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To Do: October 5–October 19, 2016

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

1. See About Alice
Long famous as a journalist, Calvin Trillin also writes fiction, food criticism, verse, and memoir. Now add drama. Trillin has turned About Alice — a heartbreaking tribute to his late wife — into a play. Jessica Hecht stars as Alice and Tony Shalhoub as Trillin himself. —Jesse Green
Directors Guild Theater, October 8 at 7 p.m.

2. Read Ten Restaurants That Changed America
From Howard Johnson to Chez Panisse.
Yale historian Paul Freedman’s survey of paradigm-shifting restaurants manages a tricky balance of academic rigor and delicious dish. It also serves as a cultural and economic history of the nation, from the rise of the leisure class to postwar globalization on down to our own fussy-casual era of trickle-down Bobo-ism. —Boris Kachka
Liveright, September 20.

3. See American Ballet Theatre’s Fall Season
Ten days at the ballet. 
At just two weeks long, ABT’s refreshingly forward-looking fall season flies by. This year, a world premiere by Jessica Lang and Benjamin Millepied’s new take on Daphnis and Chloe feel like major gets for the company; the return of Alexei Ratmansky’s poetic Serenade After Plato’s Symposium, a showcase for the company’s men, is a must as well.
David H. Koch Theater, October 19 through 30.

4. See M83
Adventures in chillwave. 
French electronic-music maestro Anthony Gonzalez brings his flagship band to New York behind this spring’s Junk, which eschews much of his trademark dance-rock exuberance for a reassessment of ’80s camp. Expect a sage mix of Junk tunes and highlights from back-catalogue scorchers like Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. —Craig Jenkins
Terminal 5, October 14 and 15. 

5. Watch Divorce
Carrie Bradshaw’s road not taken. 
Sarah Jessica Parker returns to HBO in this series, which at times feels a little like Sex and the City: The Bitter Aftermath: Here, she stars as a woman coping with a cratering relationship to her husband (Thomas Haden Church). It gives Parker a chance to excel again as a funny, desperate, manipulative person whom we can’t help loving anyway.  —Matt Zoller Seitz
HBO, October 9 at 10 p.m.

Classical Music
6. See Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra
High-voltage sound.  
Both the conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the electrifying ensemble he grew up with have outgrown Venezuela’s state-sponsored system of youth orchestras. Together they open the Carnegie Hall season with three concerts, ranging from Stravinsky to Olivier Messiaen’s spectacular Turangalîla-Symphonie. —Justin Davidson
Carnegie Hall, October 6 through 8.

7. See Denial
Burden of proof.
British libel law is a bitch, to go by the suspenseful film Denial. David Hare’s script tells the true story of the despicable, Holocaust-denying David Irving’s U.K. lawsuit against American historian Deborah Lipstadt for calling him a despicable Holocaust denier. Rachel Weisz in an orange wig is fun as the mouthy Lipstadt, who reluctantly cedes control to white British males played by the terrific Andrew Scott of Moriarty fame and an unusually powerful Tom Wilkinson. —David Edelstein
In theaters.

8. See Maury Yeston
An unusual way. 
The Kaufman Music Center continues its “Broadway Close Up” series this fall with an evening of songs by (and discussion of) Maury Yeston, the former Yale music professor best known for Nine and Titanic. Rebecca Luker and others perform numbers from those hits and from lesser-known works like Death Takes a Holiday. —J.G.
Merkin Concert Hall, October 10 at 7:30 p.m.

9. See W. Kamau Bell
Stand-up political laughs.
With his Emmy-nominated CNN show United Shades of America and his podcast Politically Re-Active, W. Kamau Bell has carved out a nice niche in the sociopolitical-comedy landscape. Be ready for lots of thoughts about the election.
Gramercy Theater, October 14 at 8 p.m.

10. See Kaytranada
The view from up north. 
Montreal producer Kaytranada achieved a rare feat on his debut 99.9%, outshining star features from AlunaGeorge and Anderson .Paak with his instrumental workings of funk, disco, and hip-hop. See the 24-year-old Haitian-Canadian defend his recent Polaris Prize title — Canada’s trophy for the best record of the year.
Terminal 5, October 5.

Classical Music
11. See Circle Map
A journey in soundscapes. 
The Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho is having a big New York season: The Metropolitan Opera will stage her opera L’Amour de Loin in December, and in the meantime her friend and champion Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the New York Philharmonic across town for a program of her elegantly mysterious orchestral and electronic music. —J.D.
Park Avenue Armory, October 13 and 14. 

12. See Letter to a Man
Dancing as fast as he can. 

Nearly a century after he last performed in public, Vaslav Nijinsky continues to intrigue dramatists and dancers, as much for his artistry as for his suffering. Robert Wilson chronicles the destruction of the former by the latter in a new work based on Nijinsky’s journals from the period when his schizophrenia began to emerge. Mikhail Baryshnikov stars; Hal Willner provides the score and Lucinda Childs the “collaboration to movements and spoken text.” —J.G.
BAM, October 15 through 30.

13. See Cecily Brown: Rehearsal
Bare necessities. 
The Drawing Center answers a question you might not have thought to ask: What is Cecily Brown’s work like when you take away the textured accretion of paint and color? There are larger works here as well as sketchbooks, and they also show her source material (from Hogarth to Hendrix album covers).
The Drawing Center, October 7 through December 18.

14. See tick, tick … BOOM!
Boho days.
A few years before Rent, Jonathan Larson hammered together a one-man autobiographical musical from songs he’d been performing in clubs. After Rent, and Larson’s death in 1996, the playwright David Auburn shaped the material into tick, tick … BOOM! — a three-person show about youthful dreams and mortality that now seems all too prescient. —J.G.
Acorn Theatre, through November 20.

15. Hear Three
New album from Phantogram.
After last year’s Big Grams collaboration with Big Boi of Outkast, Phantogram returns with the new album Three, augmenting singer Sarah Barthel and guitarist-producer Josh Carter’s blend of shoegaze textures with input from Atlanta hitmakers The-Dream and Tricky Stewart. —C.J.
Republic Records, October 7.

16. Read Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?
Far truer than True Detective.
Investigative journalist Ethan Brown’s fourth book is part murder case, part corruption exposé, and part Louisiana noir. Eight prostitutes were killed over four years in Jennings, a poor town located on the main drug route from Houston to New Orleans. The cases remain unsolved, probably not by accident. Brown lifts the veil on a town where justice is a dirty joke. —B.K.

17. Watch Supergirl
New season, same heroine. 
Melissa Benoist returns in the further adventures of Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin; she’s joined by Superman himself (played by Tyler Hoechlin) in a plot that promises to delve more deeply into the mystery of Project Cadmus, a secret facility where extraterrestrial prisoners are dissected by the military. That sounds gruesome, but this unexpectedly excellent series keeps things buoyant. —M.Z.S.
The CW, October 10 at 8 p.m.

18. See White Lung
Punk down the aisle.
White Lung singer Mish Barber-Way made her name as one of punk’s most arresting performers — a dust devil of white hair, brilliant language, and a voice that rips speakers up like concertina wire. Barber-Way wrote much of the new record, Paradise, in characters: The result is a clash of real beauty and edgy darkness.  
Market Hotel, October 15.

19. Hear Cashmere
Debut album from Swet Shop Boys.
Swet Shop Boys is the duo of rappers Heems, formerly of Das Racist, and Riz MC, whom you might recognize as the star of HBO’s The Night Of. On their debut album, Cashmere, the two explore the similarities between the struggles of Indian Americans in post-9/11 New York and British Pakistanis during the Brexit campaign. —C.J.
Customs, October 14.

Classical Music
20. See Human Requiem
Deconstructed masterwork.

Brahms intended for an orchestra, chorus, and soloists to impart his sublime German Requiem from a stage, separated from the seated audience. In this version, director Jochen Sandig turns that performance ritual inside out: The orchestra is whittled down to piano, four hands; the audience stands and moves; and the choir, the marvelous Rundfunkchor Berlin, acts out the piece’s shattering drama. —J.D.
Synod House at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, October 16, 18, and 19.

21. See Ridicule
Very cool ephemera.
Nick Relph’s show of rigorously selected, flattened and matted urban views and artifacts is a complete worldview. The work is redolent of what it feels like to be a sort of Williamsburg flaneur who finds some significance in, for example, the soon-to-be-lost pay phone.
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, through October 9.

22. See Rae Sremmurd
Young Georgians on the rise.
Like the rest of Atlanta’s sterling hip-hop roster, Rae Sremmurd is in a state of constant flux. After the success of pop-rap singles like “No Type,” the duo returned this year with ambition and creative pronunciation on SremmLife 2. With support from 19-year-old trap-crooner Lil Yachty.
PlayStation Theater, October 19.

23. See Doomocracy
Political theater writ large.
Creative Time, the team behind spectacular, large-scale public works like Kara Walker’s sugar sphinx and the recent Fly by Night at the Navy Yard, is back with this experiential, election-themed haunted house from artist Pedro Reyes. Expect terrifying provocations on themes like climate change, government surveillance, and gun violence.
Brooklyn Army Terminal, October 7 through November 6.

24. Read Loner
Boy, interrupted.
Teddy Wayne’s third novel is as chilling as it is insightful about the dangers of unchecked male privilege and the absence of empathy. The story of a Harvard freshman and his obsession with a female classmate, Loner builds like a slow-moving infection until its sudden, blistering end. 
Simon & Schuster, September 13.

25. See Whitney
Sunny day harmonies. 
Earnest romantics and expert arrangers, Whitney burst onto the festival circuit this summer with campfire chords, horn flourishes, and T. Rex guitar solos to make Marc Bolan strut in his grave. Their golden-hued debut, Light Upon the Lake, is a summer record from the first note—a panacea for oncoming seasonal affective disorder.
Music Hall of Williamsburg, October 10.