Enrich. Enlight. Entertain. Repeat.

September | October | November

Bullets in the Hood: A Bed-Stuy Story comes to BAM (September 6).Photo: Courtesy of DCTV

6 Women are from Venus, men like guns: Grab a copy of Candace Bushnell’s Lipstick Jungle, hot off the press today, then head to a screening (and director Q&A) of the Sundance-favorite short film Bullets in the Hood: A Bed-Stuy Story at BAM.

7 Last chance to catch Coldplay at the Garden. Don’t be ashamed. Tell your cool friends you’re there for opener Rilo Kiley.

8 Welcome the Aperture Gallery to its grand new digs on West 27th Street at the opening of “Nazar: Photographs From the Arab World.” And program your TiVo: The O.C. returns to Fox tonight.

9 Spend the afternoon trudging around downtown to see the three billboard-size paintings (including Cheerleader by Gary Hume, pictured) sponsored by United Technologies; then rest your weary feet in Dance Theater Workshop’s plush movie-theater seating as Dancenow/NYC performers sweat it out onstage.

10 Whoosh! Grab a comfy spot in Hudson River Park and watch the country’s fastest speedboats race from Battery Park to Chelsea Piers in the New York Super Boat Grand Prix championship.

11 Honor the dead, four years after New York’s very worst day, as St. Bartholomew’s Choir performs Fauré’s Requiem.

12 Sing out, Louise! First day of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

13 Stave off your fear of mortality: The Rolling Stones return to the Garden, and Elaine Stritch debuts at the Café Carlyle. And—speaking of grumpy old folks—don’t forget to vote in the primaries.

14 Noémie Lafrance and the dance troupe Sens present Agora, temporarily reclaiming Williamsburg’s McCarren Park pool from the raccoons and feral cats.

15 For grown-ups: Richard (Take Me Out) Greenberg’s A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, starring Richard Thomas and Jill Clayburgh, is in previews at the American Airlines Theatre. For the kids: Regina Spektor, the Russian Tori Amos, at Irving Plaza.

16 Graceful exit, or awkward good-bye? Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins open in the mathematical tearjerker Proof, the Weinstein brothers’ final project with Miramax.

17 If you have a river view—or a friend with one—get out your binoculars: Robert Smithson’s Floating Island begins its laps around Manhattan.

18 Nabokov’s Lolita turns 50 this week (though of course she’ll forever be 12); time to reread the novel. Then slip out to the deli to buy the current Playboy—for the articles. Joyce Carol Oates and Paul Theroux are among those weighing in on the significance of the literary nymphet.

19 The impossibly ageless voice of Plácido Domingo headlines opening night at the Met, and Arrested Development, TV’s brainiest sitcom, rises phoenix-like to redeem popular culture.

20 Watch Paul Provenza, Bob Saget, and other off-color stand-ups from the The Aristocrats get raunchy as they face off against pundits like Joe Scarborough and Arianna Huffington at the 92nd Street Y.

21 Martha Stewart begins to crush the dreams of her underlings—and probably some garlic—as her version of The Apprentice premieres.

22 Start a night out at Kurt Gutenbrunner’s eclectic new restaurant Thor at the Hotel on Rivington.

23 Putting aside all memories of 1968’s Oliver!, steel your nerves for Roman Polanski’s creepy Oliver Twist, featuring a basalt-eyed Ben Kingsley as Fagin. Or skip the nightmares and travel the yellow brick road to see Sir Elton John at Madison Square Garden.

24 Mireille Enos—you remember her as Honey in this year’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?—co-stars in the promising revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular, now in previews.

25 Plump up the couch cushions, draw the shades, and turn off the phone: It’s back-to-back-to-back premieres of The West Wing, Desperate Housewives, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

26 Okay, you can look back now: The first half of Martin Scorsese’s monumental Bob Dylan doc airs on PBS.

27 Jump the line! Alice Tully Hall screens Capote, the fall’s best biopic, three days before its official opening. Grab your chance to hear Philip Seymour Hoffman channel the author’s man-child whisper.

28 At Juilliard’s centennial celebration, book tickets for the premiere of Eliot Feld’s ramp dance, Sir Isaac’s Apples. Then go find out what a ramp dance is. (Hint: It involves special grip-gloves, slithering, and a stage set that looks like a skate park.)

29 Life is die cabaret, ja? Café Sabarsky brings inthe “postmodern chanteur” Daniel Isengart for its Thursday cabaret night.

30 The other Clinton comes to Harlem: In the first of two nights at the Apollo, madman George Clinton marks the 50th anniversary of his founding the Parliaments in—of all places—Plainfield, New Jersey. And yes, he’s bringing friends.

September | October | November


1 Discover a world beyond Raffi: Ralph Covert, a former member of the Bad Examples, brings tater-tot rock to Symphony Space to kick off the weekly “Just Kidding!” series.

2 Watch Mia Farrow conk out, playing a comatose, eerily Schiavo-like mother in Fran’s Bed at Playwrights Horizons. (See page 66 for details.) Or choose between the dual—and dueling—Across the Narrows concerts on Staten and Coney Islands: Oasis, Jet, and the Doves headline the former, with Beck, Belle & Sebastian, and the Polyphonic Spree at the latter.

3 Laugh till it hurts. Then keep laughing: The New York City Underground Comedy Festival fills 75 venues with over 200 shows.

4 Crack open a fresh copy of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, released today; it’s her memoir of the emotional spiral she endured after her husband’s death and her daughter’s grave illness.

The Squid and the Whale opens.Photo: Courtesy of Symphony Space

5 The New York Botanical Garden brings Japanese-style foliage to the Bronx with “Momijigari: The Japanese Autumn Garden,” open now through November 17. And The Squid and the Whale, the Park Slopiest movie of the year, opens tonight.

6 Je me souviens! Put the stillborn lockout season behind you as pro hockey returns to the Garden, when the Rangers face off against Montreal.

7 Quit stalling and get to the Met, pronto: Renée Fleming won’t sing the title role in Manon again until April.

8 Take a break from the New York hustle to watch someone else get frenetic, as Turkish dancers the Whirling Dervishes perform at Town Hall.

9 John Lennon’s 65th birthday. Skip Broadway’s weak tribute in favor of some new music he probably would’ve liked better: Fiona Apple’s long-delayed CD, Extraordinary Machine.

10 The Metropolitan is open on Columbus Day, so visit the brand-new “Prague, The Crown of Bohemia” show (see page 96). After dinner, hit the 92nd Street Y for a sneak preview of the Israeli hit film Ushpizin, about a Hasidic couple who believe that God is testing them when they’re visited by escaped convicts.

11 The BAM Next Wave Festival mounts a sure-to-be-sumptuous ballet version of the 1991 film Raise the Red Lantern, also directed by the filmmaker, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers).

12 Kick back to Alicia Keys’s newly released MTV Unplugged. Can you think of a pop singer better suited to the acoustic treatment?

13 The new musical See What I Wanna See debuts at Joe’s Pub, with a crackerjack cast (Wicked’s Idina Menzel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s Marc Kudisch) and a thrilling hook (a Central Park murder, a priest, a thief, and a miracle).

14 U2 plays its fifth and final show at the Garden before decamping for Philadelphia; if you haven’t bought tickets by now, best try for the two return gigs on November 21 and 22.

15 Chase down Megumi Akiyoshi’s self-contained art gallery prowling the streets of Brooklyn, part of the weekend-long DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival.

16 Address your nightmares—or inspire some new ones—at MoMA’s “SAFE: Design Takes on Risk,” devoted to 300 products that “address the spectrum of human fears and worries.” Yikes.

17 The Swedish jazz vocalists the Real Group bring their catchy act to Symphony Space, performing for an audience of unreformed a cappella singers and wayward Abba fans. Warning: You will be humming to yourself for a week.

18 The Batman boxed set, The Bruce Lee Ultimate DVD Collection, and Al Pacino’s DVD anthology all arrive in video stores, enthusiastically muscling the chick flicks off the shelves.

19 The glorious Roman mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli storms Carnegie Hall to continue her crusade to revive early opera with a recital of Handel, Scarlatti, and Caldara.

20 Jeté to ABT, which takes a break from its classical repertoire to present the world premiere of a new work by Peter Quanz, set to Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 5.

21 A hundred years’ worth of splashy graphics—some modestly priced, some stratospheric—come together at the International Vintage Poster Fair, all weekend at the Metropolitan Pavilion.

22 Last night Tolstoy changed my life: Renowned actors, authors, and critics like John Lithgow and Margo Jefferson read and discuss various life-altering tomes at “The Book That Changed My Life Marathon,” hosted by the New York Public Library and Symphony Space.

23 The great griot singer Youssou N’Dour accompanies a dream team of Senegalese crooners in “Night Sky in Sine Saloum,” at Zankel Hall. And Latinologues, a collection of short monologues in the John Leguizamo vein—directed by Cheech Marin!—opens on Broadway.

24 Linger at the Museum of the City of New York over “New York Changing,” Douglas Levere’s careful rephotographings of Berenice Abbott’s iconic thirties images of a New York in flux.

25 The musical version of The Color Purple, with songs but no Oprah, goes into previews on Broadway.

26 Itzhak Perlman performs at Avery Fisher Hall tonight, playing Mozart, Schubert, and Tchaikovsky—but you won’t need to go, since you smartly played hooky and went to the morning rehearsal for just $15.

27 Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick further stake their claim as this generation’s Abbott and Costello, as Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

28 Indulge your inner child with Ping Chong’s Chinese puppetry at the New Victory Theater, or head to Astoria for the Gumby exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image. Then, in the evening, indulge your inner gore-hound with MMI’s screening of the bloody Korean revenge flick Oldboy.

29 It’s Family Day at the Whitney, which means you and your brood can enjoy, at no cost, the interactive tours and live jazz, a kid-friendly main exhibit—“Oscar Bluemner: A Passion for Color”—and, perhaps, the chance for your children to finally explain conceptual art to you.

30 The very last day this year to chat up a potential mate atop the Met: “Sol LeWitt on the Roof: Splotches, Whirls, and Twirls” closes.

31Skip the drunken mess that is the Halloween Parade, and cringe and cackle your way through a preview of Stephen Sondheim’s genuinely ghoulish Sweeney Todd.

September | October | November

Photo: Wireimage

1 Gather your girlfriends, your gay friends, and your Kristin Davis–fetishizing straight male friends: Sex and the City: The Complete Series Collector’s Edition comes out on DVD today. After gorging, go vamp it up yourself; say, preconcert cocktails before Gwen Stefani at MSG. 2 Philip Glass comes full circle—now will he repeat the cycle again and again and again?—with a return to pure instrumental music with his Symphony No. 8, premiering alongside the Allen Ginsberg–inspired, text-driven Symphony No. 6 (Plutonian Ode) at BAM.

3 High kicks and higher culture: The Radio City Christmas Spectacular rolls out the Rockettes, and Salman Rushdie reads at the 92nd Street Y from his lovely Shalimar the Clown.

4 Mario Cantone’s squawk-box comedy takes over Town Hall, just one of 100 yukfests in the New York Comedy Festival. It’s also the week before Election Day: Coincidence?

5 Ancient culture: Check out the Asia Society’s “Celebrate Iran,” featuring arts and crafts, Persian music, and a reading from the Shahnameh, Iran’s 1,000-year-old national epic. Not-so-ancient culture: Jersey Boys, the jukebox musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, plays its final preview before tomorrow night’s opening.

6 The healthy and flush-faced folk spend the morning running the New York City Marathon; come nightfall, the pale and bloodless flock to hear Anne Rice at the 92nd Street Y. 7 Mars is in opposition to the sun—a dandy excuse to visit the Rose Center planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History.

8 Election Day. Pick up Maureen Dowd’s Are Men Necessary? to read while you’re waiting on line at the polls.

9 How do you say “bust a cap” in Gaelic? Jim Sheridan—known for the all-Irish-all-the-time My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, and, most recently, In America—directs the 50 Cent movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’.

10 Divas with strings: Catch Don Giovanni, as performed by the Salzburg Marionette Theater, at the Metropolitan Museum.

11Carnegie Hall marks Veterans Day with music from World War II, including Blitzstein’s Airborne Symphony.

12 The immense Triple Pier Antiques Show winds up its two-weekend run at the West Side’s Passenger Ship Terminal. Bring a decorator friend and try to wangle to-the-trade prices.

13 “The Chocolate Show” at the Metropolitan Pavilion—need we say more? (Actually, yes: Get there well before the doors open at 10 A.M., because the line out front is ridiculous.)

14 The Met launches its new production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. No need to bring the libretto; broadcaster and opera critic Bridget Paolucci’s discussion beforehand will clue you in.

15 Kabbalah queen, wholesome mom, and master equestrienne Madonna reminds you that, yes, once upon a time she was a singer, with her first album in two and a half years, Confessions on a Dancefloor.

16 Swing by the Museum of Television and Radio, simply because its exhibit on the future of advertising has the season’s best title: “Hold My Skateboard While I Kiss Your Girlfriend.” 17 The 2005 Beaujolais Nouveau arrives in Stateside wine shops; it won’t keep, so buy one bottle for tonight and one bottle for later tonight.

18 Watch Harry Potter and friends battle maturity in the The Goblet of Fire, the first film in the series to get a PG-13 rating.

19 Get thee to a nunnery: You always say you’re going up to visit the Cloisters one of these days, but you never do, and the leaves in Fort Tryon Park are turning.

20 Last chance to be enchanted by The Little Prince at New York City Opera.

21Deconstruct architect Santiago Calatrava at the Metropolitan Museum’s retrospective, focusing both on his work and its inspirations.

22 It’s Christmas in November! The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s tree and crèche come out of storage, dovetailing nicely with the Fra Angelico show. And Balanchine’s Nutcracker once again shimmers across the stage at the New York City Ballet.

23 Priced–out–of–the–East Village expats cry in their Yuenglings about the good old days, as the film of Rent arrives, starring almost all of the original Broadway cast.

24 Yeah, the parade’s a Thanksgiving tradition—which is why you should instead book a prix fixe meal at The Sea Grill, overlooking the skating rink at Rockefeller Center. Or, if you prefer your stuffing without quite so many tourists, head downtown for Balthazar’s $40 turkey dinner.

25 Black Friday: Gird your credit card for a world of hurt.

26 Folk legend Arlo Guthrie—who spends every November sittin’ on the Group W bench, revisiting “Alice’s Restaurant”—lightens things up at Stern Auditorium.

27 Play catch-up: Three exhibitions at the International Center of Photography wind up today, so be sure to view the luminous André Kertész retrospective before it’s gone.

28 The peerless Lorraine Hunt Lieberson sings the premiere of “Neruda Songs,” a series of sonnets set to music by her husband, composer Peter Lieberson, at Carnegie Hall. She’ll be joined by stellar soprano Dorothea Röschmann and accompanied by the Boston Symphony, conducted by James Levine.

29 The upside of Oscar campaigns: Syriana, an oil-sand-and-CIA thriller starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Chris Cooper. Just one of a whopping number of films set for the awards-season homestretch.

30 NBC continues its quest to stretch the Rockefeller Center tree lighting—once a five-minute event—into a televised party that takes approximately seventeen hours.

Enrich. Enlight. Entertain. Repeat.