Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

To Do: March 21–April 4, 2018

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

1. See Robert Ryman: Drawings
Just the essentials.
This beautiful drawing survey of the 87-year-old modern master pulls back the curtain on the multiple ways this Ur-artist stripped everything away from art except art itself. —Jerry Saltz
Pace Gallery, 510 West 25th Street, through March 24.

2. Go to Lorde: Melodrama World Tour
Come early and stay put.
Lorde is a preternaturally gifted songwriter, but she doesn’t get enough credit for her impeccable taste as a listener. Her Melodrama World Tour is backed in the States by rising indie-rock scribe Mitski, whose Puberty 2 touches on some of the same raw emotions as Melodrama, and the no-nonsense rap duo Run the Jewels. —Craig Jenkins
Barclays Center, April 4.

3. See Babette’s Feast
Be our guest. 
Abigail Killeen conceived this adaptation of Isak Dinesen’s short story as a lush theatrical celebration of generosity and communal healing. The story (also the basis of a film released in 1987) follows Babette, a French refugee seeking asylum in a pious Norwegian village, where she eventually prepares a lavish banquet that brings the fractured city together. —Sara Holdren
Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th Street, opens March 25.

4. See Morning Star
A place in time. 
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory is an NYU building now, and the Lower East Side, where so many of its workers lived, went goyish years ago. Still, On Site Opera brings Ricky Ian Gordon’s work, about a family devastated by the famous 1911 fire, to the ornate Eldridge Street Synagogue. —Justin Davidson
The Museum at Eldridge Street, March 21 through 25.

5. Read The Merry Spinster
Beautifully turned out. 
The Slate contributor, co-founder of the Toast, and literary-social-media star Mallory Ortberg heads straight for the big game in this collection of revisionist fairy tales. Some stories, like “The Velveteen Rabbit,” become even more disturbing, while others are restored to their pre-Disney glory — primordial, oppressive, and funny. —Boris Kachka
Holt Paperbacks.

6. See Layla M.
A world apart. 
This 2016 festival darling, newly available on Netflix, tells the story of a Muslim girl living in Amsterdam who marries a young radical and moves to Jordan. Once there, she finds herself drawn ever closer to extremism. Director Mijke de Jong and her gifted lead, Nora El Koussour, deliver more than a didactic cautionary tale.
Netflix, March 23.

7. Read A Tokyo Romance
On the fringes. 
Dutch-born Ian Buruma crafted this memoir about a lesser-known corner of Japan’s history. In 1975, he moved to Tokyo and fell in with the outer edges of the art world—a scene of fluid sexuality, campy burlesque, avant-garde theater, and hard-core porn. Astonishingly, he left six years later with the same girlfriend, his future wife. —B.K.
Penguin Press.

8. Watch Roseanne
Making America great again.   
One of the groundbreaking sitcoms of the 1980s gets a reboot, its cast essentially intact. And surprise — or not! — it turns out Roseanne Conner is now a Trump supporter (like Roseanne Barr) who presides over an even bigger brood of kids and grandkids.
ABC, March 27.

9. See Mildred Thompson: Radiation Explorations and Magnetic Fields
Colorful marks in abstraction.
This is the first New York solo exhibition ever of the late Mildred Thompson, whose career produced things that look like magnetic vectors and landscapes of the mind. Thickly applied paint combines with wisps of hand-flicked bushiness, and a highly restrained smartness leaves us wanting more. —J.S.
Galerie Lelong & Co., 528 West 26th Street, through March 31.

Classical Music
10. See The Vietnam War: At Home and Abroad
Bewitchingly bleak. 
As part of Carnegie Hall’s sweeping, citywide exploration of the 1960s, storyteller John Monsky and a quartet of vocalists take the audience through those years’ protest songs. Leading off the program is a rarity: George Crumb’s hallucinatory Black Angels, performed by the aptly named Friction Quartet. —J.D.
Zankel Hall, March 24.

11. Watch Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
He is risen. 
You could spend Easter Sunday night gnawing on Peeps, or you could spend it gnawing on Peeps while watching a live production of the Tim Rice–Andrew Lloyd Webber rock opera, starring John Legend as Jesus, Broadway’s Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas, Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, and Alice Cooper as King Herod.
NBC, April 1.

12. See Isle of Dogs
Wes Anderson fans, rejoice! 
This one’s stop-motion animation — all puppets — so there are no pesky actors to dilute Anderson’s vision. Well, the likes of Greta Gerwig, Bill Murray (of course), and many others lend their voices to the story of a Japanese boy in search of his dog. If it’s half as good as Fantastic Mr. Fox, it will be marvelous. —David Edelstein
Opens March 23.

13. See Yerma
Baby blues.   
This highly anticipated transfer from London’s Young Vic and adapter-director Simon Stone comes to the Park Avenue Armory, where the classic “tragic poem” about a woman driven to desperation by her desire for a child receives a sharp, contemporary twist for this age of online exhibitionism and voyeurism. —S.H.
Park Avenue Armory, through April 21.

14. Listen to Golden Hour
Don’t call it crossover, but it might cross over.  
The Grammy-winning Texas country singer Kacey Musgraves releases her third studio album this month, which pushes the envelope on her heartbreaking writing and pristine singing with tasteful new tricks like trippy vocal effects and hip-hop and disco beats. —C.J.
MCA Nashville, March 30.

15. Watch Flint Town
An extremely American tragedy.
This original, vital documentary series explores the beleaguered Michigan city of Flint — from its unforgiving poverty to its sky-high murder rate and water crisis — through the eyes of both an overworked police department and a tired-but-determined core of social activists.

16. Read Laura & Emma
Uptown girls.
Kate Greathead’s debut novel gamely takes on class conflict, single motherhood, and the discreet pretension of the 1980s Upper East Side through the story of Laura, a daughter of privilege who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant after a one-night stand.
Simon & Schuster.

17. Read Girls Burn Brighter
Beauty and brutality abound. 
After calamity separates two poor Indian girls from each other, their only road to reunion runs through the human-trafficking trade; suffice it to say that misogyny is, for the subcontinent’s worst off, not a debated concept but a simple fact of life. Shobha Rao’s writing propels the story forward to an ambiguous ending that could fuel as much debate as the suffering that comes before. —B.K.

Classical Music
18. Hear Composer Portraits: Christopher Cerrone
Like an unplanned urban ecosystem.
When the first notes sound, it seems as though Cerrone can out-minimalize the first-generation minimalists: He’ll milk a single note for all its subtexts. But in his new work, A Natural History of Vacant Lots, percussion players spread throughout the dim hall and gradually build up to a dense sonic tangle. —J.D.
Miller Theatre, March 29.

19. See Terence Stamp
Retrospective for a tough guy who can dance.
Working-class-London-born actor Terence Stamp was, as a young man, both rough and beautiful, and in the 1960s international directors clamored to work with him. You can see him at his physical peak in this 14-film retrospective, which includes Billy Budd, Modesty Blaise, and later works like Steven Soderbergh’s The Limey. —D.E.
Metrograph, opens March 23.

20. Watch Trust: The Getty Family Saga
An earful.
Does the world need another retelling of the kidnapping of teenage John Paul Getty III after last Christmas’s All the Money in the World? Yes, if it stars Donald Sutherland as the moneybags elder Getty and Hilary Swank as his daughter-in-law, and if Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) directed the pilot. —Matt Zoller Seitz
FX, March 25.

21. Go to New Directors/New Films
Delightfully eccentric.
In its 47th year, ND/NF opens with a portrait of freewheeling rapper M.I.A., Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., drawing on videos she made herself, and features Portuguese director Pedro Pinho’s three-hour The Nothing Factory — an epic portrait of an elevator-factory strike with musical numbers. —D.E.
Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA, March 28 through April 8.

Classical Music
22. Hear Handel’s Rinaldo
Double duty.
A few hours before wrapping up his first Broadway run with a Sunday-evening performance of Farinelli and the King, the spellbinding countertenor Iestyn Davies sings some of the same arias in their original context: Handel’s opera Rinaldo, three centuries old but still stunning and fresh. —J.D.
Carnegie Hall, March 25.

23. Read Wade in the Water
The river runs deep.
One poem in this collection is composed entirely of letters from African-Americans enlisted in the Civil War; another explores the “desolate luxury” of living in Brooklyn in your 30s. Deftly, Tracy K. Smith — the reigning poet laureate of the United States — illuminates America’s generational wounds.
Graywolf Press, April 3.

24. Watch Silicon Valley
Our unlucky tech entrepreneurs return.
The striving start-up team led by perpetually indecisive Richard Hendricks is back for a fifth season, minus a key player: the pompous Erlich Bachman. The Pied Piper gang seems fine without him, though, meaning they still constantly make stupid judgment calls.        
HBO, March 25.

25. See Pygmalion
From a less familiar angle.
Director Eric Tucker (who also plays Henry Higgins) has envisioned Eliza Doolittle and her father as Indian immigrants to Britain, reframing the professor’s quest to teach Eliza “proper” English in the ugly light of colonialism. —S.H.
The Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker Street, through April 22.