Some of the best cultural happenings this month.


Cafe Spaghetti
Chef Sal Lamboglia

There are some dishes that are just indisputably delicious. The kind of profoundly satisfying thing you never tire of eating. We count a hot bowl of spaghetti bathed in perfectly rendered sauce as one of them. Chef Sal Lamboglia, who spent years running downtown Manhattan spot Bar Primi, agrees and is launching his own place named after the pasta in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood. While the daytime options will be whittled down to breakfast sandwiches and espressos, expect a full dinner menu populated by classic Italian fare.


MAY 13
Montana Story
Directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel

Montana is having a resurgence on the silver screen, serving as the backdrop (if not the actual physical location) for several films in recent years, including the Oscar-winning The Power of the Dog. It makes a titular return to theaters thanks to a new film from co-directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel, which tells the story of two estranged siblings reuniting as their father nears the end of his life. Past traumas are revealed among sweeping mountainscapes and the kind of rich cinematography you can't help but get lost in.


MAY 22
Isla Bonita

Bel Fullana's paintings question our culture's dynamics when it comes to gender and sexuality, and this new show at Freight+Volume brings some of her latest works together in one place. Many of the works have a tropical setting, a recurring theme that riffs on stereotypical travel imagery but charges them with an uncertainty that borders on threatening.


MAY 17
Dream Zenzile
Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz; Written by Somi Kakoma

Miriam Makeba is an icon of South African music who, in addition to her work as a singer and songwriter, was an activist who fought the nation's apartheid government. The impact of her life and career has only continued to grow since her death in 2008, and a new play by Somi Kakoma dramatizes the night of Makeba's final concert. It's during this performance that her character's ancestors transport "her through the music and fractured memories of her past on a spiritual journey of reconciliation."


MAY 24
Written by Elif Batuman

A follow-up to Elif Batuman's bestseller The Idiot, Either/Or continues the story of protagonist Selin as she navigates sophomore year at Harvard in 1996. Inspired by her syllabus and her peers, Selin is determined to have as many new experiences as she can while grappling with the puzzling events of the past summer. Batuman masterfully infuses this new novel with the kind of immediacy and intensity endemic to youth.