Various; Tribeca Film Festival; Online through May 6; Watch
Psst. Wanna see some Tribeca Film Fest shorts? We watched fifty, picked the best five, and posted the films online. For your delectation: stylish Chinatown romance Lawrence; unexpectedly sympathetic Wall Street drama Vartan LLP; terrifying mini-thriller When the Tide Turns; moving mood piece Len’s Love Story; and Someone Else’s War, an impassioned doc about the foreign laborers who serve soldiers chow in Iraq. Watch these now, and see “Express Stops Only,” the festival’s slate of eight shorts, in the theater.
Catch a great show that’s better than ever
The Shield Five years and countless coerced confessions in, The Shield should, by all rights, suck. Instead, it’s better than ever, thanks in part to television’s most underrated supporting cast. (Jay Karnes as Dutch Wagenbach!) Meanwhile, top rogue cop Vic Mackey, raging wild like a wounded bull, has deepened into a figure of tragic nobility this season—and it’s still young. Post-Sopranos, he’ll grab the title of TV’s most compelling brute. Set your DVR: Yesterday’s excellent episode reairs at midnight. F/X
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Hear new songs from a great performer
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Ted Leo’s totally dreamy, in that aging indie-punk way: He writes lyrics that are so thoughtful they’re naïve, puts them to melodies we can’t help but sing along with, and when he channels Thin Lizzy, we just want to die. It just gets better seeing his crack band live: Last year the guy nearly bounded right off Webster’s stage. Buy tickets now to get a preview of his excellent forthcoming album, Living With the Living, on Saturday. Webster Hall
Let a hunky scientist explain the universe(s)
Brian Greene The best-selling author of The Elegant Universe has a knack for explaining string theory and such without making us space out. Tonight, the surprisingly hunky scientist argues for the existence of more than one universe—a theory that conveniently solves many of physics’ greatest mysteries, like why space is so flat, how protons got so heavy, and what the hell happens at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Be sure to ask about time travel! Tonight
Witness a Pop artist’s transformation
Takashi Murakami Fans of “Mr. Pointy” and Murakami’s other anime-inspired characters are in for asurprise—and though we wouldn’t exactly call it pleasant, we do find it strangely compelling. His first show with Gagosian centers around giant portraits of Zen Buddhist sage Daruma, who attained enlightenment by meditating until his arms and legs atrophied and fell off. Is the Japanese Pop Art entrepreneur getting spiritual? We’re going to ponder that … and ponder it … and ponder it… Gagosian
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Help her connect art and nature
Wednesdays in Teardrop Nurture your child’s fascination with nature by bringing her to this little-known, Catskills-esque park and finding Elise Engler, whose most recent Chelsea show, Taxonomies, confirms her as a queen of obsessive art-making. The kids will work on individual and collaborative projects, like creating monoprints with ferns, making large-scale paintings of little butterflies, and building clay habitats for the creatures that live in Teardrop’s various woodsy, wet, and grassy environments. Teardrop Park, Battery Park City
3:30 p.m.– 5:30 p.m.
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Jock_Agorastos@newyorkmag.com Grey Gardens
Meet Jackie O’s most scandalous relatives in Grey Gardens the Broadway musical. Based on a true story, this “heartbreaking and hilarious” (Rolling Stone) musical captivatingly chronicles the eccentric mother and radical debutante daughter who lived together in a crumbling, cat-filled Hamptons mansion - truly the Social Registry’s worst nightmare.