This fall brings an influx of varied cultural happenings to New York City.Lincoln Center has jazz, dance and opera; Clive Owen and Keira Knightley will take the Broadway stage thanks to the Roundabout Theatre Company; the Intrepid looks back at its own history and that of the Hubble telescope; and the Morgan Library offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the life and work of novelist Ernest Hemingway. These are just a few of the options—read on for our full recommendations, and details on how to see them for yourself.
The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling is set to open this season, giving young children and their families a chance to learn about this Harlem neighborhood and the world at large through exhibitions, performances, hands-on workshops and other programs. The expansive, skylit museum space was designed by renowned architect David Adjaye.
The Staten Island Museum, which welcomes more than 200,000 visitors each year, will expand its new Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden home in September. In 1965 museum members saved the Snug Harbor site from demolition—and soon, the institute’s collection will inhabit a renovated building on the grounds, a 19th-century landmark structure that was once a dormitory for retired seamen.
Finally, St. Ann’s Warehouse at the Tobacco Warehouse—nestled in the heart of Brooklyn Bridge Park, near the beloved Jane’s Carousel—has undergone a $31 million transformation, turning what was a large empty space (with cool brick walls and archways) into a year-round performing arts facility. Set to open in November, it will include a theater space, a multi-use artists’ studio and an open-air garden, which will be accessible to the public during Brooklyn Bridge Park hours.
This year many of the City’s venerable institutions celebrate big birthdays. The Roundabout Theatre Company will get a big gift as it turns 50: the Broadway debut of Clive Owen, who stars in Harold Pinter’s Old Times starting this September. Another debut, by actress Keira Knightley, comes in October in a new stage adaptation of the novel Thérèse Raquin. Other productions include She Loves Me, The Humans and Noises Off.
Carnegie Hall, meanwhile, turns 125 this year—and will celebrate with a typically packed schedule. The season begins with an opening-night gala, on October 7, featuring music director Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic. Other highlights include performances from pianist Yefim Bronfman, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash and Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic through a comprehensive series of Beethoven’s nine symphonies.
The New Victory Theater has birthday programming lined up too. Its 20th-anniversary season kicks off in October with a production ofRobin Hood by the Seattle Children’s Theatre. The circus-themedPedal Punk and the Shakespearean comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream are among the shows that follow.
Meanwhile, the Noguchi Museum turns the big 3-0 this year. On the heels of its enhanced garden reopening in September, the museum has scheduled the on-site exhibition Museum of Stones to debut on October 7. It features works from more than two dozen artists focusing on the role of stone in human civilization, culture and art.
Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms glitters with more than 100 Butuan Kingdom–era objects from the island of Mindanao. The gold necklaces, bangles, ritual bowls, chains and weapons, which date from the 10th to 13th centuries, will be on display for the first time in the United States starting this September.
BAM’s Next Wave Festival, which has been running since 1983, focuses on avant-garde music, theater, opera and dance. Among this year’s highlights are dance works Walking with ‘Trane and Umusuna: Memories Before History; a newly translated Antigone; Miranda July’s New Society; and play-film hybrid Helen Lawrence. Expect intriguing work from emerging avant-garde talents, with plenty of artist talks worked into the stew.
The Bronx Museum of the Arts is a contemporary art museum that specializes in art spanning cross-cultural boundaries. It also exhibits works from Bronx-based artists and plays a central role in the community. This November, Martin Wong—who was a painter and regular figure in New York’s downtown art scene of the 1980s and ’90s—will get his first museum retrospective since his death in 1999.
Human Instamatic is part of a recent citywide examination into Wong’s role as a collector of early graffiti pieces that later become crucial in assessing the role of street art in NYC. The exhibition also explores Wong’s contributions as a painter, showing more than 100 of his works alongside rare archival materials.
Housed on a retired World War II aircraft carrier docked in the Hudson River, this floating museum holds some of the most recognizable air-, sea–and spacecraft in history—not least of which is the Hubble Space Telescope. Running until January 10, 2016, the Hubble@25 exhibition tells the story of the Hubble via artifacts, photographs and, of course, cosmic images produced by the powerful telescope. Opening October 16, On the Line: Intrepid & the Vietnam War, focuses on the Intrepid itself, which served three tours of duty during the Vietnam War. The exhibition explores the story of the carrier and its crew, with an emphasis on the Gulf of Tonkin incident, though photographs, videos and personal narratives.
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This fall Lincoln Center has lined up a typically diverse schedule. Throughout September the Coca-Cola Generations in Jazz Festival will showcase established artists alongside up-and-comers; highlights include Charenee Wade performing pieces by Brian Jackson and Gil Scott-Heron and a joint bill with Michael Mwenso and Brianna Thomas.The Great Performers concert series, which runs from October to early June, will feature the likes of tenor Mark Padmore, violinist Ray Chen, soprano Christine Brewer and the London Symphony Orchestra. The high-minded White Light Festival, meanwhile, aspires to “reveal the many dimensions of our interior lives,” according to organizers; the slate encompasses music, theater and dance.
For as many whirls, twirls and pirouettes as you could want, there’s the fall portion of New York City Ballet’s 2015–16 season (September 22 to October 18), which includes Swan Lake and Liebeslieder Walzer; around the holidays The Nutcracker will take center stage. TheAmerican Ballet Theatre also returns to Lincoln Center for their 75th anniversary season, debuting four new shows and five old favorites from October 21 through November 1.
Of course, there’s also the Metropolitan Opera, whose astounding season includes new productions of Otello, Tosca and Lulu, plus a revival of Les Pêcheurs de Perles. Finally, the whole family can enjoy this year’s iteration of the Big Apple Circus, a 1920s-themed extravaganza that runs from late October through mid-January.
Known for works like The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway is among the most respected American authors of the 20th century. Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars, a new exhibition at the Morgan Library, offers insight into his life that’s likely to fascinate his fans—and anyone with more than a passing interest in literature. Find early drafts of Hemingway’s popular works (and lesser-known stories), notes, letters to fellow authors like Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald, photographs and other artifacts.
This Long Island City museum is set to host Gabriel Sierra: Numbers in a Room from September 20 to January 4. The show is Sierra’s first solo exhibition in New York City. The Colombian-born artist will create a site-specific installation in the lower-level galleries, playing with the geometry and scale of the exhibition space. Running concurrently will be Anthea Hamilton: Lichen! Libido! Chastity!, which will feature new and existing works by Hamilton about countercultural movements and their appropriation by those in the mainstream.
New York City of Trees, a collection of photographs by Benjamin Swett that surveys the City’s trees in all five boroughs (including several from Wave Hill), highlights the garden’s offerings this season. Swett wants to demonstrate that trees are not only natural wonders but also part of the NYC’s landscape and history. The exhibition runs until March 2016.
Kids will be spellbound by the Enchanted Wave Hill Weekend (October 3–4), which includes fairy-themed arts and crafts, storytelling and dress up. Bring them back two weeks later for Honey Weekend, which will include samples and tastings of the sweet stuff from gourmet suppliers.