27 Flash back to the seventies as Led Zep’s Robert Plant plays the Beacon Theater.
28 Catch Shakespeare in the Park’s As You Like It, starring Brian Bedford and Richard Thomas. It’s always easier to get free tickets on a weekday.
29 Will Tom Cruise save Earth in Spielberg’s War of the Worlds? And, more important, will his offscreen antics detract from the special effects?
30 Cooperstown’s not just for baseball: The 30th-anniversary season of the Glimmerglass Opera kicks off with Mozart’s Così Fan Tutti.
1 Sunbathers aren’t the only ones stripping down: A massive exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs opens at the Guggenheim.
2 Too lazy to scramble up a mountain? Explore Robert Smithson’s earthy artworks at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
3 Burlesque, agitprop, and worse: The Moral Values Festival concludes its scandalous theatrical run at Williamsburg’s Brick Theater.
4 Indies rock Independence Day: Before the fireworks, Yo La Tengo and Stephen Malkmus play at Battery Park.
5 Nurse that hangover at home, where you can watch Warner’s terrific Film Noir Collection, Vol. 2. boxed set—and meet a few crooks who feel as beat up as you do.
6 The song thumping from that Escalade? It’s from hip-hop queen Missy Elliott’s new album, The Cookbook, just out.
7 Don’t miss Side by Side—a Sondheim revue closing July 9 at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. But if you do, bike to Brooklyn Bridge Park for an outdoor screening of Bogie’s Key Largo.
8 Gape at the Cézanne and Pissarro exhibit at MoMA, then hurry home to watch the season premiere of Tony Shalhoub’s anxious TV series, Monk.
9 Check out Dixon Place’s Hot! 14th Annual NYC Celebration of Queer Culture.
10 Indulge your secret Jump Street fetish at BAM Cinématek’s Johnny Depp film series.
11 Head to Bryant Park early—very early—for the sure-to-be-overcrowded screening of The Gay Divorcee starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
12 Rent a tux: It’s opening night of the Lincoln Center Festival. Merce Cunningham kicks it off with Ocean.
13 Show a date how very cultured you are, by taking him or her to one of the few Central Park events permitted this summer: New York Philharmonic’s “Concerts in the Parks.”
14 Stare wide-eyed at Robert Wilson’s latest extravaganza, the Indonesian-inspired I La Galigo at the Lincoln Center Festival. Or bare your soul to Lucinda Williams at the Beacon.
15 Make your own double feature with Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s Wedding Crashers (sure to be the summer’s biggest comedy). Then wait outside a Barnes & Noble at midnight to buy the latest Harry Potter. For yourself.
16 Your last chance to shake a tail feather at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing. And your only chance to see Spoon, Mates of State, and other bands at Coney Island’s Siren Music Festival.
17 Still haven’t been to the new MoMA? Redeem yourself at the Summergarden jazz and classical series, back for six Sunday premieres in the remodeled Sculpture Garden.
18 Fish out of water: Lanky country icon Lyle Lovett mopes at SummerStage.
19 Escape the beach with Cormac McCarthy’s latest dark Western, No Country for Old Men.
20 Not many things are worth a train ride to Bridgeport, but this is: Bruce Springsteen’s short solo acoustic tour stops at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
21Check out some transgressive theater at downtown arts center HERE; its annual American Living Room series stages 30 shows, through August 21.
22 Skeptically read reviews of The Island and the Bad News Bears remake.
23 Work up a sweat as salsa god Eddie Palmieri headlines a free “Boricua Festival” Puerto Rican showcase in Prospect Park.
24 Scratch your Seven Year Itch with the revival of Billy Wilder’s classic at the Film Forum.
25 In a slim theater season, catch an early preview of the new Broadway musical The Mambo Kings.
26 Why drive upstate? Off Broadway, Terrence McNally previews Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams, a drama about a couple running a children’s theater in the Hudson Valley.
27 You could watch Fox’s cruel new TV show So You Think You Can Dance. Or you can watch people who know they can: Mark Morris Dance Group at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts.
28 Mo’ Mozart: Maestro Louis Langrée kicks off the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. The monthlong run includes Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in Peter Sellars’s staging of Bach cantatas.
29 Nearly canceled, then revived, the weird, award-winning sitcom Arrested Development returns to Fox for back-to-back reruns. Well, it’s supposed to, anyway. Similarly, you can say good-bye (at least until they reunite again) to Beyoncé and co. as Destiny’s Child plays MSG.
30 Frat paradise: Dave Matthews plays Randall’s Island. Expect absolutely no audience overlap with the terrific Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival.
31Shake off the blockbuster blahs at the closing night of Lincoln Center’s Scanners: New York Video Festival. This year’s slate features Robert Frank’s video work, music videos, and Japanese soft porn.
1 In a stoned haze, read Dennis Cooper’s new novel, God Jr., a melancholic take on a pothead father’s attempt to mourn the death of his son.
2 Liked Brad and Angelina’s chemistry in Mr. & Mrs. Smith? They’ve got nothing on William Powell and Myrna Loy in the classic Thin Man romantic comedies, available in a terrific new DVD set.
3 Big Dance Theater founder Paul Lazar opens Major Bang—the most promising performance at this year’s cutting-edge Ice Factory performance festival. Prep for watercooler conversation with Steven Bochco’s Iraq-war TV series, Over There.
4 Songwriter heaven: Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright play Prospect Park. Kitsch hell: Lennon finally arrives on Broadway.
5 The fall film season might as well begin today: Wong Kar-Wai’s rhapsody 2046, Jim Jarmusch’s Palme d’Or–winning Broken Flowers, and Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man doc open. (Okay, so does Dukes of Hazzard.)
6 Simón Díaz, the dapper elder statesman of Venezuelan music, plays Queens Theatre in the Park.
7 Every hipster’s favorite Sri Lankan emcee, M.I.A., rocks SummerStage. Get there early. Couch potatoes should watch a sneak preview of Mary-Louise Parker’s new Showtime series, Weeds, about a mother who sells pot.
8 Now that Jay-Z’s made MSG safe for hip-hop, Eminem’s “Anger Management” tour plays the Garden; Weeds premiers tonight.
9 Your last chance to catch the Naumburg Orchestra, celebrating its 100th anniversary in Central Park.
10 Party people can catch Devo at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
11SummerStage goes highbrow, with the Trisha Brown Dance Company; the Brooklyn Bridge Park outdoor screenings go dark with Chinatown.
12 Get a look at the next Avenue Q—if you’re very, very lucky—when the New York International Fringe Festival opens.
13 P.S. 1’s “Warm-Up” series roars on in the courtyard with arty hip-hop by local Lovebug Starski, and a kinetic installation by the collective Xefirotarch.
14 Take the Taconic Parkway to the last performance of Tom Stoppard’s On the Razzle at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, or take the subway to Queens for the Noguchi Museum’s soothing “Music in the Garden” series.
15 Apply aloe to your sunburn while cruelly contemplating how to improve your loved ones: Fox slots two hours of its trash show Renovate My Family.
16 Go celebrity-spotting at the Delacorte, with John Guare’s 1971 Tony-winning musical adaptation of Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Kathleen Marshall.
17 Flash back to the eighties with Bret Easton Ellis’s new book, Lunar Park, a wildly self-indulgent ride that mixes autobiography with serial-killer thrills.
18 Indie bands Death Cab for Cutie and the Decembrists play SummerStage. In unrelated news: Campy J-pop entrepreneurs Puffy AmiYumi play Irving Plaza.
19 The summer’s oddest film opens: Romance & Cigarettes, John Turturro’s Bensonhurt musical, stars James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Christopher Walken, Steve Buscemi, and—of course!—Mandy Moore.
20 As Neil Diamond wraps up three nights at the Garden, catch another kind of freak show: the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. Staying late? Try the Coney Island Saturday Night Film Series; this week: Class of Nuke ’Em High.
21 The Howl! Festival of East Village Arts kicks off eight days of shows, including a slate of bluegrass hosted by Laura Cantrell and the Wigstock drag legends, hosted by éminence bouffant Lady Bunny.
22 TiVo the Six Feet Under series finale so you can head to Bryant Park for an outdoor screening of Spielberg’s Jaws.
23 Less crowded than Bryant Park, the Central Park Film Festival kicks off with Almost Famous.
24 Reimagine Coney Island by looking at the Dreamland Artist Club’s repainted, refurbished, and reinvented old roller coasters, classic marquees, and ads.
25 Only in New York: The outlandish Romanian brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia plays insanely fast songs at Joe’s Pub.
26 Fans of the Brazilian film City of God should check out director Fernando Meirelles’s English-language debut, The Constant Gardener.
27 Hit one of New York’s best summer traditions: Williamsburg’s Rooftop Films screens British and American short films in a series called “The British Connection.”
28 See if Terry Gilliam’s long-delayed film Brothers Grimm was worth the wait.
29 The summer’s almost over—and you forgot to catch the Greater New York exhibition of 160 emerging NYC artists, still up at P.S. 1.
30 Because carousel horses are so yesterday, check out the Bronx Zoo’s new Bug Carousel.
31Skip work and head to Arthur Ashe Stadium, where you can spend the whole day feuding with French fans at the U.S. Open.
1 Watch the scrawny punks of Green Day solidify their new status as arena-rock gods with a Giants Stadium gig.
2 Get high at Dansville’s 24th Annual New York State Festival of Balloons, where dozens of hot-air enthusiasts rally—and talk nerdily about their baskets—for three days.
3 Troll the Strand Bookstore for an early galley of Candace Bushnell’s fortysomethings novel Lipstick Jungle, officially out September 6.
4 Your last chance to check out the New York Hall of Science’s exhibition on the groundbreaking tech-art collective Experiments in Art and Technology.
5 Labor Day means summer’s over, so go out with a bang. And a crash, a drum-kick, and clapping, and singing, and shouting, and some spicy roti—at New York’s loudest parade: the West Indian-American Day Carnival, which culminates at Grand Army Plaza.
New York Summer Freebie Calendar