Good afternoon, this is W42ST Lifestyle Editor Sarah Beling with “Make Way For The Weekend” — your curated guide to the best of New York events in one convenient newsletter!

As anyone who watched me duck from a flying ball in gym class can tell you, I am not exactly the sporting type. And though I have little-to-no hand-eye coordination, I reject the notion that all theater people hate sports, because 1) we’re competitive and 2) we love drama. So yes, though I won’t be drafted onto a team anytime soon, I appreciate a good game!! 

Given the above, I was more than delighted to attend Lincoln Center’s new play FLEX — where you can catch the best of both worlds (through this weekend only!!) in a sharp, searingly funny and sometimes gutting piece about a 1998 high school women’s basketball team in Plainnole, Arkansas. Dare I say — it’s a slam dunk. 

Here’s to more varsity theater!!!! Here’s to the weekend!!!

…when you can only think as far ahead as Monday!

🎶 rhythm and ribs
Take a swingin’ staycation without ever leaving the island at the Hudson River Park Blues BBQ Festival August 19, where you can enjoy a full day of food from favorites like Mighty Quinn’s, Blue Smoke, Dickson’s Farmstand, Kimchi Smoke Barbecue and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, and tunes from artists like John Primer and the Real Deal Blues Band, Danny Mixon, Selwyn Birchwood and more!

🎶 happening harlem
Celebrate the uptown neighborhood’s rich history and cultural contributions at Harlem Week now through August 20, where there is a chock-full lineup of film screenings, wellness talkbacks and workshops, dance parties, concerts, spelling bees, arts and crafts, shopping from local makers and more! 



Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors is a high-octane, low-down, hilarious reimagining of the gothic classic. With fangs of fury and abs of steel, the stakes are high for Count D as he flees lady vampire hunter Jean Van Helsing and her motley entourage. If you’re a sucker for a bash brimming with bits, bites and bats, you can B Positive that this 90-minute, gender-bending, quick-change Stoker-joker is just your type. This Dracula has got the chops to make it on stage and leave audiences dying for more. He may not be the next Phantom, but he’s in the same vein. You can Count on it. draculacomedy.com

🎞️ out of this world
Special thanks to my friend Brett for the hot tip that legendary drag artist Hedda Lettuce is hosting a screening of cult classic Queen of Outer Space at the Angelika East August 18, in an evening promising “Rocky Horror meets Mystery Science Theater with barbed wit”!

🎭 always relevant annie
The description of Pulitzer Prize-award winning playwright Annie Baker’s new show Infinite Lifebeginning August 18 at Atlantic Theater Company — as a “surprisingly funny inquiry into the complexity of suffering”, as well as the fact that it primarily stars women over the age of 30, has sold me. We need more non-teenage angst!!!!

🎭 up to the fates of drag
Greek Tragicomedy meets High Drag at the remounting of 1980’s Forever After, in which “a gay couple celebrates their one-year anniversary. The lovers, alone at last, are content that their romantic conclusion is at hand. That’s when a drag queen lurking in the audience descends upon the stage, insisting that gay men don’t get happy endings and demands a rewrite. Another queen rushes in to advocate for the power of love, yes even for gay men. What ensues is a fierce wig-to-wig battle between the queens, each vying for control of the narrative, throwing the actors playing the couple into existential crisis.” It’s presented by LBGTQIA+ theater company The Other Side Of Silence at the Flea now through August 26! 

🌼 for the inner child
Herbert Von King Park hosts the Festival of Grounded Souls August 20 — a day-long lineup of music and meditative activities centered on healing the inner child of Black and Brown queer folks! 

🎞️ raise a glass
Yes, Gatsby-themed content is everywhere right now (perhaps because it somewhat recently entered the public domain!). Keep the champagne flowing and attend a screening of the 2013 adaptation at the Midtown Rooftop Cinema August 20. 

🎞️ spitting verses on the silver screen
Honoring hip hop’s 50th year, The Museum of the Moving Image hosts a series of screenings celebrating musician-actor-multihyphenates in Real Rap: Hip Hop Star Power On Screen now through October. My favorite pick? Sister Act II, of course!!!! You CANNOT beat that medley y’all!!!!

🎶 soaring sounds of summer
Take in one of the last weeks of the Bryant Park Picnic Performance series and hear a free concert from famed Italian Tenor Alessandro Lora August 19 in partnership with the New York City Opera! 

📸 talk about a photo op
Set yourself up for a perfect pic at the World Photography Day early morning event at Summit ONE Vanderbilt August 19, where you can enjoy coffee, light bites and the singular New York sunrise. I would say that I’ll join you, but my only early morning photography is the screenshot I accidentally take when trying to turn off my alarm. 

Far Header

…what’s happening before and just after I hit your inbox next!

🎞️ home of the…
Did you get nostalgic after watching the Saturday Night Live Good Burger reunion?! I have good news for you — the original 90s classic, Good Burger is showing at Bryant Park August 21! I can hear you reciting the lines already!!!

🚂 um i have a lot of stories
One of my most embarrassing fun facts is that years ago I became so fed up with the MTA that I created a short-lived Instagram account and blog to yell about it. Yes, I have since been to therapy. But the fact that I got an invite from the New York Times to “Share Your Subway Story” at the Grey Lady’s all-day pop-up at Grand Central August 23… tempts me. They don’t realize what a mistake they’ve made!!!! Also, I need to chill TF out. 

🎞️ and who gets to light a candle?!
At least a few of you must remember the middle-school trauma of wondering if everyone else but you was invited to the B-Mitzvah of the Season or whether you would spend the entire “Snowball” slow dance stranded on the sidelines. Relive the stress by entering to win a ticket to an early screening of Adam Sandler and Idina Menzel star vehicle You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah August 21! 

🎶 swoon and sip
Join host Michael Crowley and a bevy of other talented musicians for a charming cabaret in A Swell Night for a Song at Vice Versa Restaurant  August 24! 

…for when you need to secure those hot tickets before they sell out!!!

🎭 maxxinistas of the theater, unite! 
Love to see shows but don’t love draining your bank account? Tickets for NYC Broadway Week (September 4-17) are now on sale — snag two-for-one tickets to those plays and musicals you’ve been dying to see and still have enough cash to treat yourself to dinner afterwards!! 

🎭 sentimental journey
Featuring 14 of the actress and singer’s most famous tunes, new Off-Broadway play with music Doris Day: My Secret Love explores Day’s journey to self-fulfillment and begins September 4 at the 28th Street Theater! 

🔥 Hot tip 
As we wind down another summer, why not close it out with a delightful romance novel? If you’re in the market, The Ripped Bodice — a new, woman and Queer-owned independent bookshop entirely dedicated to the genre — just opened in Brooklyn!! 

⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you
You can still do a Barbenheimer double feature at the Skyline Drive-in (no car necessary) this weekend! 

Apparently, Banter NYC has $8 Margaritas at their happy hour 👀!!

Queens Craft Brigade is back August 19

Plant people! The Sill has a sample sale starting August 22! 

That’s it for now! Call me beep me if you want to reach me! (sarah@w42st.com)

If you were forwarded this email, why not get the exclusive? Sign up here!