Expert Picks

Here’s What Our Culture Experts Are Doing in April—And You Should, Too!

From a beery burlesque show to a new multimedia play from a Tony-nominated composer, these are the best happenings in New York this month.

Photo courtesy of International Center of Photography

Your next 30 days should include a musical showcase of emerging global talent, Norman Rockwell reimagined, an opera inspired by Hilma af Klint…and brisket! Lots of brisket.

Music

Matmos and Keith Fullerton WhitmanApril 4
Unconventional tunes—object-based musique from the West Coast duo Matmos and live electronica compositions from the Brooklyn-based Whitman—are amplified in an unexpected venue, the drom-atic Pioneer Works. Molly Surno, art expert 

MATA: 21st Festival of New MusicApril 11–13
With more than 1,100 international submissions, the curators of MATA have narrowed composers down to 12, who showcase the latest and greatest of fresh talent from around the globe. Now is your chance to hear never-before-experienced works on the stages of über-special performance venue the Kitchen. Molly Surno, art expert 

Need even more recs for things to eat, drink, and do? No prob.

Into the Light, April 26–May 4
In this experimental musical event, virtual reality technology will allow you to physically “move through the movements of Johann Sebastian Bach.” I guarantee this is the best seat you’ll ever get for a Yo-Yo Ma concert; it all takes place inside the Tribeca Film Festival’s custom VR theater. Ross Tipograph, performance expert

Photo courtesy of Yo-Yo Ma/Facebook

Art

“Magic Ben Big Boy,” through April 20
Vincent Fecteau makes square sculptures; Lutz Bacher has produced entire installations out of President Trump’s signature; and Nayland Blake creates art from…well, everything. Sometimes the most bizarre artist collaborations make for the most visually interesting shows, and this exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery seems like it will be no exception. —Paddy Johnson, art expert

Photo courtesy of Artwell Guide/Facebook

“For Freedoms: Where Do We Go From Here?,” through April 28
This International Center of Photography exhibition, inspired by the artist-led platform For Freedoms, which launched in 2016, features a series of photographs that reenvision American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of the “Four Freedoms” articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1941 State of the Union Address. —Paddy Johnson, art expert

Photo by Barry Schwartz/Courtesy of International Center of Photography

Food

Brooklyn BeerlesqueApril 8
We bet your workweek doesn’t usually start off with beer pairings and ballet-infused burlesque. Then again, what would you expect from the renegades at Brooklyn Brewery? Jess Bender, dining and drinking expert 

Brisket King 2019April 10
Sausage King of Chicago who? The meatiest lord of the land is being crowned in NYC…but who will it be this year? You’ll just have to risk getting a few meat sweats to find out for yourself. Jess Bender, dining and drinking expert 

Photo courtesy of Brisket King

Masters of Social Gastronomy: Diners, Diners, and Diners!April 29
Diners may be considered an endangered species in NYC’s restaurant scene, but plenty of us hold them deeply in our hearts. These self-proclaimed masters take us on an All-American diner journey through the past and present with a few surprising stops. (Denny’s, anyone?) Jess Bender, dining and drinking expert 

Photo courtesy of Sarah Lohman

Performance

Miracle in Rwanda, begins April 4
Created by Leslie Lewis and Edward Vilga, this piece dramatizes the experience of Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculée Ilibagiza. She’s the author of the memoir Left to Tell, which describes how she and seven other women hid for 91 days in a bathroom measuring 12 square feet. David Cote, theater expert

Photo by Mario Durane/Courtesy of Parenteau Guidance

Nassimthrough April 20
In this new experimental play by Nassim Soleimanpour, the creator of White Rabbit Red Rabbit, a guest actor comes onstage and acts out a script that he or she has never seen before. The story told is one of exile and an introduction to the Iran-born author’s native tongue, Farsi.David Cote, theater expert

Hilma, April 15 and 16
If you fell in love with the spiritualistic paintings of Hilma af Klint at the Guggenheim, treat yourself to a chamber opera about the artist’s life and vision, performed at the museum where you can still see her futuristic works through April 23. —WSWD editors

Octet, begins April 30
This off-Broadway multimedia play from Dave Malloy, who scored the ambitious musical Beardo, will feature “a score for an a cappella chamber choir” and a book inspired by messy Internet technology. Ross Tipograph, performance expert

Get more NYC culture recommendations on our mobile app. The city, curated just for you.