Gothamist Spring Guide: 20 Fun Things To Do In May

<br/><br/>Flowers are blooming, people are sneezing and we're so close to summer we can almost <em>feel</em> it. They say activities make the time go faster, so here are some suggestions to pass the time until it's a 24/7 jorts party.

(Calli Higgins/Flickr)

<br/><br/>This year marks the 50th anniversary of Warhol's Factory, and although thinking about NYC's most recognizable artistic institution may make you pine for a time before Frozen Yogurt Shops, the Dillon Gallery is offering you a glimpse of the more artist-friendly metropolis of yore. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday until May 24, the gallery will <a href="">recreate the Chelsea studio</a> of seminal 78-year-old artist <strong>Ultra Violet</strong>.<br/><br/> If her name doesn't immediately ring a bell, just know that this French heiress was not only a one-time Warhol Superstar, but also Salvador Dali's muse. The exhibit will feature everything from paintings to film to neon works and even photos of her with famous friends. Two notable works include her recent Self-Portraits (2004) as well as her early film <em><a href="">Last Supper</a></em>.<em capraro=""><br/><br/><em>Open now through May 24th // <a href="">Dillon Gallery</a> // Free</em></em>

<br/><br/>If you enjoy being fucked gently with a chainsaw, then get ready for everybody's favorite subversive '80s black comedy <strong><a href="">Heathers</a></strong>, now playing at Off-Broadway theater New World Stages. This rendition of the 1988 cult classic, which originally featured Christian Slater in a cool trench coat and a murderous Winona Ryder in their quest for revenge at the highest echelon of teenage social cliques, strives to maintain the feel of the original while also taking many artistic liberties of its own. While many of the movie's classic catchphrases have been retained (i.e.: "how very"), <em>Bat Boy the Musical</em>'s composer Laurence O'Keefe infuses the production with new life thanks to musical numbers such as "My Dead Gay Son". Co-creator Kevin Murphy was also responsible for the musical rendition of <em>Reefer Madness</em>. <em>(Douglas Capraro)</em><br/><br/><em>Open now through September 7th // <a href="">New World Stages</a> // <a href=";cm_mmc=New-World-Stages-(NWS)-_-affiliate-_-web-_-VEN000026000&amp;cm_mmca1=venue&amp;cm_mmca2=ADSTHT&amp;cm_mmca3=131210">Tickets $50 - $75</a></em>

<br/><br/>Lauded newscaster <strong><a href=";utm_medium=Rotator_Roberts_Stephanopulos&amp;utm_campaign=Adult_Lectures">Robin Roberts</a></strong> has had a long history in broadcasting, from her beginnings on ESPN in 1990 on Sportscenter to her now starring role on <em>Good Morning America</em>. Roberts sits down with GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos this month to chat about the indelible mark she's left on broadcasting for the release of her new memoir <em>Everybody's Got Something</em>. The conversation will also touch on her recent health issues—including both breast cancer and a bone marrow disease—which caused her to temporarily leave her post behind the GMA desk. <br/><br/><em>Thursday, May 1st at 7:30 p.m. // <a href="">92nd Street Y</a> // <a href=";utm_medium=Rotator_Roberts_Stephanopulos&amp;utm_campaign=Adult_Lectures">Tickets from $29</a></em>

<br/><br/>The American Cancer Society throws their big annual foodie fundraising bash <strong><a href="">Taste of Hope</a></strong> this month. Each year the event honors someone with a vast culinary influence and this year it's <a href="">Chef Elizabeth Falkner</a>, whose career so far includes Michelin-recommended restaurants, James Beard wins and nominations and multiple ventures in California and NYC. <br/><br/>Besides the accolades and good deeds, there's also food; <a href="">lots and lots of food</a>. The tasting event includes eats from BLT Fish, Casa Nonna, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Clinton St. Baking Company and Recette, among others. Plus there's always some tasty wine on offer and after a glass or two you'll have the courage to ask Marcus Samuelsson where he buys his hats. <br/><br/><em>Thursday, May 1st at 7:30 p.m. // <a href="">82Mercer</a> // <a href="">GA $175</a></em>

<span class="">Sachyn Mital/Gothamist)</span><br/><br/>If you are one of those people who wouldn't even consider sandwiching yourself between two of your fellow NYers for the last seat on the train, you may be hesitant to attend <strong><a href="">Holi</a></strong>. This spring festival is usually celebrated by Hindus in areas of India and, among other things, it's an event that invites complete strangers to rub colored corn starch in each other's faces. <br/><br/>But those New Yorkers fearless enough to look a stranger eye-to-eye and take a face-full of powder or two will be in for a treat. On May 3, the Cultural Performing Arts Center in Brooklyn will host NYC's official celebration of Holi which, excluding the colored powder, is meant as a way for people of all kinds to get together and just have a good time. Also be sure to expect DJs, bands, delicious food, and, of course, some great people. <em>(Douglas Capraro)</em><br/><br/><em>Saturday, May 3rd at 2 p.m. // <a href="">The Cultural Performing Arts Center Pulse 48</a> // <a href="">Tickets $25</a></em>

<br/><br/>A group of Broadway performers and composers are coming together for <strong><a href="!next-up/c1t44">Un-Ironically Enthusiastic</a></strong>, an original show and evening of geeky flag waving about their favorite comic book characters, cartoons and so forth. The show, which takes place on Free Comic Book Day, features performers from shows like Footloose and War Horse, VH1 performers, YouTube "sensations" and other passionate folks for a big concert on topics like Pikachu, Tony Stark and grown up comic book nerds. "Be there or be labeled muggle," warns the press release, to give you a sense of what you're in for.<br/><br/><em>Saturday, May 3rd at 7 p.m. // <a href="">Laurie Beechman Theatre</a> // <a href="">Tickets $15</a> with food and drink minimum</em>

via on Yelp

Karen L.

<br/><br/>Comedian and Bob's Burgers voice actor Eugene Mirman regularly graces the stage at NYC venues like Union Hall and now he's taking his show on the road with <strong><a href="">Pretty Good Friends tour with Daniel Kitson</a></strong>. Kitson, an award-winning British comedian and monologuist, joins Mirman in seven US cities, including a stop in NYC on the 8th. If you've never been party to Mirman's unique comedic stylings, or <a href="">Kitson's irreverent and energetic mind</a>, you'll just have to trust us that this is a performance you don't want to miss.<br/><br/><em>Friday, May 16th at 8 p.m. // <a href="">Brooklyn Masonic Temple</a> // <a href="">Tickets $27.50</a></em>

<br/><br/>Perhaps as an attempt to repent for their cringe-inducing <em>Punk: From Chaos to Couture</em>, the Met will be opening the newly renovated Costume Institute with an exhibition on legendary 20th century couturier <strong><a href="">Charles James</a></strong>. This appropriately classy exhibition will explore James’s design process, spotlighting the glamour and resplendent architecture of James's ball gowns from the 1940s through 1950s. Many of his iconic pieces will be on display, as well as sketches, pattern pieces, unfinished works, and video demonstrations of his unique process that serve as a biography of the celebrated designer. <em>(Douglas Capraro)</em><br/><br/><em>Opens May 8th through August 10th // <a href="">Metropolitan Museum of Art</a> // Free with museum admission</em>

<br/><br/>Gigantic contemporary art fair <strong><a href="">Frieze</a></strong> returns to Randall's Island this month, bringing pricey artwork for ogling by frenzied young collectors and <a href="">confused tech millionaires</a>. It's the second year the festival has branched out to New York from its London home; over 1,000 artists are scheduled to show at the event, plus talks and other programming sprinkled in for variety. <a href="">Dozens of galleries</a> will be in attendance, hoping to lure buyers from both art institutions and private collections. <br/><br/>It's almost enough just to take in the crowds without the art, with visitors like Chuck Close and John Waters making appearances last year, in addition to the usual array of hilariously-coiffed dandies. The <a href="">food's not bad</a> either, with stalls set up from Mission Cantina, Roberta's, Momofuku Milk Bar and others, plus a full service restaurant and beer garden from Frankies Spuntino. And in addition to Frieze, the <a href="">Pulse art fair</a> in Manhattan is also highly recommendable, not to mention <a href="">NADA</a>, and <a href="">all the art galleries in Bushwick</a>, which will stay open until 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 10th.<br/><br/><em>May 9th through 12th // Randall’s Island Park // <a href="">Single Day Passes $43</a></em>

Tom Friedman at Luhring Augustine Bushwick (Scott Lynch/Gothamist)

<br/><br/>What happens when a musical mixes good songs with a bad plot? Well, just hand it over to the audience and let them figure it out. This is exactly what you can expect at <strong><a href="">The Prince Musical: A Hastily Written Masterpiece Starring the Audience</a></strong>, the third in a series of musicals based on the repertoires of pop icons. The show allows audience members to play various singing and non-singing roles in what is described as "the most terrible tribute to Prince". Don't worry, you can just sit and watch too. Predecessors to this magical event include Beyonce musical <em>Pussy to the Sky</em> and the Whitney Houston musical <em>Houston: We Have a Whitney.</em> <em>(Douglas Capraro)</em><br/><br/><em>Monday, May 12th, 8 p.m. // <a href="">Cameo Gallery</a> // <a href="">Tickets $10</a></em>

<br/><br/>From his outstanding <em>Dress to Kill</em> tour to the gone-too-soon TV show <em>The Riches</em>, <strong><a href="">Eddie Izzard</a></strong> is one of the funniest, most intelligent and often bizarre comedians working today. He'll be <a href="">working it and then some at the Beacon Theatre</a> as part of his enormous world tour, which included performing in French in France and in German in Berlin. Expect some of that international flavor at his NYC stop; he is from England, "where the history comes from," after all. And perhaps some new things picked up on the tour, which began in 2013 and will ultimately tour 25 countries on five continents. Just be sure to know the answer to this question: <a href="">cake or death</a>?<br/><br/><em>May 13th - 18th (no Friday performance) // <a href="">Beacon Theatre</a> // <a href="">Tickets $50 - $90</a></em>

<br/><br/>You've heard of a bar crawl but do you know the <strong><a href="">Wine Trolley</a></strong>? Hop aboard Dolly the Trolly, who'll shuttle you to and from Manhattan wine bars where you'll be tasting vintages from places like Austria, Chile and right here in the US of A. Sommelier Dylan York will be your guide, helping differentiate between styles and explaining what in the hell terroir means; the end result should be more insight into what you like and dislike about certain types of wine. And possible inebriation. But that's where Dolly comes in, making sure you get to each destination safely and in style...okay maybe just safely. <br/><br/><em>Wednesday, May 14th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. // Meet at East 15th Street &amp; Union Square West // <a href="">Tickets $49</a></em>

<br/><br/>For some of us, every day is <strong><a href="">Bike To Work Day</a></strong>; even so, participating in the big event on May 16th means extra perks for regular riders and something fun for one-time participants. <a href="">Transportation Alternatives</a> will be setting up Fueling Stations in all five boroughs where they'll be handing out things like free Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee, KIND bars and other morning goodies. Some folks'll even ride away with bike lights and other goodies to make their commutes even smoother.<br/><br/>Post workday, ride on over to the Dumbo Archway for the <a href="">Bike Home Party</a> to pat yourself and other bikers on the back for an emissions-free commute well done. There'll be food vendors like Rise &amp; Miso Everyday, Cemita's and Brooklyn Brewery on hand for the festivities, plus some pop-up shops to pick up extra accessories. <br/><br/><em>Friday, May 16th // Everywhere! // Free</em>

<br/><br/>We <a href="">judge Brooklyn</a> like it's our job (which it kind of is) but we're happy to pass the torch to some culinary pros for <strong><a href="">The Judgement of Brooklyn</a></strong>, where the borough's food and wine will be objectively evaluated by <a href="">some</a> <a href="">experts</a> in their fields. The event is modeled after the 1976 event <a href="">Judgement of Paris</a>, where French judges tested the merit of California versus French wines (California won). <br/><br/>Beers will be judged <a href="">USA versus Europe</a> and wines judged <a href="">USA versus France</a>, with several varieties of each on the table for comparison. Though not on the judgement block for the day, food samples will be provided by some borough chefs to complement the tastings. Tickets include unlimited wine and beer tastings plus different quantities of food, <a href="">depending on your commitment level</a>.<br/><br/><em>Saturday, May 17th, 7 p.m. // <a href="">Skylight One Hanson</a> // <a href="">Tickets $65/$90</a></em>

<br/><br/>Prospective politicians take notice: this bizarre interactive game show might be a great way to test your fib finesse. Freddy's Bar &amp; Backroom will host another one of their <strong><a href="">Bullshit History</a></strong> game shows, a free event that invites people to convince audience members that their fictitious elaborations on actual little-known historical events are true...or at least convincing. Host Jo Firestone facilitates the deception the third Tuesday of each month if you can't make it this time around. <em>(Douglas Capraro)</em><br/><br/><em>Tuesday, May 20th at 9 p.m.// <a href="">Freddy's Bar and Backroom</a> // Free</em>

<span class="photo_caption"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">mr t in dc's flickr</a></span>

<br/><br/>At long last, after a veritable saga of <a href="">high-rise demolitions, hill building, and zombie hordes</a>, <strong><a href="">Governors Island</a></strong> will reopen to the public on May 24th, boasting 7-days-a-week visitor hours through the end of September. To celebrate the grand re-introduction, the Trust for Governors Island will unveil works of contemporary art created through their new program Art CommissionsGI, which calls upon artists to create unique, site-specific pieces built to be displayed outdoors. After all, there are 30 new acres of parkland to fill, and every one of them sounds awesome. <br/><br/>The Governors Island website describes "a sunny, six-acre plaza with seasonal plantings" and "fields sized for adult softball," and they've stepped up their relaxation game as well: with 1,500 new trees and 50 additional hammocks; just think of all the work you could bring along and not get done.<em> (Helen Holmes)</em> <br/><br/><em>Saturday, May 24th // Governors Island // Free</em>

<br/><br/>The Bard turned a ripe old 450 this year, and to celebrate his inestimable contribution to the arts, New York Classical Theater will be performing the beloved comedy <strong><em><a href="">As You Like It</a></em></strong> this month. Central Park near West 103rd Street will be transformed into the Forest of Arden, where maligned heroine Rosalind transforms into Ganymede and falls in love with the persecuted Orlando. And if you miss May's curtain, <em>As You Like It</em> will be relocating to Prospect Park and Battery Park later this summer. <em>(Rebecca Fishbein)</em><br/><br/><em>Opens May 29th with previews and open rehearsals beginning May 5th // Central Park, Meet at West 103rd Street and Central Park West // Free</em>

<br/><br/>Beginning on May 29th, the Anthology Film Archives will kick off a <a href="">series of screenings</a> featuring the work of <strong><a href="">Marcel Hanoun</a></strong>, a controversial French director who drew comparisons to Jean-Luc Godard but whose work went largely unnoticed in the United States. Indeed, New York City critics were baffled by Hanoun upon encountering his work in the '70s, and squabbled over its merit amongst themselves in the pages of the <em>Times</em> and <em>The Village</em> Voice. <br/><br/>However, Jonas Mekas, legendary avant-garde cinema pioneer, has long championed Hanoun's genius and will be revisiting his work at Anthology Film Archives. Hanoun's style was quiet, deliberate and varied; <em>The Eighth Day</em> (1960) leveled its gaze upon the formidable Emmanuelle Riva, while <em>The Authentic Trial Of Carl Emmanuel Jung</em> (1966) imagined the trial of its title character, who's finally being held accountable for his appointment as a commander in a Nazi concentration camp. These films and eleven more will be showing regularly until June 5th; consult the <a href="">Anthology Film Archives' website</a> for further details. <em>(Helen Holmes)</em><br/><br/><em>May 29th through June 5 // <a href="">Anthology Film Archives</a> // Screenings $10</em>