Flavorpill Guide to the Week’s Top 10 New York Events

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For our (unconscionably high) rent money, the best thing about living in NYC is its endless supply of fun, odd, and inspired cultural events. But with so many options, it can be hard to know where to even begin planning your week. To help you make sense of it all, Flavorpill Deputy Editor Mindy Bond shares the very best of what’s on offer this week. It’s just a taste of what you can find on the new Flavorpill, so if you like what you see, be sure to sign up.

Monday, March 18

THEATER: NEWYORKNEWYORK Festival The Labyrinth Theater Company would like you to stop and smell New York’s roses, as well as its other various scents, at this free week-long theatrical salute to the city that never sleeps. For the first four nights of this celebration, actors such as Sam Rockwell and Bobby Cannavale are slated to participate in readings of plays with New York themes, including Israel Horovitz’s The Indian Wants the Bronx, John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, and Stephen Adly Guirgis’ In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings. Each reading is followed by a discussion. The festival’s weekend is marked by a marathon of round-the-clock theater. For 48 hours straight, the work of a variety of noteworthy playwrights is brought to life by Labyrinth Company members, guest artists and even audience members. Tickets to the first four nights are available via online lottery the day of, and the marathon is first-come, first-served. Better rest up, because there’s a whole lot of free theater to be had. — Mindy Bond

Tuesday, March 19

FOOD/WINE: Choice Eats (Flavorpill Giveaway!) Whether you’re a casual nibbler or a full-on foodie, you aren’t going to want to miss the sixth serving of theVillage Voice‘s Choice Eats; it’s like the food equivalent of going to Disneyland. With over 78 participants confirmed, the massive tasting fête allows ticket holders to graze on a range of cuisines from lovable spots across the boroughs and New Jersey, including Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Dirt Candy, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Allswell, La Morada, and Zenon Taverna. Just imagine how much it would cost you in subway fare alone if you tried to hit up all those spots in one night. And this savory bargain buffet doesn’t end at the first course: sweet treats are available from sources such as Robicelli’s, Ample Hills Creamery, and S’more Bakery, plus complimentary beer, wine, and cocktails are poured throughout the night and Vito and Druzzi of the Rapture are DJing. Chefs from participating restaurants are also expected, and Sarah Simmons, founder of CITY GRIT, is conducting a cooking demo during the VIP hour. As we see it, there isn’t much to contemplate when it comes to a belly pleaser like this. Click through to win a ticket to this sold-out event! — Mindy Bond

Wednesday, March 20

FILM: New Directors/New Films A long-term cinematic affair between MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New Directors/New Films is a place to discover the most innovative voices in filmmaking today. Over the course of its 42-year history, the festival has introduced audiences to directors such as Steven Spielberg, Todd Solondz, Christopher Nolan, and Pedro Almodóvar. This year’s slate, all New York premieres, includes 25 features (19 narrative and six documentary) and 17 shorts representing 24 countries. Films of particular note are Alexandra Moore’s Blue Caprice, a psychological thriller inspired by the Beltway snipers starring Isaiah Washington; Shane Carruth’s latest science fiction puzzler, Upstream Color; Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, an award-winning documentary that gives Indonesian death squad leaders the chance to re-act their crimes in the style of American movies; and Sarah Polley’s genre-bending Stories We Tell. In addition to its regular locations, MoMA PS1 has been added to the mix with a screening of Le Coquillettes in its VW Performance Dome. The 12-day fete concludes on a high note with Penny Lane’s Our Nixon, an entertaining and evocative documentary that blends Super-8 film shot by the President’s closest aides with period news footage, excerpts from the Nixon tapes, and contemporary interviews. — Mindy Bond

MUSIC: Local X Local: 25 Years of Brooklyn Brewery

Thursday, March 21

MUSIC: Tyondai Braxton: HIVE (Flavorpill Giveaway!) Venture to the Guggenheim tonight for a multimedia performance conceived by former Battles frontman Tyondai Braxton, which we bet is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Several years in the making, Hive involves Braxton, along with musician Ben Vida and percussionists Yuri Yamashita, Jared Soldiviero and John Ostrowski, playing never-before-heard material on top of massive pod-like platforms designed by Danish architect and carpenter Uffe Surland Van Tams. Employing modular synthesis, sound design and acoustic instruments, Hive promises to be a truly unique multi-sensory experience. Event-goers are invited to travel up the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda to check out the museum’s fantastic Gutai: Spendid Playground exhibit before and during the musical festivities. And for the thirsty ones, don’t despair, complimentary drinks are also being poured. Click through to win tickets. — Mindy Bond

ART: Will Kurtz: Another Shit Show

Friday, March 22

COMEDY: NYC Improv Festival

MUSIC: Planetarium Unless there’s some mission in the works or Hollywood’s delivering some sci-fi smash, the solar system doesn’t really get the attention it deserves. Which could be why The National’s Bryce Dessner, composer Nico Muhly, and indie prophet Sufjan Stevens mind-melded for the production of Planetarium. A sonic celebration of the Earth and its celestial brethren, the performance is broken into two parts. For the first half, a string quartet made of members of yMusic and ACME performs the artists’ classically informed compositions. Then, the tenor changes as Stevens’ voice is added into the mix and each planet is given its air time. The entire musically scientific spectacle transpires under a giant orb with memorizing visuals reflecting the nature of each heavenly body. Tickets are sure to go fast, so get your rockets fired if you want in on this cosmic action. — Mindy Bond

Saturday, March 23

SPORTS: Red Bull Mini Drome NYC with Ninjasonik

Sunday, March 24

FOOD/WINE: The Big Cheesy If ever there were a reason to put your diet on hold, it’s this: Openhouse Gallery’s Big Cheesy Grilled Cheese Competition. This two-day pop-up resto and culinary throwdown pitches purveyors including Melt Shop (2012 winner), Milk Truck (2011 winner), Murray’s, Lucy’s Whey, and more against one another. You’re the judge, so best taste all that’s on offer at this “homage to fromage.” Helping it go down even easier: the tasting is paired with a tall boy of Sixpoint. — Leah Taylor