Below is my full, ongoing list of media and events I'm most looking forward to. To put something good on my radar, please get in touch. List updated March 15, 2019.
🎭 Merrily We Roll Along (Off-Broadway, closes April 14) — I missed the Roundabout Theatre Company’s recent production of Into the Woods, and I have never seen this Sondheim musical before. More info.
🎭 White Noise (The Public Theater, closes April 21) — Very excited to see Daveed Diggs perform in Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’ new play, which, according to the official description is “about race, friendship, and our rapidly unraveling social contract.” More info.
🎭 Network (Broadway, closes June 8) — I saw this with a walk-up standing-room-only ticket and I enjoyed it! The show has some compelling stagecraft, and Cranston’s energy is electric. More info.
Favorites now playing
📺 Broad City (Thursdays @ 10 p.m., Comedy Central) -- The final season continues! I have only recently (finally!) started watching this show... and it's AMAHZING. Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson have created a comedy masterpiece. Their depiction of city life and friendship is insightful and hilarious. I am so glad I get to take in this (final!) season as it airs, and I already know that whatever projects either of them do in the future will automatically be On My Radar™.
🎬 Minding the Gap (Hulu) — Bing Liu has created a masterpiece of subjective empathy in this Oscar-nominated doc. It’s filled with profound insights as well as small, subtle moments of wisdom. Just extraordinary.
🎬 Movie Marathon Series: The MCU in chronological order — I’m doing a series of movie marathons this year, and the first is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, leading up to Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame. More info.
📺 Superstore (Thursdays @ 8 p.m., NBC) — Slept on this show for too long. It's hilarious and well-written.
🎬 Babylon (In theaters) — Originally released in 1980, the film is playing in the United States for the first time. Trailer.
📺 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Thursdays @ 9 p.m., NBC) — I finally caught up last summer after falling behind, and I am really enjoying the new season.
🎭 Burn This (Broadway, in previews now, opens April 16, closes July 7) — A steamy play featuring Adam Driver and Keri Russell would be on my radar in any circumstance, but in this case, the pairing may placate my eagerness to see them return for Episode IX later this year. More info.
🎬 Captive State (In theaters) — All I know is it’s directed by Rupert Wyatt and it stars John Goodman. I’m in. Trailer.
🎬 Climax (In theaters) — All I know about this is is that it’s a horror dance film. Those two genres go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Just check out this trippy trailer and see what I mean.
📺 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Fridays @ 9 p.m., CW) — The final season continues!
🎭 Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (Off-Broadway) — Directed by Broadway legend Joel Grey and translated into Yiddish by Shraga Friedman, this production has received rave reviews. I hope it is a beautiful examination of faith and tradition in the face of modern progressivism, and I’m eager to see it. More info.
🎬 Five Feet Apart (In theaters) — It looks like a sexy movie about a terminal illness. What’s not to like? Trailer.
🎬 Gloria Bell (In theaters) — Julianne Moore is earning acclaim for this role. Looks good! Trailer.
🎭 King Lear (Broadway, in previews now, opens April 4, closes July 7) — Glenda Jackson in the title role promises to be amazing, and I’m also interested in the original music composed by Philip Glass. More info.
📺 Love Death + Robots (Netflix) — An animated anthology series for adults. Trailer.
📺 Miracle Workers (Tuesdays @ 10:30 p.m., TBS) — This limited series caught my attention when I found out that Danielle Radcliffe was playing an afterlife worker and Steve Buscemi was playing a burnt out, loser version of God. But once I found out that the series also stars Geraldine Viswanathan — whose performance in last year’s Blockers was one of the components that made that film a charming and delightful surprise — I could not wait to see this show, and I like what I am seeing so far.
🎬 Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (In theaters) — From the writers of The Handmaid’s Tale, the director of Poison Ivy and the star of It, comes (what I assume to be) an entirely different kind of story of young womanhood. I have a feeling the tone for this will more closely resemble that of the film’s producers, Ellen DeGeneres and Wendy Williams. Trailer.
🎬 New SparkShorts program from Pixar shorts on YouTube — Pixar is expanding its short film program with a series of upcoming shorts that will play on the Disney•Pixar YouTube channel. The first three are now available: Purl, Smash and Grab and Kitbull.
📺 Shrill (Hulu) — Aidy Bryant is finally getting her own show. Trailer.
📚 Short Plays to Nourish the Mind & Soul Presents: Get Up & Stand Up (George Bruce Library, March 16, 4 p.m.) — More info.
🎭 Hillary and Clinton (Broadway, previews begin March 16, opens April 18, closes July 7) — Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow are two performers I would love to see on stage. More info.
🤣 Shamilton (UCB Hell’s Kitchen, March 16 @ 10:30 p.m.) — An improvised hip hop musical based on an historical figure of the audience’s choosing. More info.
📺 The Case Against Adnan Syed (Part 2 airs March 17 @ 9 p.m., HBO) — This four-part documentary series reopens the murder case that catapulted podcasting into the mainstream of popular culture. More info.
🤣 Movies, Musicals, and Me (UCB Hell’s Kitchen, March 18 @ 10:30 p.m.) — A movie musical parody sketch show. The last show was one of the best things I have seen so far at UCB. More info.
💿 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Blu-ray (March 19) — One of the best movies in years comes out on Blu-ray! Really looking forward to picking up a copy.
🎭 Oklahoma! (Broadway, previews begin March 19, opens April 7, closes Sept. 1) — Since I first started loving musicals, I have identified as a sort of anti-Rodgers-and-Hammerstein musical fan. I have always been more drawn toward productions involving bloodthirsty plants, frank discussions of disease — anything with an edge. And yet, I adored the somewhat updated version of Cinderella in 2013, and now, it seems this production of Oklahoma! — a show credited with being the first modern musical — has all the edge I would ever want. It’s officially recommended only for teenagers and adults for its “mature content,” even though not a word of the book or songs have apparently been changed. This review from The New Yorker has me paying attention. Maybe I have been a fan of Rodgers and Hammerstein all along. More info.
🎭 Hadestown (Broadway, previews begin March 22, opens April 17) — I have chills just thinking about this show, and I haven’t even seen it yet. Since 2016, I have been haunted by Anaïs Mitchell’s gorgeous song “Why We Build the Wall,” and I have just learned it is part of this larger show she has written. Not only that, but the musical is directed by Rachel Chavkin, whose last Broadway show was the utterly brilliant and innovative Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. I cannot see this show soon enough. More info.
🎬 Us (In theaters March 22) — Jordan Peele's horror follow-up to Get Out is sure to further define his unique directorial vision. I can't wait to see the carefully crafted visuals and to chew on what it all means.
🎬 Where’d You Go, Bernadette (In theaters March 22) — I was interested in this when I heard the book was a fun read, but when I found out that Richard Linklater is directing, the deal was sealed. I'm in.
🤣 SHIZ: Broadway Meets Sketch Comedy (UCB Hell’s Kitchen, March 25 @ 10:30 p.m.) — I have been meaning to see this show since I found out it was created by my fave Shaina Taub and her husband Matt Gehring. Now it’s coming to UCB and I couldn’t be more thrilled about that. More info.
🎬 Clemency (Release date TBD, but will open New Directors New Films in NYC on March 27. Tickets go on sale March 4) — This film by Chinonye Chukwu won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival but still has not been picked up for distribution. You can sign up here to get notified when it does. The film is a drama about a woman whose job at death row leads to a crisis of faith in her employment. Sounds amazing.
🎭 Tootsie (Broadway, previews begin March 29, opens April 23) — I have adored Santino Fontana since I first saw him on Broadway in Cinderella and then heard him in Frozen. Now, he'e starring in a new musical based on one of my favorite film comedies, with a score by David Yazbek (The Band's Visit, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). My anticipation is through the roof.
📺 Saturday Night Live (New episode March 30 @ 11:30 p.m., NBC) — Sandra Oh hosts with musical guest Tame Impala.
📺 Barry (Returns March 31 @ 10 p.m., HBO) -- The first season of Barry was a comedy about what it means to kill (both people and onstage). I can't wait for more. Trailer.
📺 The Twilight Zone (Two episodes drop April 1, with weekly episodes to follow beginning April 11, CBS All Access) -- Jordan Peele’s reboot of the classic anthology series. Am I going to have to sign up for CBS All Access for this? (Yes.) Trailer.
🎭 Socrates (The Public Theater, opens April 2, closes May 19) — Tim Blake Nelson directs, but what I’m most looking forward to is seeing Michael Stuhlbarg in the cast. More info.
📺 Our Planet (Premieres April 5, Netflix) -- David Attenborough (Planet Earth) returns with more nature documentary footage.
📺 Fosse/Verdon (Premieres April 9 @ 10 p.m., FX) -- I would be thrilled to see any series tackle the story of iconic theater artists Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, but with Lin-Manuel Miranda as executive producer and a cast that includes Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell (and Norbert Leo Butz!) I could not be more excited about this.
🎟 Star Wars Celebration (Convention in Chicago, April 11-15) — I would love to go to one of these in person some day, but last time I remember they streamed some events live, including the debut of the Last Jedi trailer. I’m looking forward to whatever Lucasfilm has to reveal, especially news about the Jedi Fallen Order video game. More info.
🎬 Missing Link (In theaters April 12) -- Laika is the new Pixar. The studio behind Coraline and ParaNorman is making some of the most ambitious and beautiful animated films anywhere. This is their latest.
🦕 Dinosaur safari experience (April 19-Nov. 3, The Bronx Zoo) — Apparently this will be a shuttle ride around with some enormous animatronic dinosaurs to see and that sounds like very much My Thing ™. More info.
🎬 Avengers: Endgame (In theaters April 26) -- After these movies made us believe so many times that the world was going to end, could it now be that it is the series itself that will end? Spoiler: no. But this film, which is being billed as a "conclusion" of sorts, is sure to mark the end of certain actors' contracts with Marvel, and I'm excited to see how it all plays out.
📺 Tony nominees announced (April 30) — The American Theatre Wing will announce the nominees for the 2019 Tony Awards. More info.
🎬 Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (In theaters May 10) -- OK that trailer was nothing but pure, wacky delightfulness.
🎬 Aladdin (In theaters May 24) -- I was obsessed with the 1992 animated version, and while I was not hot on the Broadway version, and I cannot get excited to see see Will Smith take on the Genie character, I can't not to look forward to this. Alan Menken and Howard Ashman gave us some of their best work on this score, after all.
🎬 Booksmart (In theaters May 24) — Received great buzz at SXSW this year. The directorial debut of Olivia Wilde. More info.
🎵 Shaina Taub at Joe's Pub (Music, May 28, 29, 31, July 16) -- Shaina Taub's musical take on Twelfth Night last summer at the Public was an absolute dream. Her voice -- both her singing voice and her activist voice -- are powerful. I can't wait to see her perform live again.
📺 The Tony Awards (June 9) — The American Theatre Wing will award the 2019 Tony Awards. More info.
🎬 Men in Black: International (In theaters June 14) -- The cast for this one has me very excited: Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson leading, with Rebecca Ferguson and Kumail Nanjiani involved as well. Sounds good to me!
🎬 Toy Story 4 (In theaters June 21) -- Oh boy. From the outside, the cloud over this particular Pixar movie has been visible from miles away. Originally directed by disgraced* Pixar chief John Lasseter, the film has seen multiple writers (including Rashida Jones, who left the studio citing creative differences and pointed criticisms about the culture at Pixar). I thought the film would be cancelled, but seeing as it's going forward, I sincerely hope it lives up to the high bar the first three films have set for these characters.
*Wondering how disgraced can a man be if he can get picked for a top executive position at another animation studio mere days after his extended (paid) leave at Disney and Pixar? #MeToo.
🎭 Moulin Rouge! The Musical (Broadway, previews begin June 28, opens July 25) — The film Moulin Rouge is one of my favorites because of how cinematic it is. So I’m less enthused about a stage version, but I’m intrigued. It will reportedly feature pop songs featured in the movie, as well as more recent additions. Aaron Tveit and Karen Olivo star. More info.
🎬 Yesterday (In theaters June 28) -- A man discovers only he can remember the Beatles. Trailer.
📺 Stranger Things 3 (Premieres July 4, Netflix) -- I have to say, I'm pretty obsessed with this poster. Excited to see what's next for these kids.
🎬 Spider-Man: Far From Home (In theaters July 5) -- Wait...didn't he die?
📺 Emmy nominees announced (July 16) — The Television Academy will announce the nominees for the 2019 Emmy Awards. More info.
🎬 The Lion King (In theaters July 19) -- I share Andrew Todd's skepticism that Disney's new photo-realistically animated Lion King will come close to the vibrancy of the original version's animation style. But I'm curious to see how it turns out, and the vocal cast is 🔥.
🎬 Midsommar (In theaters Aug. 9) — From A24 and writer/director Ari Aster (Hereditary), this looks to be another piece of horror cinematic art. Also starring The Good Place’s William Jackson Harper! More info.
🎭 Hercules (Public Works’ Shakespeare in the Park, opens Aug. 31, closes Sept. 8) -- I was not surprised to see that Disney’s Hercules would make the leap from screen to stage, but I was very surprised to see where the new musical adaptation will make its debut: the Delacorte Theater in Central Park as part of the Public Works' Shakespeare in the Park program. Free tickets for a brand new Disney musical? Wow! I will definitely be standing in line early in the morning for this. More info.
🎬 It: Chapter Two (In theaters Sept. 6) -- I really enjoyed the first chapter of this take on Stephen King's horror tale, and although I haven't read the book, I think how the filmmakers are handling the flashback structure -- with two different films made of two different casts -- is smart.
📺 The Emmy Awards (Sept. 22, FOX) — The Television Academy will award the best of TV. More info.
🎬 Joker (In theaters Oct. 4) -- Joaquin Phoenix is a great actor, and I'd like to see what his take will be on the iconic villain. (And mostly, I'm just glad Ben Affleck's Batman will be nowhere to be found.)
🎬 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (In theaters Oct. 18) -- I gotta say, I was not feeling the news that Tom Hanks had been cast as Fred Rogers. Hanks is a great actor, but his reputation as the nicest dad in Hollywood is one I've long struggled to accept. (Though I've tried.) I just cannot picture Mr. Rogers screaming "You! Are! A! Tooooy!" at Henrietta Pussycat or King Friday XIII. Where was Mark Rylance in this casting call? But when I realized the film is being directed by Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Diary of a Teenage Girl), all my worries melted away, and now I'm very curious about this.
🎬 Frozen 2 (In theaters Nov. 22) -- I saw the first one more than a half-dozen times in theaters opening weekend alone in 2015. Will the sequel fill me with the same unquenchable thirst? And will Santino Fontana return as Hans? Why does everything I love always eventually cut Santino Fontana?*
*I'm looking at you, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
🎬 Knives Out (In theaters Nov. 27) -- Rian Johnson's next project after The Last Jedi (which I thought was a Star Wars masterpiece) is a small heist movie. I am iiiinnn!
🎬 Star Wars: Episode IX (In theaters Dec. 20) -- Mary Poppins may be practically perfect in every way, but she's no Star Wars. Disney, thank you for bringing Christmas back for me this year.
📺 The Good Place (Returns fall 2019, NBC) -- Season 4 has been officially picked up, and I can't wait to see where this heavenly television program goes next.
🎮 Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order (Expected fall 2019) -- A new single-player story game set in the Star Wars universe? YES!
📺 Disney Streaming Service (Late 2019) -- The Walt Disney Company may be trying to buy FOX in order to compete with Netflix, but its most direct swing. The back catalogue on this thing will be tantalizing, but it's the planned original content that has me most. There may be a live-action Star Wars series with a Game of Thrones-level budget coming this year! Also: Ilana Peña (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) has a series called Diary of a Female President about a Cuban-American middle school girl’s journey to becoming the future president of the United States (sounds amazing).
🎬 Klaus (On Netflix in 2019) -- Former Disney animator Sergio Pablos directs this Christmas movie, and the gorgeous hand-drawn animation featured in the trailer has me very excited.
🎬 Jojo Rabbit (In theaters in 2019) -- Dubbed "an anti-war satire" by Taika Waititi, this is the single upcoming film I am most excited to see. Pictured above.
🎮 More Marvel's Spider-Man? -- The end of 2018 and the start of 2019 will for me, always be dedicated to Spider-Man. The stunning and perfect Into the Spider-Verse animated film made me believe anyone can put on the mask, but the PS4 game makes me feel like I actually am Spider-Man. I have now logged many (many) hours playing Insomniac's remarkable game, swinging around Manhattan, fighting crime and constantly getting distracted by all the real-life landmarks in the open world of the city -- including a handful of places right around where I real-life live. The (satisfyingly written) story has several cliffhangers that make me hopeful there will be more, and I am dying for more DLC -- or better yet, a sequel to be announced. It probably won't be coming for another several years if it does, but I will be on the edge of my seat the whole time until then.