Sun

5/20

Mon

5/21

Tue

5/22

Wed

5/23

Thu

5/24

Fri

5/25

Sat

5/26

Today

Sun

5/20

Film

Girlfriends

Photo: Warner Bros.

The feminist slant of Girlfriends still feels archly fresh. Its nods to the casual sexism of the art world, as budding photographer Susan (Melanie Mayron) tries to land an exhibition — in one sequence, she meets with a condescending big-shot curator who has an arty shot of a woman’s crotch above his desk — feel timelier than ever in the wake of #MeToo. The movie also daringly handles the issue of abortion within marriage. Throughout, Susan’s comical navigation of romantic misadventures, from a bumbled one-night stand to a dalliance with her married rabbi, remain secondary to her core heartache — the moving-out of her roommate and closest friend, Anne (Anita Skinner), who finds her literary ambitions stifled by her new marriage and the onset of motherhood.

Carmen Gray

Dance

La Mama Moves! Week Two

La Mama, recently awarded the 2018 Regional Theater Tony, continues its overstuffed and very diverse festival with two performances on May 17 and 18 shared by Parijat Desai, Paz Tanjuaquio, and Angie Pittman, soloists investigating the relationship between motion and emotion in contemporary and classical Indian dance (Desai); a trip through “stations of the mind” with text by George Emilio Sanchez (Tanjuaquio); and praise dancing to music by Funkadelic and Boney M (Pittman). They’re followed in the Downstairs Theatre May 19 and 20 by Jonathan Gonzalez, whose Obeah evokes a West Indian sorceress believed to inhabit the bottom of the sea; the piece is a duet between dancer Katrina Reid and sound designer Rena Anakwe.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

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

Sans lendemain

A great quantity of Thirties melodrama concerns fallen women, compromised souls who stitch together an untenable fabric of lies to protect someone, often a blameless child. Steeped in that tradition, Max Ophuls’s 1939 film is a little hasty and haphazard, plot-wise: Edwige Feuillère plays “Babs,” formerly of high society and now reduced to topless dancing and prostitution, who goes to great lengths to conceal her disgrace from the man she loves. Ophuls’s stylized direction doesn’t so much elevate the material as crash into it head-on, warping a somewhat confusing narrative to its will, filling any unused margin space with pimps and lowlifes. Lingering shots of Feuillère’s pensive, stricken face are the heart of the film, but the sense of empowerment Ophuls brings to this minor project, even composing images of seedy nightclubs and flophouse apartments with sophistication and detail, is a great comfort, not to be underestimated.

—Jaime N. Christley

Dance

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana

This U.S.-based Spanish dance troupe celebrates its 35th anniversary with new dances by Belén Maya — including Mujeres Valientes, for six dancers, which represents Latin American women (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Manuela Saénz) who have challenged authorities and fought against ignorance and injustice. Gaspar Rodriguez’s score for five musicians will be performed live. The program, enacted by a cast of eight dancers and five musicians, also includes new solos by José Maldonado and Guadalupe Torres, both of Spain; special lectures; and chats. Belén Maya is the New York–born daughter of two great flamenco dancers, Carmen Mora and Mario Maya; her performance in Carlos Saura’s 1995 film, Flamenco, opened new avenues for female interpretations of flamenco dance.

Elizabeth Zimmer

Music

John Zorn

Between the successful relocation of the Stone to the New School; the release of an excellent new LP called Insurrection; and the reuniting of Mike Patton and Trey Spruance in San Francisco this March, John Zorn is having one hell of a 2018. It gets better: The sax great is doing a matinee appearance at the Village Vanguard on Sunday, where he will introduce new works for an exciting ensemble: vibraphonist Sae Hashimoto, pianist Steve Gosling, and a jazz rhythm section of electric bassist Shanir Blumenkranz and Tyshawn Sorey on drums. The group will perform secret premieres of two compositions: “Auto-Da-Fe,” which means “act of faith” in Portuguese, and the vibe-heavy “The Conqueror Worm,” from Zorn’s 2013 LP Dreamachines. Fall into the YouTube rabbit hole by searching the names of all four musicians to get an idea of what can be expected on the Vanguard stage this weekend.

—Ron Hart

Film

Attica

The illusion of America as an idyll of freedom could not be more trenchantly undercut than in Attica (1974), Cinda Firestone’s documentary on the 1971 Attica Prison uprising. It’s a searing indictment of a jail system rife with routine power abuse: Inmates are utilized for cheap labor to prop up a post-slavery economy, and brutalized by a redneck prison-guard class who make their livelihood off the backs of marginalized criminals. The “need to feel like a human being” (to quote one interviewee) is conveyed with sincere, existential force time and again by former prisoners, who reflect on what caused them to unite and seize control at the New York prison to negotiate for improved conditions. The film was unavailable for three decades; the truth of the events was itself vigorously suppressed. Firestone, an activist whose rage pulses through every frame, grasps on to Attica’s injustice as a rallying call for political engagement.

Carmen Gray

Film

Red Line 7000

The racing picture was never really crucial to the Howard Hawks mythos, although his one other entry in that disreputable genre, The Crowd Roars (1932), is incontestably major. There might not be room in the pantheon for this 1965 stock car soaper: Hawks’s leisurely direction in his late work often imbued scenes with the stiff-jointed, gelatinous quality of early CinemaScope movies, and the cast (headed up by James Caan and Laura Devon), while pretty, is a mixed lot. Nevertheless, the movie is kind of great. With every profile flattered by Milton Krasner’s lighting and Edith Head’s costumes, the film has a pervasive, rockabilly good cheer, adorned with fissures caused by psychotic jealousy and other hangups.

—Jaime N. Christley

TV

Sweetbitter

A six-episode, half-hour drama series based on Stephanie Danler’s novel of the same name about a twentysomething who gets a job in the cutthroat world (?) of high-end dining in New York City. I’m pretty sure this is just an excuse for a sex show, but because Starz can’t yet do straight-up porn, it has to be about how difficult restaurant life is. You know what’s the most difficult? The fact that restaurant workers are licking each other in the kitchen. That doesn’t sound like it would fly on Top Chef, but it will fly in my pants. Bring on the millennial meatball sexcapades!

Laura Beck

TV

Little Women

I was hoping this would be a trash reality TV–meets–public television joint where TLC’s little women are cast as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and it’s the most ambitious crossover event in history, but alas. What a missed opportunity!!! Oh, well. It’ll still be tight because you know mama Louisa is gonna bring the sisterly drama and, more importantly, that hot Laurie action! Hummina hummina. This version stars Emily Watson, Angela Lansbury, Dylan Baker, Kathryn Newton, and Willa Fitzgerald, and I can’t wait to see them all nonstop lamenting their poverty and crying with shawls on.

Laura Beck

Music

Sara Serpa Trio

It’s been ten years since Portuguese vocalist Sara Serpa arrived in New York and quickly captured the heart of the underground jazz scene. Over the course of this decade-long span, the improviser and composer has worked with many renowned musicians: John Zorn, Tyshawn Sorey, Kris Davis, Nicole Mitchell. This March, Serpa released a thought-provoking studio LP, Close Up, with a trio made up of downtown jazz veteran Erik Friedlander on cello and the great Ingrid Laubrock on tenor sax. The music, as the singer explains in the album’s liner notes, “exposes each instrument in a vulnerability that sometimes verges on discomfort, much like a close up photograph that is saturated with detail.” It’s a deep, beautiful sound journey that explores the Lisbon native’s personal experiences through graceful wordless expression. This Sunday, Serpa performs on a double bill with the electroacoustic classical trio Triptyk, whose combination of vibraphones, violin, and percussion make for an equally engaging and challenging listening experience.

—Ron Hart

TV

Vida

This half-hour drama from creator Tanya Saracho (and loosely based on a Richard Villegas Jr. short story) is about two Mexican American sisters forced back into each other’s lives after their mom (who kept a major secret!!) dies. It’s almost certainly another sneaky attempt from Starz to get those boobies up onscreen, but I must respect it! And our April Wolfe likes it! This deep dive into identity, sexuality, and culture through the lens of a Latinx family looks fresh, fun, and juicy AF. This is gonna be the high-class soap of my dreams, and I’m already wearing my binging caftan. (My binging caftan has pockets for snacks!)

Laura Beck

Mon

5/21

Music

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

Photo: Tim Saccenti

Composer and synthesizer specialist Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith launches her new multidisciplinary venture “Touchtheplants” here with a pair of sets reflecting past and future endeavors. She’ll first premiere Electronics Series Vol. 1: Abstractions, a gleeful Buchla 100 accompaniment to Early Abstractions, short films made by artist-mystic Harry Everett Smith (no relation) between 1936 and 1959. The second set will reprise The Kid, a loosely conceptual rendition of birth, life, and death the composer released last year. Smith recounts a richly textured, holistically rendered life in thirteen tracks not much longer than pop songs. The music arrives in overlapping percussionless waves. Smith’s synths sound like “real” instruments, and vice versa, as densely wild, beautiful, and alien as nature itself. Sean Hellfritsch, the synthesizer composer who performs verdant nature-inspired works as Cool Maritime (and happens to be married to Smith), is on the bill as well.

—Richard Gehr

Theater

Obie Awards

John Leguizamo, celebrated actor of both stage and screen, will host the 63rd annual Obie awards on May 21. The event, a co-production of the American Theatre Wing and the Village Voice honoring New York’s Off- and Off-Off-Broadway stages, will take place this year at Terminal 5. The panel that selects the 2018 crop of Obie victors will once again be chaired by Voice theater critic Michael Feingold. “I am thrilled to take part in celebrating this year’s crop of Obie winners,” Leguizamo said in a statement about his appointment as host. “It’s not just a great honor; it brings my career full circle.”

Village Voice staff

Performance

Pop-Up Magazine

These days, there’s a news medium for everyone: newspapers, podcasts, video, and more. Pop-Up Magazine, a project founded by Douglas McGray and Chas Edwards of the California Sunday Magazine, combines them all for an unforgettable night free from the onslaught of tweets and push notifications. Join a talented coterie of writers, filmmakers, radio producers, and photographers as they present a multimedia-enhanced “live magazine” detailing stories about pop culture, social issues, politics, and more. The roster of “contributors” to this upcoming edition includes the actress Joy Bryant (Parenthood), the New York Times staff editor Jenée Desmond-Harris, and the New Yorker food correspondent Helen Rosner.

Tatiana Craine

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

Tue

5/22

Art

George 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 “George 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

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

Oneohtrix Point Never

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

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

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