrous, dreamlike paintings and talismans. —J.S.
Marianne Boesky Gallery, through August 12.

19. Listen to Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite
A throwback that stands the test of time.
Maxwell’s rain-soaked BET Awards performance was a reminder of the soul legend’s gripping voice and presence. On the eve of his new solo record BLACKsummers’night’s release, it’s worth revisiting his watershed debut album: 20 years on, it hasn’t lost an ounce of funk-soul excellence. —C.J.

20. Read Seinfeldia
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Seinfeld deep-dive has its share of trivia, but it’s best when getting at the show’s unorthodox behind-the-scenes culture. Even completists will eat up the stories Armstrong unearths, like a chapter on the show’s writers, many of whom lasted only one season while Larry David feasted on (then tired of) stories from their lives.
Simon & Schuster.

21. See Don’t Blink — Robert Frank
Unprecedented access to an artist and his work.
Film Forum presents Laura Israel’s rough-hewn portrait of 91-year-old photographer Robert Frank, whose book The Americans has inspired so many creepy, existential road movies that he should get residuals. The big news here: two screenings of Frank’s long-suppressed 1972 Rolling Stones doc, Cocksucker Blues, a sometimes-excruciating vérité portrait of the Exile on Main Street tour. —D.E
Film Forum, July 13 through 26.

22. & 23. See No End of Blame and Good
Cartoons and corruption.
For nine of its 29 years, the Potomac Theatre Project has presented a compelling summer season in New York. This summer’s two revivals in repertory seem especially timely. In Howard Barker’s No End of Blame, a Hungarian political cartoonist comes up against the limits of free speech; in C. P. Taylor’s Good, an upstanding German gradually succumbs to, and joins, the Nazi madness.      —J.G.
Atlantic Stage 2, through August 7.

24. Listen to The Bride
Bat for Lashes doesn’t need a white wedding.
Natasha Khan’s glassy vocals spin the tale of a woman who loses her fiancé in a car crash on the way to their wedding and, by the end, learns to rely on herself; the result is an album of gothic perfection.
Parlophone/Warner Bros. Records.

New Music
25. Hear Reich/Reverberations
Celebrating an over-50-year career. 
The Lincoln Center Festival frames this mini-Reichfest with Drumming and Music for 18 Musicians, two masterpieces that plumb the poetics of precision. The musicians on hand, like So Percussion and Ensemble Signal, can play an hour’s worth of clockwork as if it were a bagatelle. —J.D.
Alice Tully Hall, July 16; The Appel Room, July 19 and 21.