Oh, what a month we have in store for you. With summer officially in full swing, there’s plenty of things to do, whether you prefer your culture served hot (read: outside) or cold (read: in the blissful chill of an air conditioned room). Whatever your preference, chances are July has it. Herewith, SIXTY‘s own Scott Heins mines through the months options to find you the very best. Herewith, your guide.
NEW YORK CITY: Still soaring off their 2018 album Love is Dead, Scottish indie synth-pop trio CVRCHES is gearing up for perhaps their most important New York show ever. They’re coming to Radio City Music Hall this month, bringing along east coast alt-rockers Charity Bliss and raising money for Girls Rock Camps. The non-proft group offers young girls, trans, and gender-diverse students a free education in music. It’s a perfect fit for CVRCHES, who are as committed to fighting sexism and the patriarchy as they are crafting the perfect summer dance tune. Often confined to the summer festival circuit, the band’s ability to put on a powerful solo show is well-documented, with lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s stage presence and vocal prowess clearly the main attraction. Heartbreak, ecstasy, rage, fear—if you go, be ready to feel, well, everything. Thursday, July 11th, 7 p.m. // Radio City Music Hall, 1260 6th Avenue, Manhattan // Tickets $25 and up
NEW YORK CITY: Don’t waste your love on somebody who doesn’t value it, and don’t waste your money on overpriced Broadway theater when Shakespeare in the Parking Lot is returning to downtown. This year the independent (and always free) production company is bringing Romeo and Juliet to the Lower East Side, offering up a take on the classic tale that’s perfect for modern audiences (if you’re not a devoted student of Shakespeare, don’t worry—you’ll get it, we promise). Director Lukas Raphael has set the tragic love story in early-1990s New York, pitting the Capulets and Montagues against one another in a Lower East Side turf war. Back-alley knife fights have substituted the play’s epic sword duels, and the threat of gentrification is at the heart of the plot. Still, it’s Romeo and Juliet, so show up expecting a tragic account of overzealous young love, doomed by the prejudices of forces beyond control. Very much of the tagged-up streets, this production is Shakespeare like you’ve likely never seen. Performances run Thursdays through Saturdays, July 11th-27th at 7 p.m. // La Plaza @ The Clemente Parking Lot, 114 Norfolk Street, Manhattan // Free
NEW YORK CITY: By late-2020, the Met’s modernist offshoot will be absorbed back into their flagship building on 5th Avenue, cutting short their brutalist experiment on Madison Avenue. But all that’s a year away, and this month the Met Breuer is unveiling three can’t-miss exhibitions that will satisfy a wide array of tastes. First up, a new Oliver Beer show boasts 32 sculptures, repurposed products, mind-bending containers, and more. Beer has placed microphones inside each object and used speakers to amplify the sounds resonating in each piece; it all sits under the fitting title, Vessel Orchestra. Opening next is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Apollo’s Muse compiles representations of the moon, from very old drawings to the most advanced digital imaging with, of course, plenty of archival NASA photographs. Finally, Renaissance die-hards will get the opportunity to view Leonardo da Vinci’s “Saint Jerome Praying in the Wilderness,” an unfinished masterpiece dating back to the 1480s that is on special loan from the Vatican going on display July 15th. Oliver Beer opens Tuesday, July 2nd; Apollo’s Muse opens Wednesday, July 3rd; Da Vinci opens Monday, July 15th // The Met Breuer Museum, 945 Madison Avenue, Manhattan // Admission $25
LOS ANGELES: There’s never been a better time to see Mitski live. Following the release of her much-lauded Be a Cowboy LP, the New York-born indie songwriter has been feverishly touring the world with a top-notch band, turning her clever rockers and deep ballads into a world-class spectacle that’s only going to get bigger in the coming years. Make no mistake: Mitski is going to be a star. Luckily, though, she isn’t playing huge arena shows just yet. This month you can catch her at the gorgeous and still-mostly-intimate Hollywood Palladium, where she’ll be supported by opening talent Julianna Barwick, whose gorgeous compositions meld the emotional pangs of Sharon Van Etten with more atmospheric passages that bring to mind Aphex Twin and Brian Eno. This will be a good one. Tuesday, July 16th, 8:30 p.m. // Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Boulevard // Tickets $60 and up
LOS ANGELES: Both the East and West coasts are hosting can’t-miss productions of Shakespeare this month, but only one features a full orchestra, a global cello sensation, and legendary dance choreography. The Hollywood Bowl is hosting conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic for a high-concept take on Romeo and Juliet, with cellist Pablo Ferrandez performing Dvorak concertos and the L.A. Dance Project moving through choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s original work. Tickets can be had for as low as $8, meaning this is the most class-for-your-dollar evening L.A. has to offer all summer long. Tuesday, July 16th 8 p.m. // Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N Highland Avenue, Los Angeles // Tickets $8 and up
LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s summer programming has never been better, and this month two new exhibitions will be joining an already impressive roster. First up, museum’s outdoor grounds will be filled with “The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness,” a sculpture piece by England-born Trinidadian artist Zak Ové. Ové’s work uses human figurines to showcase the objectification of black persons throughout history, and how artists and activists seize a means of pushing back. Traditions of music, carnival, and Mardi Gras feature prominently through the 40 graphite figures. Opening the next day is the long-anticipated solo debut of Mary Corse, whose new A Survey in Light highlights her genius approach to abstract and modernist paintings—the kind of canvasses you can get lost in for hours without noticing the time passing. Art fans owe it to themselves to see both shows this summer. The Invisible Man opens Saturday, July 27th; Mary Corse opens Sunday, July 28th // LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles // Admission $16 and up
Photo by Patrick Tomasso