TO DO Twenty-five things to see, hear, watch, and read.

OC­TO­BER 14–28

New York Magazine - - TO DO - 13. Watch Su­per­store Amer­ica Fer­rera re­turns for her farewell. NBC, Oc­to­ber 29.

1. See What the Con­sti­tu­tion Means to Me Amend this. Prime Video, Oc­to­ber 16.

When a young Heidi Schreck needed cash for col­lege, her mother–slash–de­bate coach came up with a bril­liant scheme: Win prize money at the Amer­i­can Le­gion’s es­say con­tests for teens. Heidi’s speech killed in com­pe­ti­tion. In her Pulitzer­nom­i­nated, crowd-gal­va­niz­ing Broad­way per­for­mance (cap­tured by di­rec­tor Marielle Heller in its fi­nal week), the adult Schreck reimag­ines the speech, try­ing to stay true to her 15-year-old self, whose key in­ter­ests were witches and Patrick Swayze. As she rewrites her speech, she un­cov­ers the pain and abuse the Con­sti­tu­tion’s sex­ism has wrought on her, her fam­ily, and oth­ers who have slipped be­tween its cal­ligraphed cracks—and de­mands it do bet­ter. he­len shaw

2. See Save Your­selves! A charm­ing apoc­a­lypse flick. In se­lect the­aters and VOD.

A neb­bishy Brook­lyn cou­ple (Su­nita Mani and John Reynolds) briefly take a break in the coun­try—just in time for Earth to be in­vaded by aliens. Of course, be­cause this is a low-bud­get com­edy, the ETs are seem­ingly harm­less balls of fur— though they prove deadly. Your en­joy­ment may de­pend on how an­noy­ing you find the cen­tral char­ac­ters, but the film’s rel­a­tive re­straint keeps things grounded. bilge ebiri

3. Lis­ten to Song Ma­chine An au­dio­vi­sual pro­ject. Go­ril­laz Pro­duc­tions/Par­lophone/Warner, Oc­to­ber 23.

Go­ril­laz caps its “Song Ma­chine” se­ries of sin­gles and mu­sic videos with an al­bum of col­lab­o­ra­tions with rock le­gends El­ton John, Beck, Robert Smith, and Peter Hook and stars like School­boy Q, Kano, and 6lack. Group master­mind Da­mon Al­barn’s sharp song­writ­ing and ver­sa­tile pro­duc­tion make

Song Ma­chine, Sea­son One: Strange Timez an in­trigu­ing lis­ten. craig jenk­ins

4. See Theaster Gates “Black Ves­sel” is his first solo ex­hi­bi­tion here. Gagosian, 555 West 24th Street, through De­cem­ber 19.

In a per­fect fit for our fit­ful times, Theaster Gates stages the mas­sive tem­ple on West 24th as a place for wor­ship, delec­ta­tion, song, and tran­scen­dence. His con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als are bricks, pas­sion, love, and an ac­tivism that in­volves per­for­mances by the Black Monks. The sun will shine here through our col­lec­tive pour­ing rain. View­ers will skip over in­ner oceans. jerry saltz

5. Hear Cali­dore Quar­tet String quar­tets, a pan­demic-friendly genre. cham­ber­mu­sic­so­ci­ety.org, Oc­to­ber 15.

Even with halls sealed and mu­si­cians idled, the Cham­ber Mu­sic So­ci­ety of Lin­coln Cen­ter sol­diers on, stream­ing live string quar­tets. The Cali­dore

Quar­tet per­forms Dvo­rak’s “Amer­i­can” quar­tet, Wyn­ton Marsalis’s equally Amer­i­can At the Oc­toroon Balls, and Schu­bert’s de­cid­edly non

Amer­i­can Quar­tettsatz. justin davidson

6. Watch So­cial Dis­tance Pan­demic TV. Net­flix, Oc­to­ber 15.

This an­thol­ogy se­ries, filmed en­tirely in quar­an­tine, fo­cuses each time on a dif­fer­ent set of char­ac­ters deal­ing with COVID-19. The cast in­cludes Danielle Brooks, Mike Colter, and real-life spouses Dy­lan and Becky Ann Baker as a mar­ried cou­ple not see­ing eye to eye. jen chaney

7. See New York City Bal­let Stay on your toes. ny­cbal­let.com, through Oc­to­ber 31.

The New York City Bal­let’s fall dig­i­tal sea­son in­cludes ex­cerpts from Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes and sec­tions of Alexei Rat­man­sky’s Pic­tures at an Ex­hi­bi­tion and Rus­sian Sea­sons; on Oc­to­ber 24, the com­pany will broad­cast a “mati­nee,” a free, fam­ily-ori­ented bill of Jerome Robbins’s Fan­fare and sev­eral of Ge­orge Balan­chine’s more whim­si­cal pieces, like the pas de don­key from A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream. Each pro­gram is avail­able on­line for a week. h.s.

8. Read Me­mo­rial About Hous­ton cou­ple Mike and Ben­son. River­head Books, Oc­to­ber 27.

Author Bryan Washington has called it “a gay slacker dram­edy,” but the novel is far more than a riff on Re­al­ity Bites.

9. See The Trial of the Chicago 7 There are a lot of speeches. In se­lect the­aters; Net­flix, Oc­to­ber 16.

Some­times Aaron Sorkin finds a con­text in which his most re­li­able and, of­ten, most an­noy­ing tics just work. This movie is one of those oc­ca­sions—a court­room drama about the trial of prom­i­nent pro­test­ers at the 1968 Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion that has a ter­rific, sprawl­ing en­sem­ble cast and all the grand­stand­ing and speechi­fy­ing any­one could ever want. alison will­more

10. Lis­ten to Fake It Flow­ers “I’ll make a cup of cof­fee for your head.” Dirty Hit, Oc­to­ber 16.

Months af­ter a sam­ple of her sin­gle “Cof­fee” went vi­ral, Bri­tish Filipino singer-song­writer Be­abadoobee de­buts an al­bum of candy-sweet in­die­rock jams with a sprin­kling of lush, or­ches­tral folk songs. At 20, the per­former is a sharp tune­smith, join­ing peers like Mit­ski, Soc­cer Mommy, and Jay Som in breath­ing new life into the breezy brand of alt-rock that dom­i­nated ’90s ra­dio. c.j.

11. Watch Grand Army Adapted from 2013’s Slut: The Play. Net­flix, Oc­to­ber 16.

This hon­est look at life in a Brook­lyn pub­lic high school comes from play­wright Katie Cap­piello, who was in­spired by her teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. With a cast that in­cludes some of her stu­dents, the first episode, in which a nearby bomb­ing causes a school lock­down, is an im­me­di­ate grab­ber. j.c.

12. Hear To Amer­ica In­spired by James Wel­don Johnson’s po­etry. The Green-Wood Ceme­tery, Oc­to­ber 22 to 24.

The es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ents for a live mu­si­cal ex­pe­ri­ence have changed a bit: in this case, a mask, a flash­light, a shot of whiskey, and a taste for tromp­ing around ceme­ter­ies af­ter dark. Per­form­ers are spaced out along a two-and-a-half-mile jour­ney, build­ing a col­lec­tive ode to—or pos­si­bly an el­egy for—the na­tion at a frag­ile time. Con­certs sell out quickly, but sub­scribers to the Death of Clas­si­cal news­let­ter get early warn­ing when more tick­ets be­come avail­able. j.d. One of the few net­work come­dies po­si­tioned to tell in­ter­est­ing, sharp COVID sto­ries re­turns for its sixth sea­son. kathryn vanaren­donk

14. See Evil Eye Hor­ror steeped in In­dian mythol­ogy. Prime Video.

What if you thought that your daugh­ter’s boyfriend was the rein­car­na­tion of a man who tried to kill you decades ago? In­dian su­per­sti­tion is the nar­ra­tive juice of this film, but like many of Blum­house’s

pro­duc­tions (Get Out, The Purge), hor­ror is only a ve­hi­cle to ex­plore more ur­gent themes, in this case gen­er­a­tional trauma and gen­der bias. And if you’re un­ac­quainted with South Asian hor­ror, I’ll give you a fair warn­ing: Don’t watch it alone. sangeeta singh-kurtz

15. Read Where the Wild Ladies Are Spir­its and specters. Soft Skull Press, Oc­to­ber 20.

In Aoko Mat­suda’s dar­ing retellings of Ja­panese folk­tales, fem­i­nine ap­pari­tions find agency in death, trans­form­ing mor­tals and yokai alike.

16. Hear Jeremy Denk Mu­sic by a de­fi­antly cur­rent com­poser. caramoor.org, Oc­to­ber 25.

At 82, Fred­eric Rzewski is the model of the po­lit­i­cally en­gaged com­poser. Denk per­forms his Winns­boro Cot­ton Mill Blues, a 1980 piece that evolves from a lively rumble into a protest, along with other jaunty/an­gry mu­sic by Thomas “Blind Tom” Wig­gins, Scott Jo­plin, Ta­nia Leon … and Beethoven. j.d.

17. See State vs. Natasha Ban­ina Call it jury duty. bac­nyc.org, Oc­to­ber 12 and 14.

The Ar­lekin Play­ers The­atre’s pro­duc­tion re­turns for only a hand­ful of live Zoom shows, thanks to the Barysh­nikov Arts Cen­ter and the Cherry Or­chard Fes­ti­val. In State vs. Natasha Ban­ina, the au­di­ence plays the jury, eval­u­at­ing the con­fes­sion of a vi­o­lent and be­wil­dered Rus­sian teenager, whose life in a Dar­winian or­phan­age is copied from ac­tual ac­counts. The pro­duc­tion is worth watch­ing for Darya Denisova’s as­tound­ing per­for­mance alone. h.s.

18. Read Green­lights All right, all right, all right. Ran­dom House, Oc­to­ber 20.

The au­to­bi­og­ra­phy of Matthew Mc­Conaughey, now 50, is at once a time cap­sule of aughts Hol­ly­wood and a philo­soph­i­cal re­flec­tion on how to live life as well as pos­si­ble (some­thing he calls “catch­ing green­lights”). While the book has its bomb­shells and juicy tid­bits, it isn’t your typ­i­cal celebrity mem­oir; the writ­ing is good—po­etic at times—and it reads more like a jour­nal he opened a vein or two to write. s.s.k.

19. Watch Su­per­mar­ket Sweep Pag­ing Les­lie Jones stans. ABC, Oc­to­ber 18.

The by­gone game show in which con­tes­tants ran­sack gro­cery aisles for big money gets a re­vamp with host Les­lie Jones. While the Sweep­ers won’t be wear­ing masks, the show was filmed un­der virus pro­to­cols, ac­cord­ing to the pro­duc­ers. j.c.

20. Lis­ten to Love Is the King

Jeff Tweedy’s com­fort food. dBpm, Oc­to­ber 23.

Ten days af­ter Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy re­leases How to

Write One Song (Dut­ton, Oc­to­ber 13), his new solo set ar­rives. The al­bum’s quiet, home­spun coun­try-rock is an act of mak­ing the most of a bad sit­u­a­tion and a sound­track for oth­ers try­ing to do the same. c.j.

21. Hear Dal­las Sym­phony Or­ches­tra Pas­toral songs. mydso.com, stream­ing Oc­to­ber 16.

Fabio Luisi, Dal­las Sym­phony Or­ches­tra’s mu­si­cal di­rec­tor, con­ducts the pocket ver­sion of Mahler’s

Das Lied von der Erde, with mezzo-so­prano Tamara Mum­ford and tenor Stu­art Skel­ton. j.d.

22. See The An­tenna Deeply creepy. VOD, Oc­to­ber 20.

Turk­ish di­rec­tor Orçun Behram’s grip­ping hor­ror–po­lit­i­cal al­le­gory un­folds in a des­o­late com­plex where a newly in­stalled cen­tral­ized TV sys­tem broad­casts bul­letins from an un­named gov­ern­ment into each apart­ment. Mean­while, a black goo drips into res­i­dents’ lives and minds, tar­get­ing their sense of iden­tity and de­sires. b.e.

23. Watch The Queen’s Gam­bit With the star of Emma. Net­flix, Oc­to­ber 23.

Anya Tay­lor-Joy stars as a chess whiz com­ing of age in the ’50s—the rare girl play­ing the game com­pet­i­tively in a sea of boys and men. j.c.

24. Lis­ten to Mass for the En­dan­gered Pray­ing for na­ture. None­such/New Am­s­ter­dam.

A con­tem­po­rary sen­si­bil­ity pierces an an­tique haze in Sarah Kirk­land Snider’s elab­o­ra­tion of the litur­gi­cal text, with a li­bretto by Nathaniel Bel­lows. There’s a mourn­ful in­ten­sity to the mu­sic, per­formed by vo­cal en­sem­ble Gal­li­can­tus. j.d.

25. Read The Dead Are Aris­ing Hon­or­ing Mal­colm X. Nor­ton, Oc­to­ber 20.

Les Payne’s 30-year ef­fort was com­pleted by his daugh­ter, Tamara Payne, af­ter he died in 2018, and the re­sult­ing bi­og­ra­phy adds new di­men­sions to the civil-rights icon’s jour­ney “from street crim­i­nal to de­voted moral­ist and revo­lu­tion­ary.”

For more cul­ture cov­er­age and stream­ing rec­om­men­da­tions, see vul­ture.com.

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