Expert Picks

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

Absurdist art! Modern opera! A Puerto Rican feast! Here’s what we’re excited about this month.

Photo courtesy of the Town Hall/Facebook

Gender-bending Shakespeare. A dinner soirée inside a bookstore. An immersive Moulin Rouge. When you’re not busy hanging out on rooftops or biking around town, make time for these dates on your iCal.

Food

A Feast for the BooksJune 12

Eating in a bookstore is usually frowned upon, but Housing Works lets it slide just this once. Chopped judge Alex Guarnaschelli hosts the foodie fete to raise money for the groundbreaking nonprofit, and the superior Brooks Headley has curated the chef lineup with power players like Adda’s Chintan Pandya and the partners behind Don Angie, Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito. —Jess Bender, dining and drinking expert

Photo courtesy of Housing Works Bookstore Cafe/Facebook

Tom Colicchio & Crafted Hospitality Present: Maria/Desde AcáJune 17

Puerto Rico is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Maria two years after the category 5 storm made landfall. Chef Gabriela Álvarez now wants to share her perspective—and flavors—of her time living in the diaspora before, during, and after the storm. A portion of the six-courser’s proceeds benefit the nonprofit Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico. —Jess Bender, dining and drinking expert

Photo by Tina Orlandi/Courtesy of Gabriela Álvarez

Music

Everything That Happened and Would HappenJune 3–9

Live music, performance, sound, movement, and moving images come together in this multidisciplinary production, in which European history and classic opera clash in a historical reenactment. Ross Tipograph, performance expert

Photo by Thanasis Deligiannis/Courtesy of Park Avenue Armory

One Nation Under a Groove Farewell Tour: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, June 4

Read more about the funkmaster’s last stand here. Meanwhile, get your tickets! John Seroff, music expert

Vision Festival 2019June 11–16

Arts for Arts’ Vision Festival has provided fans of free jazz and contemporary instrumental new music, as well as avant-garde aficionados, with a cutting-edge cross-pollination of performers both seasoned and emerging for 24 years and running. Though its cinema component will take place at Anthology Film Archives, the musical elements all stage at Jim Staley’s Brooklyn mecca for the experimental, Roulette. John Seroff, music expert

Photo by Eva Kapanadze/Courtesy of Vision Festival

Regina Spektor on BroadwayJune 20–26

If you’re already a fan of quirky, heartbreaking songwriter-pop princess Spektor, chances are you already have your tickets. But if not…you totally should be a fan! David Cote, theater expert

The Origin of Love: Songs and Stories of HedwigJune 28 and 29

It’s been more than 20 years since composer-lyricist Stephen Trask and playwright–lead actor John Cameron Mitchell cannonballed their game-changing glam-rock musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, onto the theater scene. The duo will reminisce about their immortal character’s roots and their work’s impact on contemporary Broadway for this short run at the Town Hall. And in honor of World Pride, they’ll also be performing songs from Hedwig live, a special treat that Mitchell does increasingly rarely. John Seroff, music expert

Art

“New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century,” through June 15

While I think I believe in the Kurzweil predictions of a computer takeover, I love seeing any media about the failure and shortcomings of technology. The soon-to-close show at the Museum of Modern Art draws from its permanent collection to evaluate the cracks and seams in the new order. Molly Surno, art expert 

“Mika Rottenberg: Easy Pieces,” opens June 26

The absurdist and worldly video-installation artist takes over part of the New Museum to showcase some past favorites, touching on themes like labor struggles, materialism, and the relationship between mechanical and human bodies. You will find me first in line. Molly Surno, art expert 

Mika Rottenberg, NoNoseKnows, 2015. Video with sound and sculptural installation, 22 min., dimensions variable. Installation view: “Mika Rottenberg,” The Bass, Miami, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Performance

In the Green, previews begin June 8

Here’s a mystical, feminist musical written by Grace McLean, who most Broadway audiences know as an actress (she had a campy supporting role in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812). This story follows the remarkable childhood of medieval saint Hildegard von Bingen, who at the age of 8 was “enclosed” with her mentor, Jutta, in a convent. David Cote, theater expert

Photo by Chasi Annexy/Courtesy of Lincoln Center Theater

Unmaking Toulouse-Lautrecthrough June 26

This 21-and-older, site-specific show at lounge Madame X takes you back to Moulin Rouge–era Paris. The experience brings to life the bohemian world of an artist and his muses, dancers, prostitutes, and outcasts through choreography by Third Rail Projects’s Tara O’Con. Ross Tipograph, performance expert

Photo courtesy of Bated Breath Theatre

The Importance of Being Earnest (Two Ways)through June 30

Actors from New York Classical Theatre switch off all the genders and roles in alternate productions of the brilliant social comedy by Oscar Wilde. Best of all, it’s free and outdoors, a lovely way to enjoy Wilde’s saucy quips and priceless epigrams. David Cote, theater expert

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