Theatre for One (through 5/23; open daily 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9 p.m.): Set designer Christine Jones' project puts you and one performer in Times Square in a literal black-box theater-basically, it is a huge steamer trunk with a couple of rectangular tumors and a door labeled "audience." Jones designed the box to accommodate "a rotating body of work that includes music, dance, poetry and multimedia productions," so we are not totally sure what to expect in there. All we know is this: The concept sounds like the apotheosis of every sparsely attended student play we ever endured, and despite our wariness, we are intrigued!
Elliot Allagash: A Novel, Simon Rich (Random House, on sale 5/25): Discomfort on multiple levels. One: reading the YA travails of a misfit teen. Two: feeling jealous of Frank Rich's super-funny 24-year-old SNL writer son. Simon Rich has also written the "Shouts & Murmurs" in this week's New Yorker! And has written several memorably humorous "Shouts & Murmurs" in the past! Our life is the dumbest.
New York City Spelling Bee (5/21, 6:30 sign-ups and 7 p.m. competition, at the Housing Works Bookstore Café): An event for adults. This is sure to attract some horrible people, but what can we say? We have a soft spot for spelling.
Beef Seven Ways at Ma Peche (15 West 56th Street; see reservations.momofuku.com): Reservations are now available online for the seven-course beefstravaganza at David Chang's newest restaurant. It's intended as a contemporary version of a Vietnamese celebratory feast-current offerings take the enterprising carnivore on a journey from tongue salad to roasted rib-eye to short-rib consommé. The experience lasts one to three hours, serves 6 to 10 people, costs $85 per person and includes beef from six different sources. Among the FAQs explained online: "q: are there any vegetarian alternatives to beef 7 ways? a: no."
"I Scream, You Scream ... : The History of Ice Cream Making" (5/19, 6:30 p.m. reception and 7 p.m. lecture): A lecture by ice cream scholar Jeri Quinzio (Of Sugar and Snow), presented by the Culinary Historians of New York in conjunction with the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum exhibit "What's the Scoop? The Truth About Ice Cream." Once, not too long ago, we were 11 years old, fat and very into history. We are getting nostalgic already. N.B.: "An ice cream social and tasting of artisanal ice creams will proceed the lecture in a recreated 19th-century Pleasure Garden" (emphasis ours).
Strawberries: In season and appearing now at the Union Square Greenmarket! Other markets, too, probably. Make Pavlova ... or something with rhubarb.
The ArchAndroid, Janelle Monae (Wondaland Arts Society/Bad Boy Records): The perpetually tuxedo-clad and be-pompadour-ed singer releases her first album this week. There is apparently some concept-album thing going on with a futuristic story and symphonic movements and a protagonist named "Cindi Mayweather," but the important thing is that "Tightrope," the first single, is a fun song. Also, even if we do not really go in for the tuxedo and pompadour look ourselves, we admire her commitment to an extremely specific aesthetic. Bonus: Monae has said that she was inspired by Fritz Lang's Metropolis, still playing at Film Forum with a long-lost hour of footage.
This Is Happening, LCD Soundsystem (Virgin/Parlophone/DFA). In this case, the lead single is "Drunk Girls"; again, we approve. "Far from horrible," quoth Pitchfork, "actually pretty perfect." James Murphy will also be playing Terminal 5 Thursday night through Sunday night.
The New York Dolls (5/22, 7 p.m. at Warsaw in Greenpoint): Of course, only two of the original Dolls remain. But don't feel bad; there are pierogies and kielbasa to comfort you.