In the movies
There’s no shortage of big, fun sequels this summer, from Pixar’s “The Incredibles 2” (June 15) to “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (July 6) to “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (June 22), but the one I’m geared up for is “Ocean’s 8” (June 8), a new spin on the quippy heist franchise starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna and Anne Hathaway.
The season’s scariest watch is “Hereditary” (June 8) in which Toni Collette’s matriarch discovers some disturbing family secrets; the documentary “Three Identical Strangers” (June 29) delves into less-supernatural familial weirdness with its portrait of triplets who discovered each others’ existence as young adults. “Crazy Rich Asians” (Aug. 17) takes the fluffy hit novel about the luxe life in Singapore and Hong Kong to the big screen, while the rom-com “Destination Wedding” (Aug. 24) reunites ’90s icons Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder as a couple of misanthropic guests. More recent star Lakeith Stanfield plays a telemarketer with a special talent in the wild satire “Sorry to Bother You” (July 6), and Daveed Diggs, who rose to fame in Broadway’s “Hamilton,” stars in (and co-wrote) the stylish dramedy “Blindspotting” (July 20), in which he’s a freestyling ex-con trying to make it through his last day of parole in peace.
For some awkward adolescence nostalgia, there’s “Eighth Grade” (July 13), about a teen (Elsie Fisher) in her last week at school. And finally, Spike Lee’s Jordan Peele-produced “BlacKkKlansman” (Aug. 10), which just won the Grand Prix at Cannes, tells the true story of two cops (John David Washington and Adam Driver) who infiltrated the KKK in 1978 — and comes out on the one-year anniversary of the Nazi march in Charlottesville, Va. — Sara Stewart
By far the guiltiest pleasure of the summer is “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” (July 20). Mostly just an excuse to string together ABBA hits, this prequel (like the delightful first film) is meant for fans of the Swedish pop quartet, like me. Bonus: Cher’s in this one — and she’s turned back time, playing the mom of young Donna.
I’ve loved watching the fast ascent of 22-year-old actor Timothée Chalamet, who was in two of last year’s best films: “Call Me By Your Name” and “Lady Bird.” His latest, “Hot Summer Nights” (July 27), about a teen who summers in Cape Cod, Mass., has a retro vibe with an illicit twist: the chap sells drugs.
And I’m cautiously optimistic about a new comedy called “The Spy Who Dumped Me” (Aug. 3). While James Bond spoofs are almost always DOA, this one stars Kate McKinnon (the funniest woman alive) and Mila Kunis (a perfectly dry foil). — Johnny Oleksinski
Big bands & dancing feet
Catch the New York Philharmonic before it jets off to performances in Colorado for part of the summer. On June 13, the Phil sets up on Central Park’s Great Lawn for a free concert that includes Bernstein, Saint-Saens and Rimsky-Korsakov’s sumptuous “Scheherazade.” Pack a picnic and enjoy. There’ll also be concerts in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island that week. Details at NYPhil.org.
This being Lenny Bernstein’s centennial birth year, expect more of his music all around town. Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band will riff on the maestro’s score to “West Side Story” Aug. 10 at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park Bandshell, just blocks away from where the opening of that 1961 film was shot. LincolnCenter.org/out-of-doors
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which warms up audiences each December at New York City Center, is making the David H. Koch Center a cool place to be this summer. From June 13 to 17, the troupe will perform one world premiere and a dozen old favorites, including the Ailey masterpiece, “Revelations,” and Twyla Tharp’s “The Golden Section,” set to David Byrne’s score. AlvinAiley.org/engagement/lincoln-center-2018 — Barbara Hoffman
Art, cool and hot
MoMA has the single coolest piece of art in the city this summer: an actual snowman entombed in a glass-door freezer. “Snowman,” by the Swiss artist duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss, lacks the characteristic carrot nose but is otherwise intact after spending the winter in Chicago. You’ll find it from June 11 on in MoMA’s sculpture garden. MoMA.org
Starting July 3 at the Met Breuer, the word is “Obsession,” which is what the museum’s calling its show of Scofield Thayer’s collection of erotic watercolors, drawings and prints — nearly all of them nudes — by Picasso, Klimt and Schiele. Leave the kiddies at home. MetMuseum.org — Barbara Hoffman
So far in 2018, it’s pretty much been Drake’s world, and we’re all just living in it: The rapper has spent 15 weeks at No. 1, first with “God’s Plan” and then “Nice for What.” Drake has won past summers with hits like “Hotline Bling” and “One Dance,” so we’re heading into Drizzy season as “Scorpion” looms next month (no exact June date has been revealed). That dope jacket he’s been promoting the album with on Instagram has me even more hyped for it.
While June is Black Music Month, this year it’s also Kanye West Month: Yeezy drops a seven-song set on June 1 (stay tuned for the title), plus has a joint LP with Kid Cudi under the name Kids See Ghost (June 8), not to mention West-produced albums by Pusha T (Friday), Nas (June 15) and Teyana Taylor (June 22). Despite his tweets and rants, Kanye usually comes through with the music, but he’ll need better than the already released singles “Ye vs. the People” and “Lift Yourself.”
I’m still flying from seeing Florence and the Machine at Brooklyn Academy of Music earlier this month, when the group — led by British alterna-goddess Florence Welch — previewed songs from their fourth album, “High as Hope” (out June 29). The two tracks released so far, “Hunger,” a cathartic anthem that feeds your soul, and the ethereal “Sky Full of Song,” have lifted my expectations for this album.
Also on my Brit watch is Harry Styles. He was already the No. 1 heartthrob in One Direction, but his self-titled solo debut in 2017 showed that he is emerging as the top talent from the boy band, too. After playing Radio City Music Hall in 2017, the crooner is ready to take his dreamy act to the arena level at Madison Square Garden (June 21 and 22), where Styles will have those earsplitting screams all to himself.
But the concert event of the summer is Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s On the Run II tour. The first OTR trek in 2014 was one of those pop-culture moments where, if you missed it, you felt as if your life had lost all meaning. Four years and a set of twins later, Mr. and Mrs. Carter will be back on their stadium hustle, with the first couple of music set to slay MetLife Stadium (Aug. 2 and 3). The only thing that could make this ticket hotter is if they surprised us with some new music, too. — Chuck Arnold
When I think of summer dining in New York, my vision-board ideal is just happening to nab a sidewalk table at a casual, charming West Village restaurant on a night that’s warm but not stuffy. That vision will be a reality — save for the easy availability and lack of humidity — when Don Angie (103 Greenwich Ave., DonAngie.com) adds outdoor seating to the picturesque corner it occupies, bringing its delicious, deservedly popular Italian-ish fare and Campari cocktails outside.
I love a low-key weekend where the city empties out and I don’t venture more than a few blocks from my stoop. The perfect ending is a Sunday afternoon enjoying grilled meats and mezcal in the garden at Colonia Verde (219 DeKalb Ave., Brooklyn; ColoniaVerdeNYC.com). The Fort Greene South American restaurant has one of the loveliest backyards around, and its monthly Sunday Asados series (tickets at Eventbrite.com) is a great deal. For $55, you get as much wine, beer and cocktails as you like and a multicourse meal prepared by a notable guest chef. On July 29, Guadalajara chef Paul Bentley will man the grill.
For indoor amusements, I can’t wait for the kitschy Japanese import Zauo (152 W. 24th St.) to finally open in Chelsea in July or August. The high-concept restaurant is designed to look like a boat and you get to fish for your dinner out of large pools. There’s also a gong. I’m sold.
For a meal that doesn’t involve poles and nets, I’m looking forward to Danny Meyer’s next project, Manhatta (28 Liberty St.; ManhattaRestaurant.com). Talented young chef Jason Pfeifer (an alum of Maialino, Per Se and Noma) will serve rustic fare with a view on the 60th floor of the Liberty Street building in lower Manhattan. — Hailey Eber
Since HBO snared female viewers with the star-studded “Big Little Lies,” the network’s been looking for another show to do the same. “Sharp Objects” (July 8), based on a Gillian Flynn novel, may be it. It has Gothic overtones (spooky mansion, spooky matriarch) and a vulnerable heroine (Amy Adams) with some personal problems (cutting). A trip back home uncovers ugly secrets — are there any other kind? — and ushers in a local stud (Chris Messina) who helps distract her from her trauma-mama. May not have the house porn of BLL, but “Sharp Objects” looks able to deliver the shivers.
Maybe the world needs to turn to a Tom Clancy hero to solve all our problems. The title character in Amazon’s new “Jack Ryan” adventure (Aug. 31) was played by Harrison Ford in the movies. Now, it’s time for another Everyman-type to suit up and stop terrorism in its tracks. We wouldn’t have thought John Krasinski of TV’s “The Office” but after his success with horror flick “A Quiet Place,” we’re willing to place our trust in his leadership.
Another leading man who deserves tube time is Kevin Costner, who has been away from TV since that sensational History Channel miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys” in 2012. If there’s one thing the Oscar-winning director of “Dances With Wolves” knows how to do is execute a story about the American West and what the land means to the people who live there. In Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone” (June 20), he plays a rancher fighting off land developers. — Robert Rorke