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Night Life
Angélique Kidjo’s Curious, Inclusive Music
With a nearly four-decade career, Angélique Kidjo is a towering figure of cross-cultural music. Her work, which extends from Afrobeat and jazz to Afro-pop and world fusion, grows only more inclusive and curious with time. On her new album, “Mother Nature,” created during the pandemic, she teams up with younger...READ MORE »
Television
Physical
Any woman who is old enough to remember the nineteen-eighties knows that it was a decade of extreme contradictions. The “me generation” was all about self-improvement shortcuts—butt-blasting workouts, low-cal diets, chemical hair perms—that often proved to be more punishing than empowering. There was a bitter undercurrent...READ MORE »
Art
“Carrie Moyer and Sheila Pepe: Tabernacles for Trying Times”
The Museum of Arts and Design’s spirited exhibition “Carrie Moyer and Sheila Pepe: Tabernacles for Trying Times,” on view through Feb. 13, celebrates the formal vision and feminist politics of two abstract artists who share an interest in glitchy beauty, vibrant color, and craft-store materials—as well as...READ MORE »
Night Life
Migos: “Culture III”
The once trendsetting rappers of Migos return with “Culture III,” the final installment in their trilogy, an album that finds its purpose in preserving the group’s reputation and reiterating the impact of its music. The record is an obvious bid to get back something that’s been lost. There...READ MORE »
Movies
Clytaemnestra
With independent filmmaking slowed and theatrical releases only trickling in, because of the pandemic, this year’s edition of BAMcinemaFest, the city’s leading showcase for independent films, is running online, June 23-29, with just six features and four short-film programs, but the offerings are no less worthy than usual....READ MORE »
Tables for Two
Reimagining the Pizza Parlor
The other night, as I prepared to venture outside, the sky took on the ominous tone of gunmetal, and my phone lit up with a warning: severe thunderstorm approaching, flash floods and hail likely, seek cover. All of my instincts told me to retreat, and yet I had an appointment...READ MORE »
Art
The Sculptures of Melvin Edwards, at City Hall Park
The Public Art Fund’s “Melvin Edwards: Brighter Days,” on view in City Hall Park through Nov. 28, offers a fifty-year survey of the American sculptor’s career with six steel sculptures that unite abstract and symbolic forms. Like all the works here, “Song of the Broken Chains” (pictured), from...READ MORE »
Night Life
Japanese Breakfast: “Jubilee”
The musician Michelle Zauner, who performs as Japanese Breakfast, is ready to embrace delight in all its forms: her new album, “Jubilee,” is actively trying to channel good things. Zauner has said outright that it’s about joy, but that theme doesn’t manifest itself in straightforward ways, narratively or...READ MORE »
Art
Terry Winters
In 1914, Marcel Duchamp wrote a note to himself: “Make a painting of frequency.” More than a century later, a superb new exhibition by the veteran American painter Terry Winters, now on view at the Matthew Marks gallery (through June 26), is on the same wavelength. Duchamp, a champion of...READ MORE »
The Theatre
Enemy of the People
As long as human society is susceptible to corruption and ignorance, Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 drama, “Enemy of the People,” will retain its bite. The play is set in a small town that has been reborn as a tourist destination, thanks to its natural spa baths. But a local doctor...READ MORE »
Movies
“Small Axe” Returns
Movies from the 2020 New York Film Festival, which was held online, are returning to Film at Lincoln Center for theatrical screenings (through Aug. 26), along with some crucial extras. The festival showed only three of the five films in Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” anthology, which dramatize real-life stories...READ MORE »
Tables for Two
Gourmet Food Shops of Today
A few years ago, I came across a cookbook called “Carry-Out Cuisine: Recipes from America’s Finest Gourmet Food Shops,” first published in 1982. The forward begins, “Followers of what’s new in food fashions are familiar with names like Dean & DeLuca of New York, San Francisco’s Oakville...READ MORE »
Above & Beyond
Amethyst Geodes at the American Museum of Natural History
Millions of years ago, in present-day Uruguay, gas bubbles became trapped in magma as it hardened to rock; over time, these cavities morphed into amethyst-quartz-lined geodes. A dazzling twelve-foot-tall example (pictured, in detail, above) greets visitors to the American Museum of Natural History’s newly redesigned Mignone Halls of Gems...READ MORE »
Night Life
Mustafa: “When Smoke Rises”
The Toronto-based artist Mustafa Ahmed has been a promising observational poet since he was a boy. When he was twelve, the Toronto Star noted the power of his poems about the poverty in his neighborhood, which brought white adults to tears. As he became a musician, his writing continued to...READ MORE »
Art
Ming Smith
A striking installation of vintage, mostly black-and-white photographs by Ming Smith inaugurates the Nicola Vassell gallery, in Chelsea, revealing the artist’s seductive ability to incorporate painterly moments of near-abstraction into images as varied as celebrity portraits, street scenes, and landscapes. After graduating from Howard University, in 1973, Smith became...READ MORE »
Television
Timewasters
The British comedy “Timewasters,” which aired for two seasons, 2017-19, might have remained a hidden gem were it not getting a splashy American remake. Lauren Ashley Smith (the head writer of “A Black Lady Sketch Show”) has announced that she is adapting the U.K. import, which follows a shambling...READ MORE »
Movies
Bill Gunn at Artists Space
Bill Gunn, one of the most wide-ranging talents in the movie business, was kept on its margins throughout his career; now the vast spectrum of his largely overlooked achievements is on display in a multimedia series at Artists Space, running through Aug. 15. Gunn, who died in 1989, acted, wrote...READ MORE »
Tables for Two
Hokkaido Cuisine at Dr. Clark, in Chinatown
If there are any number of obvious sites that could be named “most iconically New York City,” I’d like to make an atypical nomination: the intersection of Bayard and Baxter Streets, in Chinatown. As I approached it one recent evening, strolling by Forlini’s, the red-sauce joint and attorney...READ MORE »
Movies
The Personal Works of Samuel R. Delany
The “Carte Blanche” film series at moma, programmed by the prodigious science-fiction writer Samuel R. Delany, concludes this week with two personal works. He discusses his childhood in Harlem and his life as a gay man in nineteen-sixties New York in Fred Barney Taylor’s illuminating documentary “The Polymath, or...READ MORE »
Night Life
Georgia Anne Muldrow: “Vweto III”
The Los Angeles musician Georgia Anne Muldrow’s new album, “Vweto III,” the third installment in a series of instrumental records, is fidgety and animated, as if the music is longing to move out of confinement, to vibrate toward something. Vweto is a Congolese word, from the Kikongo for “gravity,...READ MORE »
Art
Deborah Remington
In the early nineteen-sixties, the American painter Deborah Remington did something almost unheard of: she applied realist principles (illusionistic space, glowing light, shadows) to her adamantly abstract work. She also honed a unique palette, uniting grisaille with smoky reds, greens, and blues, and the very occasional orange. The pictures that...READ MORE »
The Theatre
The KILL ONE Race
Are you concerned about the influence of reality-competition shows? Raja Feather Kelly seems to be. With “The KILL ONE Race,” the choreographer of “A Strange Loop” and “Fairview” has devised a satire of TV competitions—a reductio ad absurdum in which seven contestants jockey to see who is the...READ MORE »
Movies
All Light, Everywhere
The connections among visual representation, the creation of knowledge, and political power are at the core of Theo Anthony’s documentary “All Light, Everywhere” (which opens in theatres and virtual cinemas June 4). It’s centered on a flash point of current policy debate—the use of body cams...READ MORE »
Tables for Two
The Best Burger to Eat Right Now, at Smashed NYC
“A big part of what makes the Big Mac appealing in pictures,” a burger aficionado I know mused the other day, “is that the patties extend past the perimeter of the bun. But then you actually get one, and most of the time you can barely even see the patties....READ MORE »
Above & Beyond
Little Island, on the Hudson
Part High Line, part Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, the new public park Little Island—the brainchild of the mogul Barry Diller—sprang from the Hurricane Sandy-battered remains of Pier 54, on the Hudson River. Its aesthetic is refined whimsy: undulating topography (by Heatherwick Studio), lush gardens (by...READ MORE »
Night Life
J. Cole: “The Off-Season”
J. Cole’s sixth album, “The Off-Season,” is filled with songs that convey triumph and relief, reanalyzing close calls. Big-money rapper talk is subverted by introspective tracks that rehash the deadly daily gamble of the life he avoided. To capture the extreme adversity of his upbringing, Cole returns to his...READ MORE »
Art
Eleanor Ray
Given the portable size, about six by eight inches, of the paintings of Eleanor Ray, you might guess that the young Brooklyn-based artist works on location, maybe in the Great Basin Desert, a Tuscan church, a studio with a view, or one of the other locales she portrays. But Ray...READ MORE »
Television
Hacks
The story of an unlikely May-December creative partnership is an old Hollywood formula—see, for instance, the 1950 film “Sunset Boulevard.” That story doesn’t exactly end well, but it’s a thrill to watch the intergenerational tension play out in stinging barbs and rat-a-tat banter. “Hacks,” a new...READ MORE »
Movies
The Woman Condemned
The weird, threadbare melodrama “The Woman Condemned,” from 1934 (now streaming on the Criterion Channel), is directed by the former silent-film star Dorothy Davenport, who infuses its awkward story with stark intensity. A radio star (Lola Lane) takes a sudden vacation, but her fiancé, the station manager (Jason Robards, Sr....READ MORE »
Tables for Two
Mexican Cafés Without Meat
Xilonen, the Aztec goddess of sustenance and maize, is often depicted with ears of corn in each hand. The other day, my stance was not dissimilar as I sat at a table outside her namesake Greenpoint café, opened, last December, by the chef Justin Bazdarich and his partner Chris Walton,...READ MORE »
Night Life
CHAI’s Groove-Friendly Sound
After crashing loudly onto American shores with the album “PUNK,” in 2019, the Japanese band CHAI returns with the mellower follow-up “WINK.” The quartet—the twins Mana (lead vocals, keys) and Kana (guitar), the drummer Yuna, and the bassist and lyricist Yuuki—have reimagined their songcraft for cozy...READ MORE »
The Theatre
“Breathe”
Are the stresses and the heartbreaks of the past fourteen months any more bearable as musical theatre? Early in the pandemic, the fiction writer Jodi Picoult and the playwright Timothy Allen McDonald conceived the idea for “Breathe,” a collection of five interconnected pocket musicals, written and directed by various teams,...READ MORE »
Art
Dawoud Bey: An American Project
One of the earliest pictures in “Dawoud Bey: An American Project,” the Whitney’s concise and thrilling retrospective of the Black photographer’s forty-five-year career (on view through Oct. 3), is “Three Women at a Parade” (above), from 1978. The elegant trio, clearly dressed for the occasion, seem oblivious to...READ MORE »
Night Life
Squid: “Bright Green Field”
The British post-punk band Squid keeps testing its own limits—and the limits of those who would try to define it. Since 2017, the group has released a string of songs, each a bit weirder than the last. Squid’s new début album, “Bright Green Field,” likewise cannot be...READ MORE »
Movies
Woman Is the Future of Man
The South Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s career is paradoxical: he began by working with substantial budgets within industry norms, but after winning international acclaim, about fifteen years ago, he scaled back to scant budgets and quick shoots in a series of self-produced features (seventeen since 2009) that are among...READ MORE »
Tables for Two
Bringing Challah Into the Mainstream
In March of last year, Dolly Meckler, like so many others, decided to try her hand at sourdough. “And then I read a recipe,” she told me the other day, “and I saw this thing called starter, and I was, like, ‘Hell no.’ I was not about to grow something...READ MORE »
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