Peak summer is back, and with it, a wealth of shows, events, and activities to partake in and attend—in real life! While plenty of virtual programming still exists for those less excited about venturing out—take, for example, the annual A Capitol Fourth concert and the Macy’s fireworks, which will both be broadcast nationwide on July 4—it’s safe to say that live programming is finally the norm once more. Catch American Ballet Theater performing at locations across America, celebrate the return of Broadway by attending Bruce Springsteen’s eponymous revival show, or attend a Brooklyn art fair with masterpieces at every price point. Whatever you choose to do, remember to soak up every second.
1. Olympic Agora
Opening July 1
Ahead of the Olympic Games, the Olympic Agora opens in Tokyo and online today, featuring a series of visual art installations, exhibitions, and digital programs celebrating the spirit and ideals of the international sports event. The cultural hub will present a permanent site-specific sculpture commission by French artist Xavier Veilhan, as well as installations by Japanese artists Rinko Kawauchi and Makoto Tojiki. Also on view will be a group exhibition of new works by six Olympian and Paralympian Artists-in-Residence and an exhibition of treasures from the permanent holdings of The Olympic Museum.
2. Springsteen on Broadway
July 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
On June 26, Bruce Springsteen returned to St. James Theater to revive his show, Springsteen on Broadway, marking the first production to reopen in New York’s famed theater district post-pandemic. In the Tony-winning spectacle, Springsteen performs solo, singing, strumming, and playing piano in between autobiographical monologues. With tickets available through September, when shows like Hamilton, Hadestown, and more are set to reopen their doors, it’s an excellent option to tied you over until Broadway is back in full force.
3. ABT Across America
July 1, 4, 8, 10, 11, 14, 17, 19, 21
ABT Across America builds on Amercian Ballet Theatre’s history of cross-country tours in the 1940s and 1950s. The New York company will take to the road this month, traveling by bus to Lincoln, Nebraska; Iowa City, Iowa; Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Charleston; and Middleburg, Virginia. 20 ABT dancers and 28 support crew will travel across 15 states, logging 3,200 miles, and performing outdoors for socially distanced audiences. On July 21 they’ll return home for a finale performance on Rockefeller Center Plaza. Tickets for each of the performances must be booked in advance and are available free or for a nominal fee depending on date.
4. Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” at ICA, Boston
Opening July 3
Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech,” the first museum exhibition devoted to the genre-bending designer and artist Virgil Abloh, arrives in Boston this month after debuting at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 2019. Featuring an immersive space designed by Rem Koolhaas’s architecture firm OMA, the exhibition will offer an in-depth look at defining highlights of Abloh’s career including runway looks from Off-White and Louis Vuitton (where he serves as artistic director of menswear), Air Jordan sneakers, furniture designs, and Kanye West album covers.
5. A Capitol Fourth
Broadcasting on PBS at 8 p.m. ET, the 41st edition of the Independence Day celebration A Capitol Fourth will be hosted by TV, film, and Broadway superstar Vanessa Williams. The pre-recorded show will rollout alongside a live fireworks show over the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and feature performances by Jimmy Buffet, Cynthia Erivo, Alan Jackson, Gladys Knight, Pentatonix, the National Symphony Orchestra, and more. The concert will also honor men and women of our military and their families, with a special tribute planned for Team USA ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
6. Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks
New York is back, and so is the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. Fireworks will light up the skyline over the East River on July 4 at 8 p.m. ET. Viewing will be available for spectators on elevated portions of the FDR Drive in Manhattan with entry points at East 23rd, East 34th, and East 42nd Streets. But if you’re not in the city—or simply prefer to watch from the comfort of your living room—you can catch the show live on NBC, with prerecorded performances by a star-studded lineup that includes Coldplay, the Jonas Brothers, Blake Shelton, The United States Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus, and the Broadway Inspirational Voices ensemble.
7. RE: BICYCLING Curator-led Rides
July 8, 15, 22, 29
You know gallery hopping, but how about gallery cycling? If you prefer your art with a side of cardio, the curator of RE: BICYCLING—a show at New York’s Susan Inglett Gallery featuring bike–themed works by some of the biggest names in modern and contemporary art like Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen; Nina Chanel Abney; and Sarah Sze—will lead rides departing from the gallery on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m EST.
8. LINES Ballet on Tour in Los Angeles
Hosted outdoors at Jerry Moss Plaza across five nights, Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet’s L.A. mini tour includes a performance of King’s 2019 choreographic work, The Personal Element. Featuring music by Jazz composer and pianist Jason Moran, the 20-minute piece stars eight dancers from Lines’ full company of 12. As a special treat, New York City Ballet Principal Tiler Peck will make an appearance to perform a new solo work created specifically for her by King, after which she will premiere a new pas de deux also by King with fellow NYCB dancer Roman Meija. Attendees with tickets will observe the show from socially distanced pods. If you prefer to watch from home, the show will be livestreamed for free on the Sunday performance date.
9. You Are Here at Lincoln Center
Conceived by Andrea Miller, an award-winning choreographer and the artistic director of movement-based production company GALLIM, You Are Here, a free public sculpture, sound, and live performance installation, will be on view at Lincoln Center’s Hearst Plaza in New York as part of Restart Stages at Lincoln Center. Through the 23, the work will feature large-scale sculptures by scenic designer Mimi Lien that will play audio portraits of New Yorkers from built-in speakers, while an aural garden by sound artist Justin Hicks will be broadcasted across the entire installation. From July 24-30, the audio portraits will begin to come to life as members from within Lincoln Center—including an educator, an usher, a security guard, an opera singer, and a New York City Ballet apprentice—along with other New Yorkers join together in a performance about how they processed the last year. The show will take place at 6 p.m. ET, with the full schedule online.
10. The Other Art Fair
Presented by Saatchi Art, The Other Art Fair will feature the work of more than 130 independent and emerging artists working across painting, photography, printmaking, mixed media, installation, and more at the Brooklyn Expo Center. With prices starting at $150, it’s accessible to all types of buyers. Tickets to enter start at $15, with a $30 option granting access to Thursday’s preview evening.
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