Fun Things to Do in N.Y.C. This July 2022 – The New York Times

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Looking for something to do in New York? See Maren Morris at Radio City Music Hall, or take in Maurice Chestnut’s dance tribute to A Tribe Called Quest on Little Island.
July 31 at 7 p.m. at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, Manhattan; publictheater.org.
D’yan Forest may have seen it all in her several decades as a performer, which she documents in her memoir “I Did It My Ways,” published last year. In the early 1960s, she devoted herself to cabaret after leaving Boston for France following a divorce. Her career brought her to New York, where she began singing and playing the piano, eventually pivoting to comedy in her 60s. Though you’ll often find her at Gotham Comedy Club, Sunday’s performance at Joe’s Pub is extra special: She’s celebrating her 88th birthday.
In her show, “Swinging on the Seine,” she’ll tell jokes and play the ukulele while dishing about finding new love and more during her early days in Paris, and what she found when she returned there as an octogenarian. Tickets are $15, with a two-drink or $12 food minimum, and are available on the Public Theater’s website. SEAN L. McCARTHY
Pop & Rock
July 29 at 8 p.m. at Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Avenue, Manhattan; msg.com.
Maren Morris was already a fixture of Nashville’s songwriting circuit when she first scored hits of her own. In 2016, “80s Mercedes” and “My Church” — “the one about a car and the one about a church,” as she affectionately calls the songs in “Circles Around This Town,” a recent single that reflects on her hard-won success — took off on country radio. But it was “The Middle,” her 2018 crossover megahit with the EDM producer Zedd, that introduced her walloping voice to more mainstream audiences. Following her turn in the Top 40, Morris could have redeemed a one-way ticket to pop stardom. Instead, she has continued to flirt with pop influences while remaining grounded in Nashville.
“Humble Quest,” Morris’s latest album, exemplifies her devotion to country’s storytelling traditions, her knack for big hooks, her tenderness and her quick wit. The album’s corresponding tour arrives at Radio City on Friday, with Ruston Kelly opening. Tickets start at $39.75 and are available at ticketmaster.com. OLIVIA HORN
Classical
July 29-31 at the Fisher Center at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.; fishercenter.bard.edu.
Bard’s SummerScape festival has turned into a prime destination for fans of rare early-20th-century operas. It has given audiences compelling glimpses of Schreker’s “Der Ferne Klang” and Korngold’s “Das Wunder der Heliane.” Stagings are modestly budgeted yet trenchant; the musical standards are consistently rewarding.
This year, SummerScape turns its attention to “The Silent Woman,” Strauss’s opera buffa with a libretto by Stefan Zweig. The festival’s production of the work stars the soprano Jana McIntyre and the bass Harold Wilson and is directed by Christian Räth. This weekend marks the end of the run, with in-person performances on Friday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. (Bard is providing a round-trip coach from and to New York City for Sunday’s performance; the fare is $75.) If you can’t make it up there, a livestream of the production will be broadcast on Saturday at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and are available on Bard’s website. SETH COLTER WALLS

classical
Available on demand at metopera.org.
As the city’s classical calendar takes an early July sabbatical, it’s a fine time to check in on archived concerts from the just-concluded season. In recent weeks, the Metropolitan Opera has added some of its Live in HD cinema simulcasts to its on-demand web platform. (One month of streaming access costs $14.99.)
The most newsworthy addition is the composer Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” In the recorded version, you can hear even more clearly some of the jazz influences that Blanchard, a celebrated trumpeter, included in his score. Subtle, propulsive swing from the drummer Jeff Watts, known as Tain, is more prominent in the mix, compared with the live sound in the Met’s large auditorium. Complexities of Blanchard’s choral writing hit with new force, too. SETH COLTER WALLS
Free (for dogs)
July 30 at 11 a.m., Pier 83, 12th Avenue and 42nd Street, Manhattan; circleline.com.
Summer always brings the dog days, but how often does it include a dog cruise?
Circle Line is now offering a one-hour New York Harbor boat ride on which families are encouraged to take their canine companions. A tour guide will entertain with facts about dogs, as well as information about local landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty, which human passengers can use as a backdrop for pet photos. The cruise will provide water stations for the furry friends, who will also receive bandannas and treats.
All proceeds will go to North Shore Animal League America, a no-kill rescue organization that will hold a simultaneous adoption event — with both dogs and puppies — from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Pier 83. Cruise tickets, which must be bought online, are $20 a person; pets ride free.
The weekend also promises wonders overhead: On Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m., the duo Poncili Creación will present “No gods only flowers” in the MoMA PS1 courtyard in Queens. Information is online about this free production, which illustrates photosynthesis with gigantic puppets suspended from 80-foot-tall cranes. LAUREL GRAEBER

Free
Through Sept. 30 at Dr. Ronald McNair Park, Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue, Brooklyn; superpowerofme.org.
McKenzie’s superpower is “levitating over gravity.” Kyle’s is “to fly to the moon.” Mason’s involves math and science.
These young people aren’t comic-book characters but real New York City children who have recorded their dreams for “The Super Power of Me Project,” a free public-art installation accompanied by writing workshops. Inspired by the youth she saw participating in Black Lives Matter protests, the photographer and poet Karen Zusman took large-scale portraits of children on the Brooklyn shoreline last year. She also helped her subjects create poems celebrating their “superpowers,” which are featured with the photographs on panels attached to the park’s fencing.
Zusman and the Brooklyn Public Library are presenting free related workshops for children ages 6 to 12, who will write poetry and prose for display in the library’s Youth Wing. At least one more 90-minute program will be held on Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. Workshop space is limited, and families must register online. LAUREL GRAEBER
Through Dec. 31 at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, 79th Street and West Drive, Central Park, Manhattan; cityparksfoundation.org.
Although fairy tale heroines are notoriously unassertive, you don’t get much more passive than Sleeping Beauty. Marcus Stevens and Sam Willmott, however, have given their version of that character far more agency in “Wake Up, Daisy!” This modern-day reinterpretation transports the action to Manhattan, where Daisy Greene lives in the landmark building the El Dorado. Cursed on her third birthday in a credibly New York manner — by a resentful neighbor rather than a disgruntled fairy — she finally leaves her apartment at 16, only to prick her finger on a rosebush. Directed by Bruce Cannon, the theater’s artistic director, and playing Thursdays through Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., this charming and richly imaginative 45-minute puppet musical sends the slumbering Daisy wandering through a dream version of Central Park. Embarking on a perilous quest, she doesn’t need a prince — or even a ranger — to help her rise and shine. Tickets, which must be bought online, start at $8. LAUREL GRAEBER
July 8-31 at Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, Manhattan; anthologyfilmarchives.org.
While the Quad Cinema pays tribute to erotic thrillers of the 1980s and ’90s, Anthology Film Archives will present a series in which the most explicit aspect is the dialogue. Anthology’s program is called Let’s Talk About Sex, and the focus, naturally, is on movies in which is sex is primarily discussed, not shown. The idea may be epitomized by Steven Soderbergh’s verbose 1989 debut feature, “Sex, Lies and Videotape” (showing on Saturday and July 15), with James Spader as an impotent oddball — an interloper in the amorous entanglements of a friend (Peter Gallagher), his wife (Andie MacDowell) and her sister (Laura San Giacomo) — who records women divulging intimate thoughts.
Still, the bulk of the lineup is more obscure and experimental. The longest film, “The Little Deaths” (on Sunday and July 31), which runs five hours, is described as a compilation of women in Mexico sharing their sexual experiences. It’s from the visual artist and documentarian Mireia Sallarès, and has the subtitle “an unfinished story of pleasure and violence.” BEN KENIGSBERG
July 29-30 at 8 p.m. at the Amph, Little Island, Manhattan; littleisland.org.
A Tribe Called Quest revolutionized hip-hop in the late 1980s and early ’90s with its smart, sharp lyrics and inventive sonic sampling. Among the artists the band inspired was a young dancer named Maurice Chestnut, who started performing professionally at age 9. In 2014, when Chestnut was still young but already a tap veteran, he created “Beats, Rhymes and Tap Shoes,” an exuberant show set to music by A Tribe Called Quest that pays homage to the group’s impact and illustrates — visually and percussively — its innovative fusion of hip-hop and jazz.
Featuring an ensemble of top-notch tap dancers and a live band, Chestnut’s piece will anchor the closing weekend of the second annual Little Island Music & Dance Festival. The show would be worth seeing anywhere, but this venue happens to be one of the prettiest in town: an intimate outdoor amphitheater on a floating public park overlooking the Hudson River. Tickets start at $25 and are available on Little Island’s website. BRIAN SCHAEFER
Critic’s Pick
At the Lyceum Theater, Manhattan; strangeloopmusical.com. Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes.
In Michael R. Jackson’s surreal and comic Pulitzer Prize winner, which won the 2022 Tony Award for best musical, a young, Black, queer artist working as a Broadway usher wrestles with the myriad thoughts in his head — about sex and acceptance, religion and identity — as he tries to write what he calls a self-referential musical. Starring an endearing Jaquel Spivey in his Broadway debut. Read the review.
At the Walter Kerr Theater, Manhattan; hadestown.com. Running time: 2 hrs. and 30 min.
Anaïs Mitchell’s jazz-folk musical about the mythic young lovers Eurydice and Orpheus won eight Tonys in 2019, including best musical, and picked up a cult following along the way. Rachel Chavkin’s splendidly designed production takes audiences on a glorious road to hell. Read the review.
Through Aug. 14 at the Shubert Theater, Manhattan; potusbway.com. Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes.
The five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman directs a starry cast — Lilli Cooper, Lea DeLaria, Rachel Dratch, Julianne Hough, Suzy Nakamura, Julie White and Vanessa Williams — in the Broadway newcomer Selina Fillinger’s farce about an American president in trouble and the women he counts on to make the crisis go away. Read the review.
Through Aug. 14 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater, Manhattan; 877-250-2929, tinaonbroadway.com. Running time: 2 hours 35 minutes.
This pain-filled jukebox musical recounts the life of Tina Turner, who consulted on the show, and whose fabulous 1980s mane is recreated with downright sculptural beauty. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd (“Mamma Mia!”), it has a book principally written by the Pulitzer Prize winner Katori Hall (“The Hot Wing King”). Read the review.
Critic’s Pick
Through July 31, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan; 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.
“Crosscurrents” begins with two picture-window-size holes in the wall: A visitor peers into one opening and then, through it, the other. Together they add a thrilling air of unpredictability. They also “frame” a painting hanging on a third wall deeper in the show: a fraught canvas titled “The Gulf Stream” that many consider Homer’s greatest work. It was the fruit of Homer’s winter trips to the Bahamas, where he fished and made sketches and watercolors to be worked into paintings in his Maine studio. It is also the inspiration for this revelatory exhibition, which takes a fresh look at the themes of struggle and conflict in Homer’s art. This show’s 88 oils and watercolors snap into sharp focus his thematic and formal evolution and reveals a contemporary relevance that no other 19th-century American painter can muster. Read the review.
Critic’s Pick
Through Sept. 12 at International Center of Photography, 79 Essex Street, Manhattan; icp.org.
In “William Klein: YES,” the photographer, who is 94, ruled out glass frames for his prints. He wants nothing to come between the image and the spectator. A man of fabled charm, Klein has sought out vibrant subjects who respond to his own vitality, as in “Bikini, Moskva (River), Moscow,” from 1959, and has thrust the viewer into the action of the city with a rude tug, as in “Gun 1, New York,” his most famous picture, taken in 1954. If there is any fault to be found in this exuberant, eye-opening show, it is that the modest confines of the I.C.P. are too small to contain Klein’s oversize achievement. Read the review.
Critic’s Pick
Through Sept. 15 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, Manhattan; 212-570-3600, whitney.org. Timed tickets required.
After a year’s Covid delay, the latest Whitney Biennial has pulled into town, and it’s a welcome sight. Other recent editions — this is the 80th such roundup — have tended to be buzzy, jumpy, youthquake affairs. This one, even with many young artists among its 60-plus participants, most represented by brand-new, lockdown-made work, doesn’t read that way.
Organized by two seasoned Whitney curators, David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards, the Biennial’s title, “Quiet as It’s Kept” — a colloquial phrase, sourced from Toni Morrison, indicating dark realities unspoken of — suggests the show’s keyed-down tone. Its very look gives a clue to its mood: Its main installation, on the fifth and sixth floors of the Whitney Museum of American Art, is literally split between shadow and light. Read the review.
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