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Spring Arts Preview: Best in Theater, Art, Music and more

"Creatures of Light" exhibition at American Museum of Natural History. Photo Credit: "Creatures of Light" exhibition at American Museum of Natural History.

With the warm winter weather we had here in New York, spring fever has been in the air for quite some time - and now, thankfully, spring is
officially here.

In terms of the New York arts scene, that means a plethora of concerts, Broadway openings, outdoor film screenings, art exhibitions and everything in between.

So here's to the season - and happy events-going!

March

23: Fiona Apple finally brings her sultry sounds back to the stage, timed with the release of "Extraordinary Machine" - her first album in six years. (Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. Sixth St., Williamsburg, 9 p.m., $40; also March 26 at Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St.)

24: Dorothy and the gang take a trip down the Yellow Brick Road - and so can you with a "Wizard of Oz" screening and sing-along. (The Bell House, 149 Seventh St., Gowanus, 7:30 p.m., $10-$12)

25: "Mad Men" makes its highly anticipated Season 5 premiere, and to celebrate, Clover Club is throwing a viewing party complete with period cocktails and drink specials all night. (Clover Club, 210 Smith St., Cobble Hill, 9 p.m., FREE)

26: The Met's exhibition "Naked Before the Camera" is just what its title implies - a survey of nudity in photography, stretching from the early days of the camera to the sexual revolution of the 1960s to beyond. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., through Sept. 9, $12-$25)

27: Go on a journey of movement with DanceBrazil, which mixes elements of Afro-Brazilian dance with contemporary moves and Capoeira. (Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave., through April 8, $10-$39)

29: Extra, extra: '90s cult classic "Newsies" makes the jump from screen to NYC stage with its Broadway opening. (Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st St., through Aug. 19)

31: Want to know what makes a firefly light up? You'll discover that and more at the exhibition "Creatures of Light," which examines organisms that glow. (American Museum of Natural History, through Jan. 6, $14.50-$25)

April

1: As election season heats up, Gore Vidal's political potboiler "The Best Man" - with the
monster cast of James Earl Jones, Eric McCormack, John Larroquette, Candice Bergen, Michael McKean and Angela Lansbury - should definitely get your vote. (Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th St., through July 8)

2: To celebrate the 10th anniversary of his debut album "I Get Wet," Andrew W.K. does some serious rocking out, even performing "Wet" in its entirety. (Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., 8 p.m., $25-$30)

3: Cirque du Soleil presents its jaw-dropping show, "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour," which is set to Jackson's music and embodies the late singer's spirit. (Madison Square Garden, 4 Penn Plz., 8 p.m., $50-$250; also April 4-5)

4: "Saturday Night Live" alum - and New Yorker - Rachel Dratch signs copies of her funny memoir "Girl Walks Into a Bar ... Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters and Midlife Miracle." (Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 E. 17th St., 7 p.m., FREE)

5: Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit show "Evita" is getting a revival on the Great White Way, and this time there's an actual Argentinian actress, Elena Roger, in the title role. Ricky Martin lives the vida loca onstage as well. (Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway, open run)

6: The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, takes over MSG with his Wrecking Ball Tour. (Madison Square Garden, 4 Penn Plz., 7:30 p.m., $73-$103; also April 9)

7: Tyler Perry's stories never fail to get laughs or capture our hearts - and such is the case with his new play, "The Haves and The Have Nots." (Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, through April 8, $39.50-$115)

10: Early Egyptian (ca. 4000-2650 B.C.) paintings, sculptures and pieces made for shrines and tombs are on display at the exhibition "The Dawn of Egyptian Art." (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., through Aug. 5, $12-$25)

11: The new Broadway sports show "Magic/Bird" - from the producers and creators of "Lombardi" - takes a look at the rivalry between two of basketball's greatest players: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. (Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St., open run)

13: "Tosh Tour Twenty Twelve" (Try saying that five times fast) is the second stand-up tour that Comedy Central has produced with "Tosh.0" funnyguy Daniel Tosh. (Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave., 7 and 10 p.m., $40-$75)

14: The Guggenheim's two-year project "stillspotting nyc" - which explores the concept of finding peace in the bustling city - takes on the sanctums of Jackson Heights with a four-stop tour. (stillspotting ticketing kiosk, 40-40 75th St., Jackson Heights, tours throughout day, FREE; also April 15, 21-22, 28-29 and May 5-6)

17: The film series "Through Our Eyes: 3 Decades of NYC Youth Documentaries" delves into issues that have affected the city - from the crack epidemic of the '80s to recent housing woes - from the perspective of teen filmmakers. (Film Society of Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plz., through May 15, $7-$10)

18: The Big Apple's largest gathering of must-see flicks - the Tribeca Film Festival - is back with a massive number of screenings and discussions. Kicking off the festivities: Jason Segel and Emily Blunt's comedy "The Five-Year Engagement." (various theaters, through April 29, $8-$25, tribecafilm.com)

19: ?uestlove of the Roots brings together a group of artists to present "Shuffle Culture" - a free-flowing playlist that's supposed to reflect modern society's "shuffle culture." (BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave., Downtown Brooklyn, $25-$45)

22: Blair Underwood makes his Broadway debut in the iconic role of Stanley Kowalski in this unconventional, minority-led production of the Tennessee Williams classic "A Streetcar Named Desire." (Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W. 44th St., through July 22 )

23: Yet another film comes to the stage: The Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore fantasy classic "Ghost" features a score by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and Glen Ballard, accompanied of course, by the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody." (Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St., open run)

24: Check out "Kandinsky at the Bauhaus, 1922-1933" - a showing of works from a significant period in artist Vasily Kandinsky's career - before it closes Saturday. (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave., through April 25, FREE-$18)

25: Tony Award winner John Lithgow returns to Broadway in the role of journalist Joseph Alsop, one of the most influential writers of the 1940s-1960s, in "The Columnist." (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., through June 17)

26: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz ("The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao," 2007) headlines City Tech's 30th annual Literary Arts Festival. (Klitgord Center Auditorium, 285 Jay St., Downtown Brooklyn, 5:30 p.m., FREE)

27: Burlesque isn't just for the ladies - the first Boylesque Festival is all about performers of the not-quite-so-fair sex. (various venues, through April 28, nyboylesquefestival.com)

28: Attention, comic fans: Panels, discussions and other comic-related events are all a part of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art's MoCCA Festival. (69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Ave., through April 29)

29: They dress well and know how to melt their fans' hearts: Death Cab for Cutie rocks out for the last night of its NYC stop. (Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, 8 p.m., $39.50-$65)

May

2: Interesting public art is always a sight to behold - so as you're inevitably passing by the always-popular Madison Square Park this summer, be sure to check out Charles Long's interactive, large-scale mixed-media installation "Pet Sounds." (Madison Square Park, 23rd Street and Broadway, through Sept. 9, FREE)

3: Grammy-winning trio Lady Antebellum joins forces with a blast from the past - Hootie and the Blowfish's Darius Rucker - for a rocking two-night stint. (Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave., 7:30 p.m., $55-$95; also May 4)

4: The Frieze Art Fair brings together a large variety of contemporary works from around the world, as well as art-focused debates, panel discussions and lectures. A ferry ride to Randall's Island is included in the ticket price. (Randall's Island, through May 7, $25-$40)

5: Experience "Founding Choreographers," a day of performance and discussion devoted to New York City Ballet's founding choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. (various locations and pricing for different events, nycballet.com)

8: Take in the unique musical stylings of Florence + the Machine. (Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave., 8 p.m., $35-$95)

9: To celebrate 50 years as a band, Brian Wilson, Mike Love and the rest of the Beach Boys churn out their classics on this golden-anniversary tour. (Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, 8 p.m., $59-$250)

10: Last year's Alexander McQueen exhibit from the Met's Costume Institute was a massive success, and this year comes "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations," which explores the similarities between two Italian design icons from different periods - Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., through Aug. 19, $14.50-$25)

11: Step out of the movie theater for some film action - the Rooftop Films Summer Series is screening flicks outside every weekend through Aug. 18, many of which are followed by filmmaker Q&As. (locations TBA, through Aug. 18, rooftopfilms.com)

12: Get a dose of electro-pop with the sounds of music fest fave Neon Indian. (Terminal 5, 610 W. 56th St., 8 p.m., $25-$30)

13: There's only one more day to check out MoMA's mural exhibition from Mexican artist Diego Rivera. (Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St., through May 14, $14-$25)

14: The American Ballet Theatre kicks off its spring season, which includes "Giselle" and "Le Corsaire." (Metropolitan Opera House, various prices/subscription plans, through July 7)

16: Dumbo becomes a veritable playground of imagery during the New York Photo Festival. (various locations, through May 20, nyph.at

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