Pop: Ariana Grande Looks Toward Timelessness
Aug. 17; itunes.apple.com
To go from Disney-bred teen idol to bona fide pop sensation is a tricky transition. Yet, three rich, varied albums in, Ariana Grande has little left to prove. She’s long shown that she has the vocal chops to swing for the musical fences in house jams and heartfelt ballads alike. Plus, Ms. Grande’s smart taste in collaborators — from Babyface to Max Martin to Pharrell Williams —has set her apart aesthetically from most of her peers in aspiring diva-dom.
“Sweetener,” her upcoming fourth studio album, is the product of lengthy sessions with Mr. Williams, though Mr. Martin also had a hand in several tracks. Ms. Grande herself took the lead on writing for the project. The first single, “No Tears Left to Cry,” is a tribute to resilience inspired by the lethal bombing at her 2017 Manchester Arena concert.
What the pop singer is looking for with this release, though, is the song that will elevate her from deft, creative pop singer to iconic diva. As her manager Scooter Braun put it in an interview with Variety late last year, “Ariana has big vocal moments; it’s time for her song.” Whether or not that song is on “Sweetener,” Ms. Grande has already established herself as one of pop’s must-listen artists. NATALIE WEINER
Film: Winona Ryder Is Everywhere
Aug. 17, 19, 25, 31
Just in time for “Destination Wedding” — a grown-up rom-com starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder as thoroughly disagreeable guests who find affection despite themselves, debuting Aug. 31 — a couple of New York theaters are celebrating Ms. Ryder’s singular presence. Because what movie isn’t more interesting with her offbeat, ever vulnerable and always magnetic kind of cool?
“Utterly Winona,” starting Friday, Aug. 17, at the Quad Cinema in Manhattan, presents nine days brimming with her 1980s and ’90s hits, including Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” and “Edward Scissorhands,” Ben Stiller’s “Reality Bites,” James Mangold’s “Girl, Interrupted,” Michael Lehmann’s “Heathers,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” with Mr. Reeves opposite her, and Gillian Armstrong’s “Little Women” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Age of Innocence,” for which she earned Oscar nominations.
“Winona Forever: A Winona Ryder Mystery Marathon,” on Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Brooklyn, features four of her movies, kept secret until the lights go down and paired with themed drinks and promises of other surprises. “Winona Forever” will also screen at the Alamo South Lamar in Austin, Tex., on Saturday, Aug. 19. KATHRYN SHATTUCK
Classical Music: Avant-Garde Rarities at Time Spans Festival
Aug. 14-18, timespans.org
Music festivals tend to proliferate outside of New York City in the summer, so it’s heartening to see a relative newcomer on the mid-August calendar in Manhattan. The Earle Brown Music Foundation, an organization whose efforts extend beyond the promotion of that underrated experimental composer to the support of a broader range of contemporary music, is presenting its fourth annual Time Spans festival at the DiMenna Center this week, featuring five concerts of avant-garde rarities. Each evening offers a top-notch ensemble, including the Bozzini Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, Talea Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, the JACK Quartet and the SWR Experimentalstudio Freiburg. And it’s hard to imagine missing any night of the festival, as nearly all the concerts offer local or world premieres of recent repertoire by composers such as Linda Catlin Smith, Zosha di Castri, Felipe Lara, Alex Mincek and Georg Friedrich Haas. WILLIAM ROBIN
Art: ‘Eckhaus Latta: Possessed’ at the Whitney
Through Oct. 8; whitney.org
The young designers Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta charge over the already faltering lines that divide fashion from art and museums from retail with this new installation at the Whitney Museum of American Art. It’s an operating store, with light-box photos barely distinguishable from advertisements and fixtures designed by a dozen young artists including Amy Yao and Martine Syms.
Susan Cianciolo contributes both a “Textile Curtain for Dressing Room” and “Dress Mirror Frame.” The piece that tilts what would otherwise look like glossy cynicism into a moment of genuine artistic self-awareness, though, is “Surveillance,” the duo’s collaboration with the filmmaker Alexa Karolinski, in which innocent visitors find themselves confronted with a wall of screens playing live CCTV footage from dressing rooms in the designers’ Los Angeles store, as well as those of other retailers in London, Vancouver, Montreal and Tokyo. WILL HEINRICH
Dance: Sarasota Ballet Celebrates Frederick Ashton
Aug. 14-19, joyce.org.
The importance of the British choreographer Frederick Ashton goes without question, so it’s with gratitude, oddly enough, to a Floridian ballet company that his repertory stays alive. This week, the Sarasota Ballet returns to the Joyce, armed with two mixed bills and an arsenal of works by Ashton.
Selections include “Monotones 1 & II,” his space-age pas de trois, as well as the pas de trois from “Les Patineurs,” which pays homage to ice skating. Programs also include works by Ricardo Graziano and Christopher Wheeldon.
And there’s a surprise in a guest dancer: Marcelo Gomes will appear in the final pas de deux from “The Two Pigeons,” opposite company member Victoria Hulland. Mr. Gomes left his post as principal dancer at American Ballet Theater after an allegation of sexual misconduct. As he was quoted in a recent New York Times interview: “I’m soaking up every minute I get to step onstage at this point in my life. Everything has a different meaning to me now.” GIA KOURLAS
Theater: Hearing Echoes of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’
The actress turned novelist Alexandra Silber has spent a lot of time living in Anatevka, the fictional Russian village in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Maybe not as long as Tevye and Golde’s daughters, but she has played a couple of them — Hodel, in a British production, and later Tzeitel, in the 2015 Broadway revival. She also spent three years writing “After Anatevka,” her prose sequel to the musical, which has Hodel for a heroine and was published last year.
On Monday, Aug. 13, at Minetta Lane Theater in Greenwich Village, a live event will add another couple of layers to this creative mille-feuille. The audiobook company Audible, anticipating its own release of “After Anatevka,” will host an evening combining excerpts from the novel, read by Ms. Silber, with songs written for “Fiddler” (including “Dear Sweet Sewing Machine,” which was cut from the show) and new numbers inspired by “After Anatevka.” Performers are slated to include Samantha Massell, Matthew Scott and Patrick Page; the “Fiddler” lyricist Sheldon Harnick is expected to be on hand, too. Audible will, of course, be recording the program for its audiobook. LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES
TV: ‘Mr. Mercedes’ Returns for a Second Season
Viewers who breathed more easily at the end of Season 1 of “Mr. Mercedes,” the Audience Network’s adaptation of the 2014 Stephen King novel, clearly didn’t know the source material. (Those who haven’t seen it should beware: spoilers ahead.)
The first installment of this series from David E. Kelley and Jack Bender sent the retired detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson, terrifically malcontent) in chase of the killer behind the massacre he never solved: the deranged Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway), a computer technician and ice cream truck man whose mother loved him inappropriately.
The second opens with Hodges getting on with life as a private investigator and Hartsfield vegetating in a hospital — where his brain is ripe for experimentation. And just maybe bringing back to consciousness, the better to control others in its altered state.
Watch — again, or for the first time — Season 1 of “Mr. Mercedes” on DirecTV’s Audience Network and its streaming services before tuning into Season 2 on Wednesday, Aug. 22. KATHRYN SHATTUCK