Thu

5/24

Fri

5/25

Sat

5/26

Sun

5/27

Mon

5/28

Tue

5/29

Wed

5/30

Today

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

Semyon Bychkov

Commissioned by Leonard Bernstein and composed in 1968–69, Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia remains one of the twentieth-century orchestral repertoire’s more exciting, challenging, and engaging works. Russian powerhouse Semyon Bychkov will conduct the New York Philharmonic and amplified vocal octet Roomful of Teeth in a trio of fiftieth-anniversary performances no one interested in the late-Sixties Zeitgeist will want to miss. A timely reflection on transcontinental contrasts, Berio juxtaposes words by Martin Luther King and anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, among others, with the scherzo movement of Mahler’s Second Symphony, which flows through Sinfonia like a river. The most prominent literary voice, though, is Samuel Beckett’s, whose injunction to “keep going,” from The Unnameable, is as much an existential mandate as a call to arms. The recent death of Richard Strauss’s friend Mahler looms in the background of An Alpine Symphony, which follows Sinfonia.

—Richard Gehr

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

Music

Semyon Bychkov

Commissioned by Leonard Bernstein and composed in 1968–69, Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia remains one of the twentieth-century orchestral repertoire’s more exciting, challenging, and engaging works. Russian powerhouse Semyon Bychkov will conduct the New York Philharmonic and amplified vocal octet Roomful of Teeth in a trio of fiftieth-anniversary performances no one interested in the late-Sixties Zeitgeist will want to miss. A timely reflection on transcontinental contrasts, Berio juxtaposes words by Martin Luther King and anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, among others, with the scherzo movement of Mahler’s Second Symphony, which flows through Sinfonia like a river. The most prominent literary voice, though, is Samuel Beckett’s, whose injunction to “keep going,” from The Unnameable, is as much an existential mandate as a call to arms. The recent death of Richard Strauss’s friend Mahler looms in the background of An Alpine Symphony, which follows Sinfonia.

—Richard Gehr

Dance

DanceAfrica

This year’s festival, the 41st, is titled “Remembrance, Reconciliation, Renewal,” and focuses on South Africa. Artistic director Abdel R. Salaam has assembled a program, in honor of Nelson Mandela’s centennial, that includes supergroup Ingoma KwaZulo-Natal Dance company, the Durban-based Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, and local participants BAM/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble and the DanceAfrica Spirit Walkers. In addition to the five performances, from Saturday through Monday there are many free events: a street bazaar teeming with textiles, other crafts, and African, Caribbean, and African-American food; a display of video art by South African Nandipha Mntambo, in the Peter Jay Sharp building’s cafe. Also a film series, master classes, artist talks, and, on Saturday night, a late dance party.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Coppélia

Most of our enduring three-act ballets are tragedies in which men do bad things and women die. The comic Coppélia, by contrast, is practically a feminist enterprise. A young man steps out on his girlfriend, only to find himself entrapped in a toymaker’s workshop where the plucky title character substitutes her living body for the mechanical doll that has distracted her guy. Originally choreographed in 1870 by Arthur Saint-Léon to a score by Léo Delibes and revived years later for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg by Marius Petipa, it’s been overhauled by the great George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova for the New York City Ballet, where it runs for the last week of the company’s spring season.

—Elizabeth Zimmer 

Theater

Summer and Smoke

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

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

Music

Semyon Bychkov

Commissioned by Leonard Bernstein and composed in 1968–69, Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia remains one of the twentieth-century orchestral repertoire’s more exciting, challenging, and engaging works. Russian powerhouse Semyon Bychkov will conduct the New York Philharmonic and amplified vocal octet Roomful of Teeth in a trio of fiftieth-anniversary performances no one interested in the late-Sixties Zeitgeist will want to miss. A timely reflection on transcontinental contrasts, Berio juxtaposes words by Martin Luther King and anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, among others, with the scherzo movement of Mahler’s Second Symphony, which flows through Sinfonia like a river. The most prominent literary voice, though, is Samuel Beckett’s, whose injunction to “keep going,” from The Unnameable, is as much an existential mandate as a call to arms. The recent death of Richard Strauss’s friend Mahler looms in the background of An Alpine Symphony, which follows Sinfonia.

—Richard Gehr

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

Film

Lolita

Stanley Kubrick and co-producer James B. Harris threw out most of Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 novel in adapting it for the screen. (Their work went uncredited: The author, who’d turned in a four-hundred-page draft of the script, receives a solo screen citation.) The resulting movie, uniformly chaste in comparison to its source, kept the scandalous engine of Nabokov’s vision intact, handling the characters’ sick obsessions largely via cheeky metaphor and verbal innuendo. Despite its thematic and formal connectivity with the rest of Kubrick’s body of work, Lolita (1962) was the last of his movies whose direction could conceivably pass for someone else’s. Dilution, paradoxically, brings out strengths that might lead one to wonder what would have happened had Kubrick stayed down on the farm. There’s a feeling of spontaneity in some of the more complex blocking and camera pirouettes, an uneven index of performers (led by an extraordinary Peter Sellers, as Quilty, the main character’s villainous double), and the overall magic of that precise (and final) moment when a Kubrick film would owe as much to the particulars of its time as to its creator’s inestimable control.

Jaime NChristley

Mon

5/28

Film

Les Parents Terribles

Photo: COURTESY OF COHEN FILM COLLECTION

Jean Cocteau’s Les Parents Terribles (1948) — known in English by the much less barbed or helpful title The Storm Within — finds the director-artist-novelist-playwright revisiting in cinema his triumph for the stage. Adapting his own play, a pleasingly sordid farcical tragedy from 1938, Cocteau managed to honor both of the mediums he had mastered, producing a film that, while stagebound, is alive at every moment to the possibilities of the screen. Cocteau worked with the cast he had written the roles for, and their familiar comfort with the material results in a striking continuity of feeling. From shot to shot, no matter how many takes have passed between, the emotional pitch is consistent, the actors’ metabolism synced to the film’s and the viewers’.

Alan Scherstuhl

Film

One-Armed Swordsman

Truth in advertising: Fang Kang, low-born student at a prestigious sword-fighting school (whose father, a mere servant, died protecting his master), is raised to become one the academy’s finest disciples. He spurns the coquettish advances of the master’s daughter, who cuts off one of his arms in a sneak attack, thus obliging him to re-focus his already formidable skill. One of the most entertaining Shaw Brothers wuxia pictures (1967) is sensationally directed by Chang Cheh, full of color, held together by a quiet morality, but is not without some small awareness of its own absurdity. You pay the price of admission to see the one-armed swordsman take on all challengers, but the film is also noteworthy for the infamous “sword lock,” wielded by the main antagonist.

Jaime NChristley

Tue

5/29

Art

Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai’i

Photo: ALFRED STIEGLITZ/GEORGIA O'KEEFFE ARCHIVE, YALE COLLECTION OF AMERICAN LITERATURE BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY

The New York Botanical Garden’s “Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai’i” charts the artist’s nine-week stay in the state in 1939. That year, aged 51, O’Keeffe was sent on commission by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company to design images for a promotional campaign. During her stay, O’Keeffe made a series of paintings, seventeen of which will be displayed at the garden. There will be twenty total pieces on display. The pictures — which haven’t been exhibited in New York since their 1940 debut at the gallery of O’Keeffe’s husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, on Madison Avenue — will benefit from the garden’s conservatory, where examples of the Hawaiian fauna O’Keeffe painted — birds of paradise, ginger, and hibiscus, among others — can provide additional context. Although O’Keeffe is well-known for her floral paintings, a show like this can remind viewers how closely she looked at her subjects, something that’s difficult to convey in a gallery that has only white walls.

Pac Pobric

Film

Le Pont du Nord

Real-life mother and daughter Bulle and Pascale Ogier play two misfits who collide (almost literally) into one another, each on an aimless vector across the Paris roadways. Bulle plays Marie, fresh out of prison, understandably allergic to being behind closed doors, even in a taxi; Pascale is Baptiste, always ready to put up her dukes. Hardly stopping for a breath, the pair fall into a game-playing posture; eventually, the mystery they’re looking for finds them first. True to form, this quicksilver-hearted 1981 movie, co-conceived by Jacques Rivette and his two stars (not unlike a Linklater Before movie), parlays its shifting identity as an open-air urban noir/conspiracy jaunt, tilting at times towards extravagant street theater, at others cryptic punk gesture. Between a seemingly shambolic chain of improvisational prompts and a genuine impulse to read Feuillade backwards through mid-twentieth-century revolutionary disappointments, the chilly, near-vacant urban sprawl makes a great blank screen upon which the French New Wave’s resident mystic projects his myriad preoccupations.

Jaime NChristley

Music

Marty Ehrlich

Composer and reeds modernist Marty Ehrlich inaugurates a six-night residence with the jazz equivalent of a Reddit AMA session: a no-holds-barred duo set with visionary trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Raised in St. Louis and educated at the New England Conservatory, Ehrlich  moved to New York in 1978, at the height of its Downtown jazz heyday, and has been a highly regarded Zelig among Zeligs ever since. Wednesday, the protean player celebrates a new album with his aptly named Trio Exaltation, which includes John Hebert (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums). The rest of his run comprises a trio of quartets: Philosophy of a Groove, with pianist James Weidman; Shards, featuring pianist Angelica Sanchez; and Welcome, with trumpeter Ron Horton.

—Richard Gehr

Wed

5/30

Film

The Mad Game

Irving Cummings’s 1933 movie is a fugitive from the Dick Tracy story department, hastily fused to a bootlegger melodrama that wasn’t long for this world (Prohibition was repealed later that year) and filled out with enough nutty camera tricks to approximate a Joseph H. Lewis–esque funhouse mirror avant la lettre. Spencer Tracy and J. Carroll Naish star as rival kingpins out to knock each other off. Tracy plays the “good” gangster, ready to do anything — anything — to get the upper hand. Screenwriters William Conselman and Henry Johnson write especially sharp dialogue that’s never too showy. Conselman was an ex-newspaperman, so it comes as no surprise that the best role in the film is a savvy reporter (played by the great Claire Trevor). With Ralph Morgan and John Miljan.

Jaime NChristley