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To Do: May 2–May 16, 2018

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

1. Watch Being Serena
This five-part docuseries focuses on Serena Williams at a crucial personal and professional moment: as she grapples with the early stages of motherhood — she gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia, in September — and attempts to get back into tennis-champion shape. Consider this series a warm-up to watching her compete in the French Open, which starts at the end of May.
HBO, May 2.

2. See Hours and Places
Room to breathe. 
This smart group show from artists Wojciech Bakowski, Erica Baum, and Constance DeJong slows us down with thoughtful drawings, constructed sculptures, layered text, and sound pieces that take us off the whizzing merry-go-round and let us sink back into our own autonomous selves. —Jerry Saltz
Bureau, 178 Norfolk Street, through May 6.

3. Listen to 7
Dive in.
The Brooklyn indie-rock duo Beach House makes dream pop drenched in hazy atmospherics that’s been sampled by everyone from Crystal Castles and Dan Deacon to Kendrick Lamar and the Weeknd. The new album, 7, is another bath in keyboard and guitar player Alex Scally’s expressive playing and singer-songwriter Victoria Legrand’s ethereal vocals, this time with help from Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom. —Craig Jenkins
Sub Pop, May 11.

4. See I Feel Pretty
Taking the fall. 
Ignore the prerelease backlash against this Amy Schumer comedy and enjoy funny, deft farce in which a woman with painfully low self-esteem gets bonked on the head and suddenly sees herself as madly attractive. Though Schumer didn’t write the film, it fits beautifully into her history of challenging men on their donkey-boy aesthetics and women on their acceptance of male standards of beauty. Rory Scovel is her inspired straight man. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.

5. See The Birds
It’s all Greek to me.   
Director Nikos Karathanos brings this vibrant adaptation of Aristophanes’ comedy to St. Ann’s Warehouse following its sold-out world premiere at the theater of Epidaurus in Greece. Ancient and prescient, the rollicking satire follows humanity’s search for a new utopia in the face of mass dissatisfaction with this messed-up world and its messed-up gods. —Sara Holdren
St. Ann’s Warehouse, May 2–13.

6. Watch Cobra Kai
Still sweeping the leg. 
If you’ve been waiting for a Karate Kid follow-up that explains what Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso are up to in middle age, it’s your lucky day. This YouTube Red series not only brings back Billy Zabka and Ralph Macchio to reprise their roles from the 1980s classic about waxing on as well as off, it places them at odds again after Zabka’s Johnny reopens the Cobra Kai karate dojo. Will a leg get swept? Oh, it better.
YouTube Red, May 2.

7. Go to Red Bull Music Festival
New York rocks. 
The innovative festival returns for the sixth year with a lineup as diverse as the city itself, from a performance by cult musician John Maus at the Coney Island Wonder Wheel (May 4) to Swedish experimentalist Fever Ray’s first U.S. shows in almost a decade (May 12 and 13) to an in-depth conversation with Harry Belafonte (May 5).
Various locations, May 3–25.

8. Read Warlight
Across the pond.
In the 25 years since Michael Ondaatje published The English Patient, which won a Booker and spawned an Oscar-winning film, he’s written three equally good novels but lost some fair-weather readers. This one returns to World War II, the terrain of his greatest hit, albeit on the London home front. A brother and sister are taken in by a strange group of grown-ups after their parents leave for an unexplained trip to Singapore — one of many mysteries that will take a dozen years to unravel. —Boris Kachka

9. See BambinO
Child’s play.
The opera Establishment, which fears aging and death with more intensity than Woody Allen, is making a play for young audiences — really young audiences. The Met’s latest production, a 40-minute opus by Lliam Paterson, features a cast of two, a versatile orchestra of two, and a participatory audience of babies ages 6 to 18 months (plus one accompanying adult each). —Justin Davidson
Metropolitan Opera, through May 5.

10. See King Krule
Stoned and emotional. 
Over just three albums, British singer, writer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer King Krule has grown into a formidable architect of songs about fleeting joy and haunting pain. Watch him fold rock, jazz, hip-hop, and dance music into his own beguiling blend.                  —C.J.
Hammerstein Ballroom, May 4.

11. See Emilio Bianchic: Ooh La La
This little piggy. 
This storied 33-year-old outpost of vanguard experimentalism and irascible art is currently the site of a joyous gallop through the videos of the Uruguay-born artist Emilio Bianchic. His long-toenailed feet perform morality plays, singing, dancing, and canoodling with other feet. It adds up to his own private, politically charged Mardi Gras. —J.S.
Postmasters, 54 Franklin Street, through May 12.

12. Watch A Little Help With Carol Burnett
Kids give the darndest advice. 
Carol Burnett hosts this celebrity-filled twist on Kids Say the Darndest Things and Little Big Shots, inviting guests like Taraji P. Henson, Wanda Sykes, and DJ Khaled to lay out a personal dilemma to a group of elementary-schoolers, who then offer advice about how to solve it. Because, as the Bible says, “A little child shall lead DJ Khaled.”
Netflix, May 4.

13. See Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Back at home with the Tyrones.
Sir Richard Eyre’s acclaimed production of Eugene O’Neill’s piercing, sprawling autobiographical family saga comes to BAM from Bristol Old Vic, led by Jeremy Irons as boozy paterfamilias James Tyrone and Lesley Manville as the morphine-addicted matriarch, Mary. —S.H.
BAM, May 8–27.

14. Watch Dear White People Vol. 2
Campus intrigue.   
The second season of Justin Simien’s dramedy, inspired by his film of the same name, picks up where it left off, with the main characters juggling the usual academic and love-life problems while dealing with a rise in alt-right rhetoric. 
Netflix, May 4.

Classical Music
15. Hear Sol Gabetta
Humane sensitivity.
I first learned of the Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta through Michel van der Aa’s work for cello, ensemble, and film, Up-close, in which she performs an exhilarating and tragic duet with an onscreen alter ego many years older than she. That same theatrical intensity infuses her performances of music like Chopin’s G-minor Sonata, which anchors her Lincoln Center program. —J.D.
Alice Tully Hall, May 12.

16. See The Rachel Divide
Digging through the layers. 
Laura Brownson’s nuanced, intimate doc centers on Rachel Dolezal, dreadlocked head of the Spokane branch of the NAACP who became a laughingstock — and drew African-American ire — when she was revealed to be white and then maintained that “race is not real.” Brownson talks to fierce and articulate critics, but once you understand Dolezal’s past — particularly her devotion to her adopted black siblings, who were allegedly abused — you’ll feel there’s more to her than a mere nutcase. —d.e.
In theaters and on Netflix now.

17. Watch Sweetbitter
Waiting games.
Ella Purnell (Churchill, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) stars in this adaptation of Stephanie Danler’s novel about a New York City newbie attempting to navigate her life and job in a high-end restaurant.
Starz, May 6.

18. Read The Mars Room
Invigorating and urgent.
Rachel Kushner’s last novel, The Flamethrowers, crisply brought to life the radical art and politics of the 1970s through the eyes of a passive, albeit very observant, female witness. The author’s roving political awareness now alights on the American prison system. From another writer it might sound lurid or, worse, like homework. But Kushner’s writing and thinking are always precise. —B.K.

19. Listen to O
The gang’s all here.
SSION (“shun”) is the multimedia project of musical-visual artist Cody Critcheloe. His songwriting is versatile enough to fit aspects of noise rock, house music, and easy listening into the same frame, and forward-thinking enough to make Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott a fan. O’s wild guest list includes Royal Trux screamer Jennifer Herrema, pop darling Sky Ferreira, folkie Devendra Banhart, and indie rocker Ariel Pink. —C.J.
DERO Arcade, May 11.

20. Watch The 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
The stars turn out at night.
Sure, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a little bogus, but the annual ceremony always ends up being a good show. Watch Howard Stern use salty language while inducting Bon Jovi into the Rock Hall, see the Cars perform some of their greatest hits, and let Mary J. Blige and Lauryn Hill be your guides to the greatness that was Nina Simone.                 
HBO, May 5.

21. See Paradise Blue
A stranger in Paradise.
In 1949, the Paradise Club sits at the center of Detroit’s rapidly gentrifying Blackbottom neighborhood. Blue, a trumpet player and the club’s owner, is wrestling with whether to flee the neighborhood and his memories there, when a mysterious woman arrives to complicate matters. Obie-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau begins her Signature residency with this story of troubled pasts in a changing city. —S.H.
Signature Theatre, through June 10.

Classical Music
22. See London Symphony Orchestra
Whatever suits your fancy.
Whether you’re feeling irrationally okay about the world or marinating in a self-pitying funk, Mahler’s three final works put it all in perspective. The Ninth Symphony and his orchestral song cycle Das Lied von der Erde cover the emotional spectrum from giddy bliss to bone-crushing sorrow, and the Tenth is his unfinished tombstone. —J.D.
David Geffen Hall, May 4, 6, and 7.

23. See Paul Schrader x 4
Taking stock.
The ever-provocative director-screenwriter Paul Schrader gets a mini-retrospective ahead of the release of his latest film, First Reformed. This quartet exemplifies what Schrader has called his “man in a room” films — a lonely-guy group of thrillers consisting of Taxi Driver (directed by Martin Scorsese), the fashion-setting American Gigolo, The Walker, and the underseen Light Sleeper, featuring Willem Dafoe as a tortured drug dealer. Schrader will be at the first three screenings. —D.E.
Metrograph, May 4–6.

24. Watch Little Women
Never too much Louisa May Alcott.
The BBC and PBS’s Masterpiece teamed up to produce this three-part mini-series about the March girls, featuring an impressive cast: Emily Watson as Marmee, Angela Lansbury as Aunt March, Maya Hawke as Jo, and Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies, Blockers) as Amy.
PBS, May 13.

Classical Music
25. Hear Shai Wosner
Sounds of the wee hours. 
Schubert’s late piano sonatas are midnight music, best heard when your defenses are down and there’s time for leisurely, roundabout thoughts. That being an impractical time for a public concert, Shai Wosner divides them up between two one-hour concerts at 9 p.m., just late enough for the music to resonate into the night. —J.D.
92nd Street Y, May 4 and 11.