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To Do: November 30–December 14, 2016

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


Movies
1. See The Road Warrior
Just here for the gasoline. 
Most critics thought the recent Mad Max movie was the best of the series, but give me the lean, wildly influential The Road Warrior (a.k.a. Mad Max 2) — and watch me rev my engine to see it again at this 35-year-reunion screening and conversation. No, Mad Mel isn’t scheduled to be there, but you can meet Bruce Spence (Gyro Captain), Virginia Hey (Warrior Woman), and others. —David Edelstein
Alamo Drafthouse, December 2.

Art
2. See Paul McCarthy: Raw Spinoffs Continuations
Overkill never seemed so appropriate. 
For its last show at the former Roxy club before the building is replaced by God knows what, Paul McCarthy channels rage in clay and bronze figures. Snow White’s dwarfs are cut up, put through meat grinders, and mauled in ways that correspond perfectly to the loss of inner peace that everyone in the city feels these days. —Jerry Saltz
Hauser & Wirth, 511 West 18th Street, through January 14.

TV
3. Watch Showtime at the Apollo
Be good or be gone!
Steve Harvey hosts a prime-time reimagining of the long-running variety series, which aired from 1987 to 2008 in syndication. There will be a few famous ringers, but the series is staying true to its roots as a showcase for relatively unknown musical and comedy acts. —Matt Zoller Seitz
Fox, December 5.

Theater
4. See Elements of Oz
We’re off to visualize the wizard. 
It was only a matter of time before the augmented technology that powers Pokémon Go was recruited for narrative use, and what better one to use it on than The Wizard of Oz? In this multimedia mash-up, the Builders Association offers electronic overlays and sound transmissions (and a tornado) that the audience, for once instructed to leave their cell phones on, can access with an app. —Jesse Green
3LD Art & Technology Center, December 1 through 18.

Books
5. Read Last Girl Before Freeway
We could all use a little Joan right now. 
Like her “boss” on Celebrity Apprentice, Joan Rivers had a cruel streak, lived in gaudy splendor, and wallowed in insecurity. In this hard-digging biography, Leslie Bennetts uncovers the scars and warts, the tall tales and the true, giving Rivers exactly the memorial she deserves. —Boris Kachka
Little, Brown.

Classical
6. See Drumming
Student-teacher conference. 
In the summer of 1970, Steve Reich went off to Ghana to study with the master drummer Gideon Alorwoyie. He got sick and came back a few weeks later, but he learned enough to help him write the classic Drumming, an hour-plus work for percussion and voices that cemented the 80-year-old’s reputation. Now it’s Alorwoyie’s turn to visit Reich’s land and pay homage to his former student. —Justin Davidson
National Sawdust, December 10.

Pop
7. Listen to
Nordic flavor. 
Pronounced like myrrh, this Danish singer hits the sweet spot between the quite-opposite poles of Scandinavian pop and southern trap. Come for the no-holds-barred arrangements, stay for her arresting vocal range.
Terminal 5, December 3.

Art
8. See Terry Winters
As beautiful as a Chardin bowl of strawberries.
Merging morphogenesis, chasms that open in painterly cadences with circus mind patterns, and fluttering structures of butterfly space, maestro painter Terry Winters’s restless vision undulates in rich new mystical, elaborately simple ways. Root structures and grids turn into tapestries, canvases feel flexible, fruity blooms of metaphor intertwine. —J.S.
Matthew Marks, 522 West 22nd Street, through December 23.

Theater
9. See I Hear Music: Songs of Frank Loesser
How to succeed. 
Frank Loesser isn’t usually included among Broadway’s “Big Five” songwriters, but with Guys and Dolls and The Most Happy Fella he might well be the Big Sixth. The last of this season’s Broadway Close Up concerts focuses not only on those shows but on Loesser’s pop songs and lyrics for other composers. (Sold out, so watch the resale sites.) —J.G.
Merkin Concert Hall, December 5.

Classical
10. Listen to Daniil Trifonov
Keystrokes. 
The young Russian athlete-poet of the piano has a way of gliding over treacherous music as if he barely noticed its difficulties. Last fall, he roared delicately through many of Rachmaninoff’s concertos with the New York Philharmonic. Now he turns to tarter stuff: Schumann’s impish Kreisleriana and a handful of pieces from Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues. —J.D.
Carnegie Hall, December 7.

Books
11. Read They Can’t Kill Us All
A balanced look at the Black Lives Matter movement. 
Having already won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on police violence, the 26-year-old Washington Post journalist Wesley Lowery turns his two years on the post-Ferguson beat into a narrative of outrage, struggle, and, eventually, optimism. —B.K.
Little, Brown.

TV
12. Watch Westworld
The twist-machine of the moment. 
Westworld’s debut season has managed to stay a half-step ahead of the social-media hive-mind. The finale runs 90 minutes and is titled “The Bicameral Mind,” after a phrase the park’s founder employed rather tantalizingly in episode three. The think pieces are already being written. —M.Z.S.
HBO, December 4, 9 p.m.

Pop
13. See Curtis Harding
All aboard the soul train.
Michigan native Curtis Harding has the appeal for a truly universal audience: The 37-year-old singer is well versed in the feeling and power of the foundational ’60s hitmakers, but also has a neck tat and the Burger Records co-sign to make the L-train crowd weak in the knees.
Rough Trade, December 10.

Books
14. Read Thus Bad Begins
A reckoning in Spain.
Spanish writer Javier Marías begins his latest novel in 1980, when a young man becomes the assistant to a middling film director. His first major assignment: to ferret out a friend’s scandalous past. Instead, he uncovers a minefield of secrets buried by an entire political class in exchange for freedom. —B.K.
Knopf.

Movies
15. See McCabe and Mrs. Miller
Go for “Winter Lady” alone.   
When Film Forum scheduled a revival of Robert Altman’s restored 1971 frontier Western, they couldn’t have known that Leonard Cohen — whose songs make up the incomparably evocative soundtrack — would have passed away at the age of 82. Now there’s even more reason to see this sublime film. —D.E.
Film Forum, November 30 to December 6.

Books
16. Read Wonderland
More than just a roll of the dice.
Steven Johnson’s exploration of play redeems pop science from the swamp of TED-ready “revelations,” so even the innovation-allergic can find a safe space in this charming study of leisure as a goad to progress rather than its frothy by-product. —B.K.
Riverhead.

Opera
17. See L’Amour de Loin
Romance in medieval times. 
Kaija Saariaho’s opera Love From Afar, about a prince and his lady sighing for each other across the Mediterranean, has been inching toward New York ever since it dazzled critics at the Salzburg Festival in 2000. At last, the volatile mix of atmosphere and mysteriously seductive music arrives in a deluxe new production by Robert Lepage. —J.D.
Metropolitan Opera, December 1 to 29.

Pop
18. Listen to Awaken, My Love!
Childish Gambino returns.
Hot on the heels of the celebrated first season of Atlanta, polymath Donald Glover makes an unexpected pivot back into his music career with his third album as Childish Gambino, refining the singular rap and R&B meld he showcased on 2013’s Because the Internet. —Craig Jenkins
Glassnote, December 2.

Theater
19. See The Dead, 1904
Epiphany.
James Joyce’s “The Dead” comes to life in an immersive staging at the American Irish Historical Society’s townhouse on Fifth Avenue. There, an audience of 42 at each performance will take part in the Epiphany evening party as Joyce described it, moving about the rooms as the actors dance and dither, argue and philosophize. —J.G.
The American Irish Historical Society, through January 7.

Art
20. See Transfer Download
Pixelated wonder.
The tech-minded Brooklyn gallery takes over the Current Museum of Art’s temporary Tribeca space with a show of linked digital works by artists like Lorna Mills and Daniel Temkin who use GIFs, algorithms, and plain-old video to mesmerizing effect.
Current Museum of Art, 60 Sullivan Street, through December 15.

Pop
21. See Mac Miller With Soulection
Love and sex anthems.
Rapper and producer Mac Miller presents the live incarnation of his funk-soul rap opus The Divine Feminine. Backed by music collective Soulection, Miller will likely explore not only current tracks but the questioning introspection of the back catalogue.
Terminal 5, December 12.

Classical
22. Hear Density 2036
This flutist doesn’t do things by halves.
Claire Chase started celebrating the centennial of Edgar Varèse’s solo-flute piece Density 21.5 a couple of decades early: Varèse wrote it in 1936. Her plan is to commission enough works to revamp the flute’s repertoire: This concert constitutes Part IV (2016). —J.D.
The Kitchen, December 1 and 2.

Talks
23. See Patricia Field
Manolos, Manolos, Manolos.
As part of the Fashion Icons series, the legendary designer and costumer sits down with Fern Mallis for a discussion of her life and work.
92Y, December 14.

Pop
24. See Cam’ron
Return of New York’s greatest rapper?
It’s been 14 years since the Harlem rapper rocked his pink mink and matching flip phone at Fashion Week, and his sartorial presence still looms over hip-hop — on The Life of Pablo, Kanye West has Nori in furs “dressin’ like Cam.”
Highline Ballroom, December 5.

Classical
25. Listen to yMusic
Classical gas.
The hotshot ensemble whips through a pointillist portrait of the new-music scene, with a program including world premieres by Caroline Shaw and slightly more road-tested works by Sufjan Stevens. —J.D.
Zankel Hall, December 2.


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