We’re simply not ready for the holiday chaos to start, so we’re distracting ourselves with the one thing that’s not changing—the unfailingly thrilling calendar of events in New York City. Our experts are keeping up with the latest and greatest in entertainment, art, music, and food, happening all through November. Take a musically mind-bending trip around Brooklyn’s Rough Trade; gobble up DIY sticky desserts at Ample Hills Creamery; and endure the most hilarious, let’s-do-it-again breakup in the history of staged breakups. Are you thinking about that deer with the red nose now? We didn’t think so.
An early music blogger whose website received millions of visits, John has gone on to run his own boutique live-performance PR and marketing company, supporting many of NYC’s biggest and best-known venues and festivals. To keep up with what’s going on in the field, our music expert attends at least 200 live shows a year.
Shigeto, November 6
DJ, producer, and electronic musician Zachary Saginaw tours as Shigeto. His sound is heavily influenced in equal parts by jazz, frenetic breakbeat, electropop, and down-tempo hip hop. The result is shoe-gazer EDM that lends itself well to dancing and drinking. For this show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, he’ll be playing tracks off his just-released new album, The New Monday. Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th Street, Williamsburg
One of the most seasoned voices in the NYC theater scene, this member of the New York Drama Critics Circle has previously appeared in the pages of The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Time Out New York.
Thomas Paine in Violence, November 6–18
Composer Paul Pinto (who had a memorable cameo in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 as troika driver Balaga) presents an experimental opera about an iconic figure in the American Revolution. Trippy, nonlinear, and decidedly not 18th century in its musical stylings (lots of electronica), the piece is set at a radio station in the afterlife. Joan La Barbara plays Paine, struggling to broadcast a message of social justice that chaos and technology threaten to drown out. Sound familiar? Here, 145 Sixth Avenue (between Spring and Dominick Streets), Lower Manhattan
Toys: A Dark Fairy Tale, November 8–26
Romanian-American playwright Saviana Stanescu presents a semi-absurdist “intricate mystery” about two very different women’s intersecting lives. Born in a war-torn country, Shari was forced into a life of isolation and abandonment. Born-and-raised city girl Clara has grown up eating from a silver spoon. The two meet when Clara, an NYU graduate student, interviews political refugee Shari. Contempt and wariness give way to something deeper and more mysterious. Sisterhood? The New York City premiere is directed by Gabor Tompa, who is also credited with the production design. 59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues), Upper East Side
As programming manager of the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, this arts enthusiast has her ears tuned to the eclectic sounds of the city.
Diane Coffee, November 8
One of the bands I’m most excited about from our generation, Diane Coffee, sounds like the love child of Freddie Mercury and Of Montreal. They possess a playful theatricality that is missing in an era of musicians battling to look the most apathetic; drama drips from each of the singer’s notes. They’re psychedelic, rock, and doo-wop with a good mix of spontaneity, which makes them one of the most entertaining groups to see live. Rough Trade NYC, 64 North 9th Street, Williamsburg
Along with appearing inside the pages of The Fader and Time Out New York, this vibrant culture guru created the one-of-a-kind immersive theatrical experience 8Players.
Stephen Tobolowsky: Stories From “My Adventures With God,” November 14
Tobolowsky, a character actor known for everything from Groundhog Day to Single White Female to Disney’s Freaky Friday, is quite the live lecturer. I once saw him perform in Boston, and now he’s bringing his solo show to New York. It’s sure to feature heavy audience interaction and a Q&A; Tobolowsky will take you on an articulate, engrossing journey through strange miracles. The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Gowanus
Let Me Break You Up: An Anti-Dating Game Show, November 17
Comedian Carly Ann Filbin brings happy couples onto her stage and plans to break them up. In this tongue-and-cheek game show, pairs face off against pairs and vie for the most points by answering Filbin’s questions. At the end, the couple with the least points “breaks up” (playfully) in front of the audience. Careful, you and your plus-one may be that couple! Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 153 East 3rd Street (between Avenue A and Avenue B), East Village
With stints writing and editing at Seamless and Zagat under her belt, this up-and-coming food writer spends her days and nights exploring NYC’s underground and off-the-beaten-path dining destinations. Read all about her eating exploits in her monthly column, Off the Eaten Path.
Gather Round the Campfire at Ample Hills Creamery, November 15
We’re quickly approaching colder weather, which means we’re also heading for the warmer indoors. And yet, Ample Hills is seriously making us crave a crackling campfire with its s’mores-forward class. Churning your own ice cream is a given at this hands-on event, but your inner pyro will be pleased knowing you’ll be toasting your own marshmallows with a blowtorch. (Don’t tell Mom, shhhh). P.S. If you’re more of a chocoholic, they also have a triple chocolate class catering to your sweet preferences the week before. 305 Nevins Street, Gowanus