Expert Picks

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

From art-glam cabaret to a James Baldwin tribute, these are the best happenings in New York this month.

Photo courtesy of BRIC/Facebook

Not feeling the love this month? Pay tribute to the black leaders of yesterday and today, and get lost in the Bermuda Triangle instead. If you do have a valentine, though, feast their eyes and stomachs with a Cher/Nicolas Cage classic.

Live Music

Bartschland Follies at the McKittrick Hotel, through March 15
Event producer, club culture doyenne, and alt-glam icon Susanne Bartsch continues the ongoing tradition of weird uptown cabaret with her weekly show at the McKittrick. Expect an extremely adult experience somewhere between Cirque du Soleil and Studio 54.
John Seroff, music expert

Ecstatic Music Festival: Deerhoof & Tigue at Merkin HallFebruary 16
As part of one of the best new music festivals in the city, art-pop ensemble Deerhoof and minimalist percussion trio Tigue come together to perform one of Deerhoof’s iconic albums, Friend Opportunity, and also premiere a new collaborative work. Meera Dugal, music expert

nyc february events
Photo courtesy of Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center‎/Facebook

M.A.K.U. Soundsystem at S.O.B.’s, February 21
The Afro-Colombian psychedelic punk band brings a powerful, socially conscious sound to the downtown dance spot. Meera Dugal, music expert


Urban Bush Women: Hair & Other Stories at BRIC, February 7–9
Venerable Brooklyn dance company Urban Bush Women’s work tends to focus on the experiences and concerns of people of color. Its new show at BRIC features one-on-one conversations, movement, and art installations in service of a meditation on race and beauty. John Seroff, music expert

Medusa Volution at Happylucky No. 1, February 8–24
Cowriter and director Sophie Amieva refashions the story of Medusa for the age of #MeToo. Who was Medusa before she became the infamous snake-haired monster who turned men to stone with her gaze? David Cote, theater expert

Sorry I Missed Your Show: Alice Sheppard/Kinetic Light at the Lab at GibneyFebruary 13
Dance troupe Kinetic Light’s work redefines dance, disability, and athleticism. This show features two dancers using wheelchairs, who navigate a set made up of ramps. Meera Dugal, music expert

nyc february events
Photo courtesy of Gibney/Facebook

Liminal Salon, February 16
Liminal Salon’s recurring immersive and site-adaptive variety shows takes you into the world of something unusual and transporting each date. This show’s theme: a 1978 swingers cruise…through the Bermuda Triangle. The location is disclosed to ticket holders a few days prior to the performance. Ross Tipograph, performance expert

The Mother at Atlantic Theater Company, begins February 20
In 2016, French playwright Florian Zeller dramatized the decaying mind of a father with dementia. Now he looks at a matriarch with an empty nest and a sudden existential crisis. The great Academy Award–nominated actress Isabelle Huppert stars and is directed by Trip Cullman. David Cote, theater expert


“Nari Ward: We the People” at New Museum, opens February 13
Ward has found constant inspiration from living and working in New York for the past 25 years, and his thematic sculptures and large-scale installations have acted as a bridge between generations of American artists. This all-encompassing exhibition, spanning three floors of the New Museum, is one of the most anticipated openings of the season. 
Molly Surno, art expert 

nyc february events
Photo courtesy of New Museum/Facebook

“God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin” at David Zwirner, through February 16
This exhibition demonstrates the transformative power of Baldwin’s prose by pairing portraits and subjects of interest to the writer with long passages from his reflections on life and art. Two galleries will be filled with works from such artists as Kara Walker, Richard Avedon, and Marlene Dumas. —Paddy Johnson, art expert

“Dana Schutz: Imagine Me and You” at Petzel Gallery, through February 23
It’s a bit early to call this, but Schutz’s show may be the best painting exhibition of the year. It’s hard to imagine a more imaginative figurative painter or better colorist. —Paddy Johnson, art expert

nyc february events
Photo courtesy of Petzel Gallery/Facebook

Dining & Drinking

Pineapple NY Presents: Farming While BlackFebruary 5
We’ve seen a drastic evolution in the food-sphere lately, but it’s still hard to find diverse representation in the farming industry. Two women leaders in the black farming community, Soul Fire Farms’s Leah Penniman and Yemi Amu of Brooklyn’s Oko Farms, sit down to discuss their experiences in the realm and the actionable steps we can all take to improve the food system for generations to come. Molly Surno, art expert 

Moonstruck Valentine’s Feast at Alamo Drafthouse, February 14
Spend your V-Day feeding your amour a red sauce–heavy, three-course meal straight from a Sicilian—erm, Brooklyn—kitchen while screening the ’80s classic film. What’s more romantic than Cher slapping Nicolas Cage in the face? —Jess Bender, dining and drinking expert 

nyc february events
Photo courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse NYC/Facebook

Family Friendly

The 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 9–11
The best in show will be revealed on the evening of Tuesday, February 12, at Madison Square Garden, but we enjoy the daytime Meet & Compete event—where you can snuggle with dozens of dogs of every breed!—at Piers 92/94 on Saturday the 9th just as much. —What Should We Do editors

Dog Show Do
Photo courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show/Facebook

New York International Children’s Film Festival, February 22–March 17
What started out as a scrappy little festival 22 years ago has become a must-see for artsy New York families—call it the Cannes of kids’ film. This year, the event boasts more than 125 fascinating new movies from around the world, screened at various locations. —What Should We Do editors


’90s Throwback: Radiohead Yoga at Benrubi GalleryFebruary 24
Creep into your best warrior stance and (fake plastic) tree pose at instructor Rima Rabbath’s 75-minute jivamukti flow. Even if you’re not the biggest yogini, you’ll appreciate the unusual Chelsea gallery location and lose yourself in the class’s OK Computer soundtrack. Jess Bender, dining and drinking expert 

nyc february events
Photo by AndiP/Pixabay

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