Village Voice — Summer Guide 2012
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Summer Picks
James Hannaham



'Elsewhere, California'
By Dana Johnson, June 12

Still steamed about the lack of diversity on HBO's Girls and the rest of current mainstream film and TV in the USA? Read a book already. Namely, Flannery O'Connor Award-winning author Dana Johnson's effortlessly sophisticated bildungsroman about a black girl navigating the tricky racial terrain of her mostly white L.A. school, growing up to become a visual artist, and marrying an Italian. Once all that's done, she has to grapple with her brother and his history of gang violence. Then read Tayari Jones, Tiphanie Yanique, Martha Southgate, and Danielle Evans, to name a few, and you might stop watching TV altogether. Counterpoint, 304 pages, $15.99

'The Receptionist: An Education at "The New Yorker"'
By Janet Groth, June 26

The New Yorker is the Titanic of belles lettres: Anybody with the faintest connection to its fabled history, especially under the longtime editorship of William Shawn, has written a memoir with some genteel angle on its legendary voyage. So don't blame Janet Groth for trying her hand. Before going for her Ph.D. and becoming a SUNY prof, she worked for 21 years (1957 to 1978) as a receptionist at the magazine (hopefully not without some bitterness at that thick glass ceiling). The public now anxiously awaits The Pedestrian: Walking Past Mr. Shawn's Workplace. Algonquin, 240 pages, $21.95

'The Galaxie and Other Rides'
By Josie Sigler, June 30

A lesbian horse healer has a codependent relationship with a terminally ill singer. A hooker's daughter comes of age in a motel. A disillusioned father douses himself in gasoline. Josie Sigler's The Galaxie and Other Rides, a violent, sexy, intense debut story collection jammed with high-stakes surprises and complex characters, nails, as few writers have in recent memory, lives and voices from America's 99 Percent-or maybe 50 Percent. Sigler crams these 12 tales of trashy rural Michigan, each linked to a representative used car, with dazzling sentences and stories that take more risks than Denis Johnson and prove she's more of a man than Jim Shepard. Livingston Press, University of West Alabama, 192 pages, $32

'Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady'
By Kate Summerscale, June 19

From Madame Bovary to Belle de Jour to Desperate Housewives, the unruly sexual fantasies and exploits of wealthy married women have always made for exciting narratives. Summerscale, known for excavating Victorian misbehavior, has uncovered the equivalent of a lost city in the story of Isabella Walker, a British society lady whose extensive diary became a matter of public record after her husband read it and discovered confessions he judged to be adulterous, at a time when divorce had just become easier, recalling a period when dishonor had an elegant cast. Nowadays, we'd call it looking at her Facebook page. Bloomsbury USA, 320 pages, $26

'Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz'
By C. Carr, July 17

He was the quintessential gay hustler outsider artist with AIDS of the East Village scene in the late '80s and early '90s. Which is actually saying a lot. Even if, like most people, you can't pronounce "Wojnarowicz," you live in his artistic shadow. C. Carr, who made her name in these pages chronicling the scene from which he arose, knows how to pronounce "Wojnarowicz," and here describes his disturbing upbringing and uncanny rise, shedding light on why his art and writing are still important and were controversial enough to shut down the National Portrait Gallery in 2010, 18 years after his death. Bloomsbury, 624 pages, $35

'Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities (Historical Studies of Urban America)'
By Carl H. Nightingale, June 1

It's called Segregation, and the cover shows a division between black and white buildings, but don't let that mislead you. SUNY Buffalo urban and world-history prof Nightingale's book is an ambitious, comprehensive history of divided cities and ghettos all over the globe, not just Jim Crow American-style. We're going all the way back to Mesopotamia, y'all. We're talking about Belfast; we're talking about Nazi Germany and Jerusalem. Not only that, but we're facing up to the idea that "such movements to segregate cities spread because they were interconnected." Not exactly a conspiracy, he says-more like an open-source segregation Wiki. University of Chicago Press, 536 pages, $35

'Meta-Geopolitics of Outer Space: An Analysis of Space Power, Security, and Governance'
By Nayef R.F. Al-Rodhan, July 3

At first, it seems like madness, a book that fell out of the future. But consider the pedigree of the author-Oxford prof, long-titled Swiss Geopolitics think tank official, "philosopher, neuroscientist, and geostrategist," author of 19 books, etc.-and that powerful people are making decisions about how to carve space into the shape of the globe, and you begin asking the appropriate questions, probably with your jaw slackened. How can geographic issues persist beyond the confines of the planet Earth? Are they already doing so? What are the powers of the state in outer space? Why haven't I worried about this before? Palgrave Macmillan, 288 pages, $90

'The Devil in Silver'
By Victor LaValle, August 21

"My three obsessions are mental illness, horror, and religion," novelist Victor LaValle has admitted, and after the success of 2009's Big Machine, he doubtless felt freer to indulge those obsessions. His upcoming book sounds like even more of a straight-up horror novel, about an X-Men-esque team of mental patients in a psychiatric hospital in Queens who do battle with a quasi-minotaur that patrols the institution at night. OK, maybe LaValle's obsession with religion doesn't figure in much here-this gang doesn't seem to have a prayer. Spiegel & Grau, 464 pages, $27

'No Animals We Could Name: Stories'
By Ted Sanders, July 3

Ted Sanders writes stories like an alien. Specifically, that guy from Starman who doesn't understand how anything works on Earth. He writes from the perspective of a halibut, a fisherman, a passing octopus. In other pieces, he writes about a man's encounter with a tiny female acquaintance almost as if he were a crash-test dummy. Sanders has an obsession with air bags. And another with lizards. Maybe cats, too. And at least in one story, "The Heart As a Fist," the word "fist." These stories have a blissfully clinical precision, redolent of David Foster Wallace, that we should perhaps dub "New Autism." Graywolf Press, 272 pages, $15

'Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans'
By John Marzluff, illustrated by Tony Angell, June 5

When U of Washington forest-sciences prof Marzluff claims that smart birds "behave like humans," he does not mean that they drive cars, shoot guns, or play basketball. He does mean that they can solve problems by making tools, that they have spectacular memory and social intelligence, they rock at shell games, and, actually, they can windsurf. This sweetly eccentric but earnest volume weaves together many tales of crow ability, assessed by scientific inquiry, together with a cultural history of corvids as a defense of their "often maligned" image. Will you see these birds in the same light once you've read this book? Nevermore. Free Press, 304 pages, $25



Ellsworth Kelly
June 5 through September 3

America's foremost abstract painter, it turns out, is a closet realist. Who knew? This summer, the Met will have proof of Kelly's apostasy in the form of six decades of minutely rendered drawings. A selection of some 80 efforts the 93-year-old began in 1948, Kelly's graphite-and-ink-on-paper works update John Ruskin's exercises as a botanist. Kelly himself likens his precisely observed drawings of seaweed, flowers, and a banana leaf to portraits-the ultimate in naturalistic depiction. "The most pleasurable thing in the world, for me," he has said, in echo of representational artists throughout the ages, "is to see something, and then to translate how I see it." A separate group of 12 abstract paintings and sculptures will accompany the exhibition. K Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue,

The Bruce High Quality Foundation: 'Art History with Labor'
June 28 through September 30

New York's premier art collective, the Bruce High Quality Foundation has promised to accomplish two seemingly opposite things: "resurrect art history from the bowels of despair" and "protest against the star-making machinery of the art market." Although this might read as a standard case of cognitive dissonance, it's more likely a flash of F. Scott Fitzgerald-type genius. (The author of The Crack-Up referred to a first-rate intellect as one capable of holding "two opposing ideas in mind at the same time.") Whatever the deal, BHQF plans to pull out all the stops for its upcoming Gotham exhibition- brimming brilliance and insanity included. The anonymous artists are due to take over Manhattan's toniest exhibition space: the lobby and plaza of Park Avenue's Lever House. Following bling-studded presentations by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Rachel Feinstein, BHQF will inaugurate a show whose putative subject is "the history of organized labor and the idea of work itself." The exhibition will include, among other objects, a 12-foot bronze sculpture of a rat (the sort unions use to protest scab labor), a "pedagogical video," a large-scale painting, and several "janitorial objects" sculpted from Play-Doh, among them mop buckets, trash cans, chairs, and a copy machine. All this deposited squarely at the feet of the wheeling-and-dealing 1 Percent. Among the hard questions sure to be asked are: Will this art triumph over the speculative traps that await? And can you really be an art star if you refuse to be photographed? Lever House, 390 Park Avenue,

Alighiero Boetti
July 1 through October 1

From his early days as an experimental artist in the late 1960s to his untimely death in 1994, the Italian artist Alighiero Boetti led a powerfully poetic assault on order, formalism, and authorship. A leading purveyor of Arte Povera, or poor art, Boetti combined exploration of everyday materials with a well-traveled conceptual cosmopolitanism-he made art in countries like Guatemala, Sudan, and Afghanistan. This timely retrospective (since 2010, there have been provincial imitations of Boetti all over the Lower East Side) includes a 1973 monumental drawing made with ballpoint pen titled Mettere al Mondo il Mondo (Bringing the World Into the World), a work that speaks volumes about bringing life into art and art into life. Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street,

'Ghosts in the Machine'
July 18 through October 7

Nearly a riposte to the Web-inspired, Tumblr-led New Aesthetic, this survey of the constantly shifting relationship between humans, machines, and art renders today's iPhone creativity historical. Organized as a cabinet of curiosities, the show will consider (among other ideas) how machines get anthropomorphized and how technology is increasingly capable of transforming subjective experiences. Featuring an archive of artworks by historical and contemporary figures like Richard Hamilton, Stan VanDerBeek, Christopher Williams, Bridget Riley, Mark Leckey, and Hans Haacke alongside non-art objects, the exhibition presents some 50 years of artist-led future thinking- with an accent on both the practical and the far-out visionary. Pay special attention to the futures that never arrived. New Museum, 235 Bowery,

Camilo José Vergara
June 13 through September 16

A photographic essay begun by MacArthur grant recipient Camilo José Vergara in 1977, Harlem: The Place documents both dramatic and subtle changes to the streetwise fabric of the capital of black America. A second part of a larger display-the first was titled Harlem: The People-Vergara's follow-up show focuses on the neighborhood's brick-and-mortar changes, as demonstrated by urban crisis, regeneration, and finally gentrification. A selfdescribed "archivist of decline," Vergara gets down transformations abiding in the "walls, signs, trees, and sidewalks." Part of a three-decade project that includes another 20 American cities, Vergara's pictures will eventually comprise a record the artist calls The Visual Encyclopedia of the American Ghetto. New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West,

Rineke Dijkstra
June 29 through October 3

A mid-career survey of more than 70 color photographs and five video installations by this Vermeer of camera work, Dijkstra's most comprehensive institutional exhibition to date is also her first major American museum outing. A master of the straightforward photograph of individuals in transition, this artist has captured teenagers on the make, soldiers after their induction, new mothers after giving birth, and bloodied bullfighters after a corrida. Her pictures reveal lives shifting, identities molting, and-generally speaking-the bloom going off the rose for people who are at once strangers yet remarkably familiar. Profoundly subtle work tuned to a fine humanist pitch, this show is not to be missed. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue,

'Signs & Symbols'
June 28 through October 28

You'd hardly know it today, but it wasn't all de Kooning and Pollock in New York in the 1940s and '50s. American abstraction was, instead, chock-full of competing voices. Signs & Symbols sheds new light on America's greatest generation of artistic game changers. Drawn from the museum's deep holdings of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs, this display looks to right a few wrongs in the art historical canon. Including works by Will Barnet, Forrest Bess, Charles Seliger, and Mark Tobey, among others, the show moves away from AbEx muscle and toward figurative and calligraphic mark making. The third in a series of exhibitions aimed at reassessing the museum's collection, this display reconsiders the era's iconic figures and masterworks. Whitney Museum, 945 Madison Avenue,

'Caribbean: Crossroads of the World'
June 12 through January 6

Even in New York, the center has relocated to the margins. A three-museum blockbuster that looks to examine the development of art and aesthetics across the multicultural Caribbean, this show constitutes both a history lesson and a contemporary guide to a burgeoning visual culture. Centering on the era opened by the Haitian Revolution- the area's first successful bid for independence-the show spans the history of the Caribbean, from early colonization to the present, touching on subjects like slavery, geography, commerce, migration, hybridism, and paradise. Some three years in the making, this show is the first time the three institutions have collaborated on a single exhibition.

El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue, Queens Museum of Art, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th Street,



New York City Ballet
June 5 through 10

American Ballet Theatre
June 21 through 23

What better ballet to see in June-preferably with a lover-than one based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and set to Mendelssohn's exquisite overture and incidental music? This year, New Yorkers get their choice of two such versions. In George Balanchine's work for New York City Ballet (which incorporates additional Mendelssohn works), the four lovers' wranglings and Titania's tiff with Oberon are resolved in one act. Then, the second-act celebration introduces two newcomers-neither fairies nor mortal, just gorgeous dancers, who, in their classical pas de deux, tell us everything we should know about ideal love. Bevies of child dancers. Hippolyta, the betrothed Amazon queen, leaping about with a bow. Who said Balanchine didn't know how to tell stories? K David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center,

Two weeks later, ABT offers Frederick Ashton's The Dream, which wraps everything up in one act. Its final pas de deux, set to Mendelssohn's heart-stirring nocturne, is a rapturous union of the sparring fairy rulers, in which Titania, pointe shoes not withstanding, seems to melt gradually into Oberon's embrace. Bottom, changed into an ass, dances en pointe, too, his black shoes doubling as hooves. See The Dream June 21 through 23, and you also get Alexei Ratmansky's brand-new Firebird, which debuts June 11 through 13; on the first night, the magic avian will be performed by guest artist Natalia Osipova (formerly of the Bolshoi, now with St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Theatre) on a program that includes Balanchine's Apollo, danced by David Hallberg (now with the Bolshoi part-time), and Christopher Wheeldon's Thirteen Diversions. K Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center,

Tero Saarinen: 'Borrowed Light' 'The Men Dancers: From the Horse's Mouth'
July 11 through 15

Even if you saw Finnish choreographer Tero Saarinen's extraordinary take on the American Shakers at BAM in 2007, you should drive up the Taconic to experience it at Jacob's Pillow, where it made its U.S. debut in 2006. The celibate sect's outpourings of suppressed lust and religious ecstasy look and sound glorious in the Ted Shawn Theatre, a former barn, where the dancers mingle with the singers of the Boston Camerata. In the Pillow's Doris Duke Studio Theatre, male dancers and choreographers of all stripes will dance and tell their stories in The Men Dancers: From the Horse's Mouth, in honor of Shawn's Men Dancers and the Pillow's 80th anniversary. Jacob's Pillow, 358 George Carter Road, Becket, Massachusetts,

July 16 through August 11

Every summer, you can predict that goldenrod will sprout in the meadows, and Pilobolus will bloom on the Joyce stage. As always, the company's comic fantasies and darker ones emerge through athletic, erotic mergings and biomorphic shapes built of bodies. This time, each of the two alternating programs features a premiere by an interesting outside choreographer: Program One offers a work by Michael Moschen, probably the only juggler to have received a MacArthur "Genius Grant"; on Program Two, the guest dancemaker is the adventurous thirtysomething Belgian Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui-half-Moroccan, half-Flemish. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue,

David Gordon
June 1 through 30

Gordon has been creating works for 50 years now, and the obstreperousness he displayed during his years with Judson Dance Theater and Grand Union remains undiminished. No one can bat around words and movement with his wit and verve. His Beginning of the End of the . . . Riffs off two plays and a story by Pirandello to investigate the "absurd inconsistencies" of our perceptions and more. He'll be aided in his mission by a cast of 10, one of whom is his marvelous wife, Valda Setterfield. Two others are puppets, and all play more than one role. Joyce Soho, 155 Mercer Street,

Mark Morris Dance Group
August 22 through 25

Morris is no longer playing both the heroine and her nemesis in his superb and slightly transgressive production of Henry Purcell's opera, Dido and Aeneas. This time, as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival, he's conducting an offstage musical ensemble that includes the fabulous mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe. Onstage, the dancers in their unisex black tunics will depict the tragedy of the abandoned Dido and the vexed sorceress who engineers her lover's departure. In Morris's hands, the choreography has a raunchy side, but also melts ravishingly into Purcell's limpid arias. Frederick P. Rose Hall, 33 West 60th Street,



June 20 through July 1

An undeniably essential collection of emerging indie talent (as recently vetted by Cannes, Sundance, SXSW, Rotterdam, and other prestigious stops on the festival circuit), BAMcinématek's fourth annual showcase of new American cinema will cure your empty-souled-blockbuster blues. Opening with Mike Birbiglia's self-referential comedy of anxieties Sleepwalk With Me, and ending on Don Letts's deliciously anecdotal Rock 'n' Roll Exposed: The Photography of Bob Gruen, BAMcinemaFest's eclectic lineup boasts a heaping handful of NYC premieres. Among the highlights are two provocative behavioral studies: Craig Zobel's Compliance (a divisive procedural based on real events, about fast-food employees manipulated by phone to commit criminally invasive acts) and Rick Alverson's transgressively brilliant The Comedy-an itchy critique of entitlement starring avant-garde comedian Tim Heidecker as one of Williamsburg's overprivileged.Critic-turned-filmmaker Dan Sallitt's potent coming-of-ager The Unspeakable Act busts romantic taboos in Ditmas Park, while Tim Sutton's gorgeously lensed tone poem Pavilion wistfully evokes childhood summers of riding bikes and swimming in suburban Arizona. Double threats Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky bring their nursing-home doc portrait The Patron Saints and their stylized narrative debut, Francine (with a grungy Melissa Leo as the eponymous animal-obsessed ex-con), both of which share the hypnotic pacing of So Yong Kim's poignant For Ellen, starring Paul Dano as a screw-up rocker trying to gain custody of his daughter. Too somber for your mood? Then don't miss Jonathan Lisecki's Gayby, a hilariously bitchy but sweet comedy that serves as Gotham's answer to Portlandia. K Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn,

Rooftop Films
Through August 18

Exciting indie programming, live musical events, and a warm breeze in your hair: Rooftop's 16th annual summer series again brings its expert showmanship to 45 outdoor screening events throughout the city. Watch for Caveh Zahedi's The Sheik and I (a giddily feather-ruffling exposé of creative hypocrisy), Amy Seimetz's vividly tense magic-hour psychodrama Sun Don't Shine, and Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippet's artful and wonderfully candid Only the Young-which tracks the urgent yet aimless lives of two Christian teen skater pals in the California desert. Rooftop Films, various locations,

Jean Epstein
June 1 through 7

The first in Anthology Film Archives' two-part survey focuses on the silent films of this visually innovative French filmmaker and avant-garde theorist, best known for his spooky 1928 adaptation of The Fall of the House of Usher and 1927's equally haunting The Three-Sided Mirror. Recently restored and rarely screened, the series includes the impressionistic melodrama Cæur Fidèle and the meta-cinematographic Six Et Demi Onze. A panel of scholars will discuss Epstein's early oeuvre following the June 6 screening of his Brittany fishermen quasi-doc Finis Terrae. Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue,

Spaghetti Westerns
June 1 through 21

Newbies to the sweaty, violent, mostly Italian-produced oaters of the '60s and '70s have no excuse to miss genre godfather Sergio Leone's two masterpieces (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West), but Film Forum's 16-film program digs deep in the sand-or snow, if you count Sergio Corbucci's wintry, mute-gunfighter epic The Great Silence. Wild cards include Kill and Pray (co-starring controversial auteur Pier Paolo Pasolini as a Mexican priest) and Yankee, directed by Caligula's Tinto Brass. Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street,

'Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present'
June 13 through 26

Named for the MOMA retrospective on the Serbian performance-art sensation's four-decade body of work, director Matthew Akers's debut is a revealing look at Abramovic's complicated relationships with both her audience and former lover/ collaborator Ulay. From vintage footage of the now-65-year-old radical publicly whipping and cutting herself, to 2010's main event-a three-month stone-faced sitting in front of curious, often obsessive museumgoers-the film warmly and perceptively makes a solid case for an answer to the question: "Is this art?" Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street,

New York Asian Film Festival
June 29 through July 15

Revel in the filth, fury, and freaky fun of the city's wildest fest, as opening night kicks off with Hong Kong novelist-cumfilmmaker Pang Ho-cheung and his lewd, high-energy comedy Vulgaria. Oldboy star Choi Min-sik will be on hand to present his new Korean mob flick, Nameless Gangster, and a special sidebar dedicated to Taiwanese cinema includes the uncut, four-hour-plus Seediq Bale, a raw 1930-set drama that has been compared to Braveheart with countless beheadings. The series only gets weirder from there. The Film Society of Lincoln Center, 144 West 65th Street,

July 27

Hands down the funniest film of the year, Mikkel Nørgaard's irreverent Danish comedy plays like a superior, and way grosser, version of The Hangover. (How ironic that Todd Phillips is soon producing an American remake!) Discovering that everyone except him knew about his girlfriend's pregnancy, a nebbishy man-child-about to take a canoe trip to an exclusive brothel with his ultra-perverted pal-irrationally kidnaps her poor young nephew for the ride. From ill-advised threesomes to photographing little-boy penises, they don't call them "gags" for nothing. Drafthouse Films, in limited release,

'Red Hook Summer'
August 10

Do the Right Thing's pizza-delivery boy Mookie (Spike Lee) might make an early cameo, but don't call Spike's ambitious, uncompromising, and musically charged return to Brooklyn a sequel. When "frohawked" Atlanta teen Flik (Jules Brown) is dumped on his preacher grandpa Enoch (The Wire's Clarke Peters) in the titular projects for the summer, the generational and ideological clashes become palpable, as do the community's frustrations after the darkest of plot twists. Enoch offers up powerful sermons, though close your eyes, and it's suddenly Spike at the pulpit. Variance Films, in limited release,

'The Loneliest Planet'
August 24

Hiking through the stunningly shot Caucasus Mountains in the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia, Alex (Gael García Bernal) and his flame-haired fiancée, Nica (Hani Furstenberg), seem like the perfect hipster couple, until a subtle split-second choice irreversibly cracks the veneer. Julia Loktev's marvelous, slow-burning follow-up to her minimalist thriller Day Night Day Night somehow manages to be both audacious and subtle: Awkward silences become deafening, and the spacious wilderness unsettles with a devastating claustrophobia. Sundance Selects, in limited release,



Bang on a Can Marathon
June 17

Given that the Bang on a Can organizers are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, it makes sense that they'd pull out all the stops for this iteration of their annual free summer festival. During this year's 12-hour stretch of adventurous contemporary music, you can expect to see some alt-rock boldface names like David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth performing solo works. That's in addition to a presentation of Steve Reich's Six Pianos and a performance by Pauline Oliveros's Deep Listening Band. But don't just try to catch the familiar names; the great thing about spending time at a Bang marathon is discovering a previously unknown act, like Buke and Gase (who came to broader attention after their 2010 appearance). World Financial Center, 200 Vesey Street,

Hilary Hahn & Hauschka
June 20

Hilary Hahn wants you to know she's not just your average, elegant violin virtuoso. So when she's not tackling rough pieces of modern repertoire-think Charles Ives and Arnold Schoenberg- she's cutting albums with the German prepared-piano experimentalist Volker Bertelmann, who is better known to indie-world types as Hauschka. This concert celebrates the release of Silfra, their collaborative, improvisational album on the venerable Deutsche Grammophon label (which might now be wondering if it'll get its first-ever Pitchfork review). City Winery, 155 Varick Street,

The Governors Ball
June 23 through 24

So Fiona Apple is back! Perhaps you saw some of the breathless coverage during SXSW or the reporting on the long (natch) title of her forthcoming record? She's probably going to be unseeable in small venues for the foreseeable future-so both new fans and those with deeper bragging rights are advised to check out her set at this Randalls Island festival, which is promising no overlapping sets. (That's good news for the nostalgic, who won't have to make an agonizing choice between Apple and, say, Beck.) Major Lazer and Santigold are putative highlights among the rest of the lineup. Randalls Island Park,

New York Philharmonic
June 29 through 30

It's something serious when the philharmonic has to leave Lincoln Center to put on a show. The occasion this time is truly remarkable: a rare NYC performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen's epic Gruppen for three orchestras (they play simultaneously). This is not just the most exciting thing on the philharmonic's schedule this year; it should also prove to be a contemporaryart event, full stop. The theme of the evening is music prepared with "spatial" concepts in mind-and so the 55,000-square-foot Armory will be put to use for a staging prepared by director Michael Counts. Expect cacophony, expect disorientation, expect a scene. Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue,

Roomful of Teeth
June 30

Did you know that Pazz & Jop 2011 winner Merrill Garbus, a/k/a tUnE-yArDs, knows how to write notes down on paper? At the behest of New Amsterdam Records organizers William Brittelle and Judd Greenstein, Garbus has contributed music to a vocal ensemble called Roomful of Teeth. That debut record, new Garbus music included, is scheduled to be released later this year, but this free show presents an opportunity for an advance hearing. World Financial Center, 200 Vesey Street,

Morton Subotnick
July 8

Subotnick pioneered electronic music in the '60s with albums like Silver Apples of the Moon, as well as at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, which he co-founded (and where he co-commissioned the first synthesizer from Don Buchla). This "composition-improvisation" performance of "Energy Shapes," presided over by Subotnick, will see him feeding vocals into the Buchla 200e model, manipulating and spinning them out via his own patented process into a work that will probably be hard to describe, other than as a product of Subotnick's inimitable style. Michael Schimmel Center, Pace University, 3 Spruce Street,

Dirty Projectors and Wye Oak
July 10

For one of the benefit concerts to support the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, the indierock group will tout the release of their new album, Swing Lo Magellan, which is due to be released on the same day. The addition of Wye Oak-whose most recent effort for Merge Records, Civilian, represented a career high-gives this lineup the slight edge over Wilco (who take their turn celebrating the borough on July 23 and 24). Prospect Park Bandshell, Brooklyn,

Neko Case
July 12

This singer-songwriter brings her bottomless vocal technique to the free Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival. Case doesn't have a new record to promote, but so what? The concert will be a top draw simply on the basis of her six-album solo songbook. One evening earlier, Buddy Guy will take care of the guitar side of the blues. World Financial Center, 200 Vesey Street,



'As You Like It'
Performances begin June 5

'Into the Woods'
Performances begin July 23

Is the Central Park ramble ready for its close-up? This summer, the surroundings of Shakespeare in the Park will play two different roles: the welcoming forest of Arden in As You Like It and the more sinister giant-laden thicket in a revival of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. Of course, theater is not accomplished with trees alone, so the flora will be joined by the likes of Lily Rabe as Rosalind and Stephen Spinella as Jacques in As You Like It, with original music by Steve Martin; and Amy Adams as the Baker's Wife and Donna Murphy as the Witch in Into the Woods, directed by Timothy Sheader. The Delacorte Theater in Central Park,

Performances begin June 6

Come and knock on their door/They've been waiting for you/Where the kisses are hers and hers and his and very likely intensely discomfiting and hyperreal. The new David Adjmi play, 3C, directed by Jackson Gay, concerns Brad, a distressed Vietnam vet who attempts a housing arrangement with the nubile Connie and Linda. Adjmi cites his inspirations as 1950s existentialist comedy, Chekhov, disco anthems, and a certain 1970s network comedy that obsessed him as a child. But if we know Adjmi, who likes to strip away social veneers to expose violent tragedy, expect that laugh track to turn troubling-and possibly bloody. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 224 Waverly Place,

'Uncle Vanya'
Performances begin June 7

Playwright Annie Baker and director Sam Gold are spending the summer in the country, but that isn't as soothing as it sounds. They'll be sojourning among the disappointed, the disaffected, the loveless, the hopeless, the unfulfilled and unhappy and unwise-the whole Chekhovian gang as Baker offers a new adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya at Soho Rep. Working from a literal translation, Baker aims to "unearth the grammar and colloquialisms omitted in existing English versions." If their production, which stars Reed Birney, Maria Dizzia, and Michael Shannon, leaves you feeling insufficiently hapless, you can double dip with another Vanya later this summer, this one starring Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett, courtesy of the Lincoln Center Festival. Soho Rep, 46 Walker Street,

Performances begin June 8

Whether you're for or against our current wars, surely you want to support our troops. But would you really want to adopt one? That's the premise of Ethan Lipton's Luther, one of three plays in Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks season. Lipton, a playwright and troubadour, recently scored a hit with No Place To Go, a semiautobiographical song cycle about an office slob downsized when his company moves to Mars. He lends that same playful melancholy and slanted vision to this comedy, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, about a bourgeois couple who bring home a troubled vet. The Summerworks season continues with Peggy Stafford's Motel Cherry, co-produced with New Georges. Here Arts Center, 145 Sixth Avenue,

Ice Factory Festival
Performances begin June 27

The Ice Factory moniker was always a massive misnomer for the annual summer festival at the old Ohio Theatre. Many of the shows were cool, sure, but the lack of air-conditioning made for a sweaty celebration. But newly ensconced on Christopher Street, with working HVAC, the festival might prove icier than ever. This year's six productions include Everywhere Theatre Group's Flying Snakes in 3-D, in which serpents attack young thespians; Godlight Theatre Company's Pilo Family Circus, which centers on sadistic clowns; and Bekah Brunstetter's Miss Lilly Gets Boned, which seems fairly self-explanatory. The New Ohio Theatre, 154 Christopher Street,

'Serious Money' 'Monster'
Performances begin July 3

Does PTP/NYC suffer from seasonal affective disorder in reverse? Every summer, this New York wing of the Potomac Theatre Project celebrates the solstice with a repertory schedule composed of the darkest and most despairing dramas imaginable. Its vision of summer nights: murder, suicide, rape, madness. This year, you can add financial malfeasance and corpse-robbing to that list. PTP co-artistic director Cheryl Faraone leads off with a revival of Caryl Churchill's slick and cunning Serious Money, about a crisis in London's City, which is soon joined by Neal Bell's chilling Frankenstein adaptation, Monster, directed by Jim Petosa, also co-artistic director. The Atlantic Stage 2, 330 West 16th Street,

'Druid Murphy'
Performances begin July 5

The latest wave of Irish émigrés comes courtesy of Galway's Druid Theatre Company at the Lincoln Center Festival. Having previously arrived on our shores with plays by J.M. Synge and Sean O'Casey, Druid returns with a cycle of three plays by the lesserknown playwright Tom Murphy, helmed by Tony winner Garry Hynes. Ranging in time from the 1840s to the 1970s, these plays explore the repercussions of emigration on individuals, families, and a nation. You can see each play on its own or view three in a single day, with ample breaks for the imbibing of stout and soda bread. Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 899 Tenth Avenue,

'The Merry Wives of Windsor'
Performances begin July 5

Performances begin July 27

Does your turn signal tick in iambic pentameter? Are your windshield wipers swishes of stichomythia, every honk of your horn an anguished soliloquy? Then you, dear driver, should pull in for the summer season of Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot. All performances are held in the Municipal Parking Lot at the corner of Ludlow and Broome, and tickets are free, though if you treat the show as a drive-in, you will have to pay the Muni Meter. This summer, Drilling Company artistic director Hamilton Clancy takes on comedy and tragedy, wringing pathos and dodging traffic in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Coriolanus. Municipal Parking Lot, at Ludlow and Broome streets,

Performances begin August 24

Playwright Lisa D'Amour has carved out a downtown niche. Well, two of them, actually. First, she made a splash as an architect of darkly baroque dreams like Red Death and 16 Spells to Charm the Beast. Yet she also became known for her playful, elliptical, feminine performance works, conceived in collaboration with Katie Pearl. Now she has moved several blocks uptown and turned her hand to a new form: naturalism. Detroit takes place in the backyards of adjoining suburban houses and concerns two couples in financial free fall. Anne Kaufmann directs the bickering and barbecues. Playwrights Horizons, 416 West 42nd Street,

'If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet'
Performances begin August 24

Anyone who has ever been tempted to lick his or her computer or television screen when Jake Gyllenhaal's face appeared upon it will now have a chance to enjoy the swoony actor in three dimensions. Although Gyllenhaal made his stage debut many years ago in London, he has yet to grace the New York boards. But that will change when Gyllenhaal appears at the Roundabout Theatre in Nick Payne's drama as Terry, an aimless uncle who befriends his fat and friendless 15-yearold niece. Payne, a playwright increasingly lauded in his native London, writes small, quiet plays with disproportionately large impacts. Michael Longhurst, who helmed a much-praised production of Payne's Constellations, directs. Laura Pels Theatre, 111 West 46th Street,