What to Do in New York City This Weekend

May 24, 2019 0 By JohnValbyNation

These are our top picks for the weekend of May 24th-26th. For more event listings and reviews, check out Goings On About Town.


Garry Winogrand once defined a photograph as “what something looks like to a camera.” Keep that in mind when viewing the Brooklyn Museum’s fiercely pleasurable, if somewhat flawed, show, consisting mainly of hundreds of digitally projected Kodachrome slides, most from the nineteen-sixties. Winogrand, the all-time champion of street photography, died in 1984, at the age of fifty-six. He is most famous for his hyperkinetic shots of unaware pedestrians, taken with high-speed black-and-white film. The relatively long exposures required by color film steered him to subjects more static: people seated rather than walking, or at a beach instead of on the street.—Peter Schjeldahl

Plus: Summer Art Preview, and more art reviews.

Night Life

The Mexican-American singer and guitarist Omar Apollo started recording soulful R. & B. experiments in his home town of Hobart, Indiana, in 2016. His first few releases were lovestruck, melancholic reflections, lightly washed in reverb and peppered with smooth vocal loops. But on his new EP, “Friends,” which came out in April, Apollo injects his sound with hefty doses of funk and dance, hinting at the multifaceted musical universe that he has at his fingertips. After this Saturday night set at Bowery Ballroom, he performs on Sunday at Music Hall of Williamsburg.—Julyssa Lopez

Plus: Summer Night Life Preview, and more night-life reviews.

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Food & Drink: Tables for Two

At Van Ða, the menu acts as something of a survey course in Vietnamese cooking. It’s divided by headings that sound almost like the titles of academic papers, covering a range of styles and city-specific dishes—“Street Food: Sidewalk Classics, Reinvented”; “Saigon: Bold, Modern, Driven”—and the perspectives and specialties of the two chefs, who both happen to be women. The most unusual section is largely attributable to the owner, Yen Ngo, a Vietnamese-born chef in her late forties who moved to the U.S. in 1980; it’s called “Hue: Ancient, Refined, Royal,” after her parents’ home city, which was Vietnam’s imperial capital from 1802 to 1945 and is famous for traditional dishes that don’t tend to travel abroad, including bite-size delicacies akin to Chinese dim sum.—Hannah Goldfield

For more restaurant reviews, click here.

The Theatre

Jesse Eisenberg’s “Happy Talk,” for the New Group, is a confident, wide-ranging work, buoyed by undeniable star power. Lorraine (Susan Sarandon) is a suburban housewife with delusions of theatrical grandeur. She indulges the fantasy by rehearsing for her Jewish Community Center’s production of “South Pacific,” but shares her real life with her unresponsive husband, Bill (Daniel Oreskes), her ailing mother, and Ljuba (Marin Ireland), her mother's caregiver. Eisenberg’s script, under Scott Elliott’s direction, skillfully serves up cleverness, poignancy, plot twists, and menace. Ireland is phenomenal as the plucky Serbian immigrant, and Sarandon creates a character that earns, by turns, our admiration, revulsion, and pity.—Ken Marks

Plus: Summer Theatre Preview, and more theatre reviews.


This weekend, Film Forum launches an extraordinarily ambitious three-week series of international films, “The Hour of Liberation: Decolonizing Cinema, 1966-1981,” with screenings of “Black Girl.” It’s the Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembène’s first feature, in which an intimate drama is mapped on a grid of race and class—and in which political liberation is inextricably linked to cultural independence.—Richard Brody

Plus: Summer Movies Preview, and more movie reviews.

Classical Music

It’s hard to turn one’s nose up at the three principal offerings of the inaugural Burgers, Bourbon & Beethoven Festival, which unfolds Saturday, on the idyllic acreage of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. This Memorial Day-weekend concert and cookout kicks off the second season of the Angel’s Share classical-music series and features bites from Harlem Public and Madcap Café, bottles from WhistlePig, Widow Jane, and others, and a performance, by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, of Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony and Beethoven’s ever-popular Fifth Symphony.—Oussama Zahr

Plus: Summer Classical Music Preview, and more classical-music reviews.


This year’s DanceAfrica festival, at BAM May 24th-27th, is focussed on Rwanda. Although some of the events invoke the country’s 1994 genocide, the emphasis is on rebound and healing through tradition. The headlining act, Inganzo Ngari, a popular Rwandan folkloric troupe founded in 2006, performs crop rituals and a big-wigged warrior dance alongside the Brooklyn-based BAM/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble, a festival mainstay whose spirited members never fail to bring down the house.

Plus: Summer Dance Preview, and more dance reviews.