Wed

5/23

Thu

5/24

Fri

5/25

Sat

5/26

Sun

5/27

Mon

5/28

Tue

5/29

Today

Wed

5/23

Theater

Summer and Smoke

Photo: Carol Rosegg

The people in Tennessee Williams’s Summer and Smoke are caught between anatomy and an angel named Eternity — but then, aren’t we all? Director Jack Cummings III’s gripping revival (a co-production of Classic Stage Company and Transport Group, of which Cummings is the artistic director) represents the play’s poles — body and soul — via a medical chart showing human innards and a blown-up photo of angelic statuary. The latter is meant to stand in for a stone fountain at the center of Glorious Hill, Mississippi, where the action unfolds during the early years of the twentieth century. We’re told that “Eternity” is carved in the base of the fountain. To borrow a phrase from the town’s uncommonly sensitive Alma Winemiller, doesn’t that just “give you cold shivers”?

Zac Thompson

Music

Vision Festival

The Vision Festival kicks off its 23rd year of democratic free musical expression with a tribute to pianist Dave Burrell, who will receive a lifetime achievement award and perform in three configurations. Burrell, 77, is a repository of jazz-piano history best known for his work with saxophonists David Murray and Archie Shepp. The latter will make his first (!) Vision Festival appearance Wednesday with a quartet featuring Burrell alongside fest vets Hamid Drake (drums) and William Parker (bass). Burrell also performs with Harlem Renaissance, featuring alto saxophonist Darius Jones and drummer Andrew Cyrille, and his quintet. The Vision Festival continues through May 28 with highlights including guitarist Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl (May 24); composer-pianist Matthew Shipp’s Acoustic Ensemble (May 25); the formidable trio of trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, pianist Kris Davis, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey (May 26); trombonist Craig Harris’s Brown Butterfly (May 27); and saxophonist Oliver Lake’s Big Band (May 28).

—Richard Gehr

Dance

Gallim

Andrea Miller’s yearlong stint as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first choreographer to be artist in residence divided itself neatly into two parts. The first, last fall, took place in the Sackler Wing at the Temple of Dendur, where her large group work Stone Skipping was named one of the best of 2017 by Wendy Perron of Dance Magazine. This May, her six dancers are in residence a handful of blocks away at the Breuer, where Miller’s latest piece, (C)arbon — developed collaboratively with filmmaker Ben Stamper and composer Will Epstein — integrates art, architecture, soundscape, and movement. The piece has its world premiere May 18; performances are available from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on May 18–20 and 22–24.

Elizabeth Zimmer

Film

Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different

Funk-rock diva Betty Davis is finally getting the attention she so deeply deserves. The genre-bending musical pioneer is one of the most important and influential voices of the funk era, combining r&b, jazz, and soul into her raw sound on the three albums she released in the Seventies. But she was frequently overshadowed by the work and fame of her former husband, Miles Davis. To finally tell her tale, documentarian Phil Cox has been following Davis since 2013. The results of their collaboration can be seen in the film Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different, which will have its New York premiere at the Red Bull Music Festival. The film, which takes its name from one of Davis’s songs, tells her story by looking at her past, her abbreviated yet influential career, her disappearance from the musical world, and her lasting legacy.

Melissa Locker

Music

Midori Takada

Japanese percussion goddess Midori Takada makes a pair of rare appearances a year after the reissue of her brilliant 1983 solo album Through the Looking Glass. After going professional with the Berlin RIAS Symphonie Orchestra, Takada formed the Mkwaju Ensemble to perform percussive music from Africa, Asia, and, especially, the American Minimalist repertoire. Regarding Minimalism as an inward-looking, contemplative pursuit, she recorded Through the Looking Glass over the course of two days by herself, layering marimba, gongs, chimes, ocarina bird calls, and a uniquely expressive cowbell during successive passes over analog tape, with beautiful, warmly organic results. In person, Takada improvises uniquely at every performance on racked drums, marimba, an array of cymbals, and other implements of percussion, engaging in music as an equally auditory, spatial, and theatrical experience.

—Richard Gehr

Thu

5/24

Music

Oneohtrix Point Never

Photo: Still from "Black Snow" video

Daniel Lopatin claims that the acronymic title of his new site-specific Oneohtrix Point Never project, MYRIAD, which has its world premiere Tuesday, signifies “My Record = Internet Addiction Disorder.” A multimedia spectacle, or “hyperstitial ‘concertscape,’ ” that also involves aspects of François Rabelais’s sixteenth-century Gargantua and Pantagruel novels, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, MYRIAD will use the armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall in its entirety and feature music from a new album: Age Of evokes our apocalyptic Anthropocene amid arrangements of harpsichords, Kelsey Lu’s cello, OPN’s signature blurry sonic smears, and the occasional Bruce Cockburn–ish vocal. While Age Of doesn’t pack quite the lysergic punch of Lopatin’s Cannes-winning score for last year’s terrific Safdie brothers film Good Time, MYRIAD might well be the best bad time you enjoy all year.

Richard Gehr

Dance

Gallim

Andrea Miller’s yearlong stint as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first choreographer to be artist in residence divided itself neatly into two parts. The first, last fall, took place in the Sackler Wing at the Temple of Dendur, where her large group work Stone Skipping was named one of the best of 2017 by Wendy Perron of Dance Magazine. This May, her six dancers are in residence a handful of blocks away at the Breuer, where Miller’s latest piece, (C)arbon — developed collaboratively with filmmaker Ben Stamper and composer Will Epstein — integrates art, architecture, soundscape, and movement. The piece has its world premiere May 18; performances are available from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on May 18–20 and 22–24.

Elizabeth Zimmer

Music

Damien Jurado

On his new The Horizon Just Laughed, understated Seattle singer-songer Damien Jurado splits the difference between his hardscrabble folk-realist origins and his cosmic-crooning “Maraqopa” trilogy. But it’s still the same reality, one Father John Misty has described as “a universe unto its own, with its own symbolism, creation myth, and liturgy.” On Horizon, Jurado sings of being lost everywhere in America except, perhaps, in his own Washington backyard. A small cycle of songs spins off from Martin Scorsese’s 1974 film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, and all-American culture heroes like Percy Faith, Allan Sherman, Thomas Wolfe, and Charles Schultz get invoked along the way. It’s Jurado’s first self-produced album, and he’s learned a lot about arranging strings and horns with vintage panache from former collaborator Richard Swift. He’ll appear more or less solo here, with Seattle folkie Naomi Wachira opening.

—Richard Gehr

Fri

5/25

Film

Personal Problems

Photo: Courtesy of Kino Lorber

Bill Gunn and Ishmael Reed’s Personal Problems, which will have its first U.S. theatrical run this week, is a crude, clunky relic made during a time when home-video cameras were newfangled pieces of high-tech wizardry the size of a small child. It was originally shot on tape in 1980, on three-quarter-inch tube-based cameras with automatic irises. Especially when the camera panned or zoomed on “hot spots” of light, it occasionally made images or the people onscreen blurry every time movement happened — known as “ghosting” or “smearing.” That makes this production often feels like a trippy dream you’re intruding on.

Craig DLindsey

Sat

5/26

Art

Bring Down the Walls

Photo: CÉSAR MARTÍNEZ

Creative Time’s latest project, “Bring Down the Walls,” is more about social justice than about art in the accepted sense, but the distinctions matter little to the artist and organizer behind the exhibit, Phil Collins. Each weekend in May, the Firehouse, Engine Company 31, a decommissioned fire station on Lafayette Street, will become a hub for discussions on mass incarceration and criminal justice reform. More than a hundred collaborators, including formerly incarcerated people, activists, and educators, will lead workshops and talks and offer free legal advice. In the evenings, the station will be converted into a nightclub, which Collins designed as a nod to the days when such venues were places for not only music and dance, but also civic and political engagement.

Pac Pobric

Sun

5/27

TV

The Break With Michelle Wolf

Photo: Justin Bettman

I didn’t know much about Michelle Wolf until I watched her brilliant turn hosting the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and now I am straight-up OBSESSED with her? Such a charming weirdo, and I could watch her go after Melania’s idiot husband and his goon squad for DAYS. Also, her voice is like Sarah Silverman ate Gilbert Gottfried and then fucked the Nanny and melted into a pool of butter mixed with sandpaper, and it’s glorious. I’m sure her variety show will be the tits, but I’m hoping for fewer fat jokes than in her stand-up sets, because girl! Those tired bits are way too easy and also you’re punching down and that suuuucks. You can be dumb and funny and not make people want to cry. It’s possible! I believe in you!! USA! USA! USA!

Laura Beck