Since May 2001, twi-ny has been recommending cool things to do throughout the five boroughs, popular and under-the-radar events that draw people out of their homes to experience film, theater, dance, art, literature, music, food, comedy, and more as part of a live audience in the most vibrant community on Earth.
With the spread of Covid-19 and the closing of all cultural institutions, sports venues, bars, and restaurants (for dining in), we feel it is our duty to prioritize the health and well-being of our loyal readers. So, for the next several weeks at least, we won’t be covering any public events in which men, women, and children must congregate in groups, a more unlikely scenario day by day anyway.
That said, as George Bernard Shaw once noted, “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.”
Some parks are still open, great places to breathe in fresh air, feel the sunshine, and watch the changing of winter into spring. We will occasionally be pointing out various statues, sculptures, and installations, but check them out only if you are already going outside and will happen to be nearby.
You don’t have to shut yourself away completely for the next weeks and months — for now, you can still go grocery shopping and pick up takeout — but do think of others as you go about your daily life, which is going to be very different for a while. We want each and every one of you to take care of yourselves and your families, follow the guidelines for social distancing, and consider the health and well-being of those around you.
We look forward to seeing you indoors and at festivals and major outdoor events as soon as possible, once New York, America, and the rest of the planet are ready to get back to business. Until then, you can find us every so often under the sun, moon, clouds, and stars, finding respite in this amazing city now in crisis.
Who: Emily Flake, Kat Burdick, Amanda Duarte, Jean Grae, Porochista Khakpour, Kembra Pfahler
What: Live podcast taping of Nightmares: Good People, Bad Dreams
Where: The Red Room at KGB, 85 East Fourth St.
When: Sunday, December 15, free (two-drink minimum), 7:00
Why: Cartoonist-writer-performer-teacher-illustrator Emily Flake’s podcast Nightmares: Good People, Bad Dreams invites “the funniest and most interesting people around” to talk “about what messed up things go through their heads at night.” On December 15 at 7:00, the show will be taped live at the Red Room at KGB as Flake and her guest cohost, comedian Kat Burdick, are joined by writer-performer Amanda Duarte, hip-hop artist and polymath genius Jean Grae, writer-teacher-lecturer Porochista Khakpour, and performance artist, filmmaker, and the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black lead singer Kembra Pfahler for what should be a wildly unpredictable evening of laughs and scares.
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, November 2, free (some events require advance tickets), 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum parties with Asian pride in the November edition of its free First Saturday program. There will be live performances by the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra (playing works by Mastora Goya and Chen Yihan, featuring such instruments as the koto, erhu, guzheng, and pipa), Hong Kong-born, Brooklyn raised singer-songwriter Reonda, the Metropolitan Opera (previewing Philip Glass’s Akhnaten with countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Gandini Juggling, and the Philip Glass Institute at the New School’s College of Performing Arts), Collective BUBBLE_T (with DJ sets by Tito Vida and Stevie Huynh, Clara Lu performing “The Butterfly Lovers” on guzheng, and Walang Hiya NYC), Miho Hatori’s New Optimism, and comics Fumi Abe, Karen Chee, Saurin Choksi, Aidan Park, and Irene Tu; a screening of Mountains That Take Wing (C. A. Griffith & H. L. T. Quan, 2009), followed by a talk with community organizer Akemi Kochiyama, granddaughter of one of the film’s subjects; poetry readings by Diannely Antigua, Mark Doty, and Jessica Greenbaum, hosted by Jason Koo, celebrating Walt Whitman, the inspiration behind the exhibition “One: Xu Bing”; teen pop-up talks in the Arts of Japan galleries; a curator tour of the Arts of China galleries and “One: Xu Bing” with Susan L. Beningson; a hands-on art workshop in which participants can make works on paper with brushpens inspired by the calligraphy in Arts of Asia galleries; and a community talk with the W.O.W. Project about the future of Chinatown. In addition, the galleries will be open late so you can check out “Garry Winogrand: Color,” “Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall,” “JR: Chronicles,” “Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion,” “Infinite Blue,” and more.
Who: Jon Lovett, Stacey Abrams, Desus and Mero, Wyatt Cenac, Dulcé Sloan, Alyssa Mastromonaco
What: Live broadcast of Lovett or Leave It
Where: Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave. at Fiftieth St.
When: Friday, September 13, $39-$79, 8:00
Why: Every Friday night, producer and former speechwriter Jon Lovett hosts Lovett or Leave It, a political podcast about the week in review recorded live in Los Angeles; recent episodes include “Dunaway or the Highway,” “Gays Against Equinox,” “Hot Inslee Summer,” “Big Not So Little Lies,” and “Send Him Back,” with such guests as Larry Wilmore, Jay Inslee, Matt Walsh, Julian Castro, and Andy Richter. On September 13, Lovett, the cofounder (with Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor) of Crooked Media, which produces such other podcasts as Keep It, Pod Save America, and Hysteria, brings his show to the East Coast, hosting the program at Radio City Music Hall with former Georgia House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams, Showtime’s Desus and Mero, Problem Areas’ Wyatt Cenac, The Daily Show’s Dulcé Sloan, and former White House deputy and bestselling author Alyssa Mastromonaco, looking at the events of the past seven days, which keep getting crazier and crazier. There will also be related games and quizzes.
Late-night television hosts take center stage at the sixteenth annual New York Comedy Festival, running November 4-10. Tickets are now on sale for the first batch of events, and you can expect several to sell out fairly quickly. Many more shows will be announced, but the battle right now is between Trevor Noah at Madison Square Garden, Stephen Colbert at Carnegie Hall, Bill Maher at the Hulu Theater, and Norm Macdonald at Carolines. Also on the bill so far are Jenny Slate at Town Hall, No Such Thing as a Fish at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Kathleen Madigan’s Hot Dogs and Angels Tour at Town Hall, Tom Segura’s Take It Down Tour at the Beacon Theatre, Nicole Byer at BMCC, Vir Das at Town Hall, Demetri Martin’s Wandering Mind Tour at the Beacon, Benito Skinner’s Overcompensating at BMCC, U Up? Live at Town Hall, Comedy Bang! Bang! Live! Starring Scott Aukerman w/Guests at the Beacon, Nate Bargatze’s Good Problem to Have Tour at Town Hall, Randy Rainbow Live at the Beacon, and the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow at BMCC. Below are the biggies as of August 21.
Thursday, November 7
Behind the Laughter: An Evening with Stephen Colbert and Producers of The Late Show, Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, $44.50 to $81.50, 8:00
Thursday, November 7
Sunday, November 10
Norm Macdonald, Carolines on Broadway, $57.25 - $141.75
Friday, November 8
Trevor Noah: Loud & Clear Tour 2019, Madison Square Garden, $41-$356, 8:00
Saturday, November 9
An Evening with Bill Maher, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, $41-$456, 8:00
The Bitch Seat, which bills itself as “therapy for your misspent youth,” is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a special show March 24 at Q.E.D. Astoria. Host, producer, and “neurotic hippie” Lyssa Mandel and her cohost and boyfriend, Phil Casale, will be joined by comedians and storytellers Jeff Simmermon, Oscar Collazos, and Angel Yau, with music by Rebecca Vigil and a guest appearance by Myq Kaplan. The live talk show delves into the pain we all experience during adolescence, looking back at it with both horror and humor. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 day of show.