This Week: Kicking Off SummerStage and Shakespeare in the Park

This Week: Kicking Off SummerStage and Shakespeare in the Park


New TV shows, museum openings, film releases and concerts — it’s a lot to keep track of. Let us help you. For the week of May 27, seven events in New York and elsewhere not to be missed:

Theater: Shakespeare in the Park Is Here

May 29 to Aug. 19; publictheater.org.

Cue the dusk and the balmy breezes. Cue the soft illumination on Belvedere Castle in the distance. Cue the occasional raccoon, scrabbling around the edge of the stage. And, because there’s no shutting out the city when you’re in the middle of it, cue also the helicopters that pass throbbingly overhead and the sirens wailing on the streets. But even those intrusions can’t shatter the enchantment of the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

One of the enduring glories of summertime in New York, and one of the most enticing free tickets around, the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park begins its 57th season there on Tuesday, May 29, with “Othello.” Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and running through June 24, it stars Corey Stoll as Iago, Heather Lind as Desdemona and, in the title role, Chukwudi Iwuji, who brought such electricity to Bruce Norris’s “The Low Road” this year at the Public.

The season will continue July 17-Aug. 19 with a frolicsome, romantic musical adaptation of “Twelfth Night,” conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub. With infectious music and lyrics by Ms. Taub, it will be directed by Oskar Eustis and Mr. Kwei-Armah. Now if only the rain will stay away. LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES

Pop Music: SummerStage Starts With a Bang

June 2; cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage.

Those who lament that New York City summers are too hot, too sticky or too smelly might be missing the point. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, locals and visitors who aren’t afraid to venture into un-air-conditioned areas will find a glut of free music performed in all corners of the city.

SummerStage is New York’s most prolific producer of music and arts alfresco: The concert series began 32 years ago with the jazz avant-gardist Sun Ra at Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, and now includes over 100 shows (mostly gratis) that span all five boroughs and almost all genres. This year’s free offerings begin next weekend with a double bill featuring the jazz crooner Gregory Porter and the genre-bending, Jay-Z-endorsed singer Victory at the festival’s home base, Central Park (June 2).

But over the course of the summer, there will be events to every taste: hip-hop legends (Big Daddy Kane, June 20) and newcomers (Dej Loaf, Aug. 12); jazz lineups that link bebop and fusion (the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, Aug. 25-26); forward-looking, traditional-sounding folk (Rhiannon Giddens, June 16); classic salsa (Tito Nieves, Aug. 1); and even some beloved ’90s R&B (Ginuwine, July 22) are just a few of the many options. NATALIE WEINER

Dance: Rennie Harris’s ‘Funkedified’

June 1-3 and 8-10, newvictory.org.

A pioneer in bringing street dance to the concert stage, the choreographer Rennie Harris returns to the New Victory Theater with “Funkedified,” a new production exploring funk music as the foundation of hip-hop and as a force in his creative life. Mr. Harris, who grew up in Philadelphia, credits the dancer Don Campbell — as seen on “Soul Train” in the early 1970s — with piquing his interest in dance as a child. Channeling the energy of that televised party and the ingenuity of Mr. Campbell’s troupe, the Campbell Lockers, “Funkedified” culls from styles including locking, popping, breaking and ’70s social dances. Not averse to nostalgia, it revels in funk classics like James Brown’s “Soul Power” and Dennis Coffey’s “Scorpio.”

Mr. Harris’s company, Puremovement, will be joined by members of the Philadelphia-based crew the Hood Lockers and an onstage band. Part of the New Victory’s family-oriented programming, the show is recommended for ages 9 and up. SIOBHAN BURKE

Film: Gillian Jacobs in ‘Ibiza’

May 25; netflix.com.

Sometimes you crave an escape. To an island, maybe, where the sun, sand and throbbing dance music promise pleasures far from a cubicle’s fluorescent glare. In that case, check out “Ibiza,” arriving Friday, May 25, on Netflix. Gillian Jacobs plays Harper, a burned-out New Yorker whose hellacious boss (Michaela Watson) sends her to Barcelona to close the deal on an account. When her besties (Phoebe Robinson and Vanessa Bayer) tag along, a trifle of a girls-gone-wild premise turns sweetly seductive as Harper follows a D.J. (Richard Madden) to paradise.

As with “Life of the Party,” the new Melissa McCarthy comedy in which Ms. Jacobs is also appearing, she told The Times that she’s happy to be doing films that celebrate female friendship. “And I love that the plot of ‘Ibiza’ is not any of us competing over a guy. All three of us get to have romance, but it’s not causing conflict,” she said. “It’s a gift to be able to do a movie like that.” KATHRYN SHATTUCK

Art: Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams at the MoMA

Through Jan. 1, 2019; moma.org.

Working with a razor blade and mostly found materials in Kinshasa, the capital of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, the artist Bodys Isek Kingelez (1948-2015) made elaborately ordered, irresistibly colored tabletop architectural fantasias.

A few works, like the 1991 “Kinshasa la Belle,” a model of a round apartment building ringed with blue, wavelike balconies, might plausibly be plans for some bold developer. Others, like the 1995 “U.N.,” which pictures the global agency’s headquarters as a kind of upright snail flying a solid blue flag, aren’t quite so literal. A gorgeous winged tower, made from six beer and soda cans and a series of Lipton tea labels, might not be a building at all.

But they all conjure the same exhilarating sense of possibility because they’re all made with the buoyant precision of an unconstrained imagination. This Museum of Modern Art show is Mr. Kingelez’s first retrospective in America. WILL HEINRICH

Classical: Aizuri Quartet at the Met

June 1; metmuseum.org.

The University of Michigan’s M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition has emerged in recent years as a promising new venture in the classical music world: It awards a grand prize of $100,000 to the best chamber group, along with a management deal and record contract. Now in its third year, the prize was awarded this month to the Aizuri Quartet, a rising string ensemble founded in 2012 and comprising graduates of Curtis and Juilliard.

The group’s performance at the grand prize competition, available to watch on Vimeo, reveals a quartet of expert collaborators who cogently traverse a range of repertoire staples and modern works. The Aizuri players have been in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this season, so New Yorkers should take the chance to hear them in their final performance in the MetLiveArts series on Friday, June 1.

Also featuring the virtuoso Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh — who was briefly unable to return to his home of Brooklyn after President Trump’s original travel ban took effect in January 2017 — the concert includes a variety of new pieces focused around the theme of “Music and Migration.” WILLIAM ROBIN

TV: Cormoran Strike Brought to Life

June 1; cinemax.com.

He’s the son of a British rock star and a groupie, a war veteran turned London private investigator, an Oxford dropout whose relationship with an upper-class beauty just hit the rocks. He’s Cormoran Strike, a the creation of J.K. Rowling, who conjured him up for a series of novels she wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Now the BBC has brought Strike to life in seven episodes that span the first three books. (A fourth is reportedly on the way.) In “C.B. Strike,” debuting Friday, June 1, on Cinemax, Tom Burke — rumpled and brooding enough to keep things interesting, but not without a certain charm — plays Strike, who sleuths his way into some of the city’s poshest inner sanctums to investigate a supermodel’s suicide in “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” In “The Silkworm,” he looks into the disappearance of an author whose latest work flayed colleagues and loved ones alike. And in “Career of Evil,” a grudge-holder from the past makes his point by mailing Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger) — Strike’s assistant, and the spark that keeps him ticking — a hacked-off leg. KATHRYN SHATTUCK



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