In 2020, pumping your Bluetooth speaker in the park — while masked up and stationed safely 6 feet away from any strangers — was about the closest you could get to those summer fun feels. But with the reopening of the city and the un-masking of the newly vaccinated, there will be plenty of ways to entertain yourself this season. Here, The Post’s music writer Chuck Arnold and movie and theater critic Johnny Oleksinski tell you the hottest movies, theater events and, yes, concerts to turn your summer all the way up.
Forest Hills Stadium
Brittany Howard will perform under the stars at Forest Hills Stadium in September.Brantley Gutierrez
The former site of the US Open tennis tournament will be hosting many players of a different kind — the musical one — this summer. Among the artists scheduled to take the stage in the pastoral setting nestled in the midst of Queens are Bright Eyes (July 31) and Wilco (Aug. 21). And the season ends with a bang with the double rock bill of My Morning Jacket and Brittany Howard on Sept. 10 and 11.
Forest Hills Stadium, 1 Tennis Place, Forest Hills; ForestHillsStadium.com
Central Park SummerStage
The green heart of Manhattan will be beating with the sounds of a variety of acts this summer, from the jazz stylings of trumpeter Chris Botti on June 20 to the astro-funk of George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic on June 27. Later, the season continues with the bands Lake Street Dive (Aug. 24) and Dawes (Sept. 17). But all eyes will be out for a Megan Fox sighting when Machine Gun Kelly rocks the park on Sept. 13.
Central Park; SummerStage.org
Rooftop at Pier 17
One of the best newer venues on the Manhattan music map will welcome a fleet of acts to its South Street Seaport setting. After Rise Against on July 30, docking in August will be Blues Traveler (Aug. 4), Pink Martini (Aug. 12) and Jason Mraz (Aug. 21). Then September will bring Bleachers (Sept. 12), Machine Gun Kelly (Sept. 14) and Lord Huron (Sept. 16).
Pier 17 Seaport; Pier17NY.com
James Taylor & Jackson Browne at Jones Beach
James Taylor is set to take the stage at Jones Beach.CBS via Getty Images
Take a DeLorean back to ’70s singer-songwriter heaven when James Taylor and Jackson Browne rewind the clock in Long Island on Aug. 27. From Taylor’s “Carolina in My Mind,” “Fire and Rain” and “Shower the People” to Browne’s “Running on Empty,” “Somebody’s Baby” and “Doctor My Eyes,” it’s guaranteed to be the sweetest of nostalgia trips, with tickets starting at $50.
Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, 896 Bay Parkway, Wantagh; JonesBeach.com
The Stone Pony Summer Stage
Asbury Park, New Jersey — and the Stone Pony — have always been sacred musical ground as the formative stomping grounds of none other than the Boss, Bruce Springsteen. And its Summer Stage series continues that rocking legacy with Rise Against (July 31), Blackberry Smoke (Aug. 13), the Deftones (Aug. 28), the Struts (Sept. 9) and local heroes Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes (Sept. 4).
The Stone Pony, 913 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park, NJ; StonePonyOnline.com
Ari Lennox will kick off the Celebrate Brooklyn! series. Getty Images
BK will be bumping beginning July 31, when the Celebrate Brooklyn! series kicks off with R&B songstress Ari Lennox oozing her neo-soul sensuality through Prospect Park Bandshell. Also bringing the noise to the borough will be British rock band Glass Animals (Aug. 31), Colombian-Canadian singer-songwriter Lido Pimienta (Aug. 21) and reggae royal Skip Marley (Aug. 13), grandson of Bob.
Prospect Park Bandshell, 141 Prospect Park West; BricArtsMedia.org
Trey Anastasio at the Beacon Theatre
Phish fans will no doubt be jamming in their seats when the band’s lead singer headlines the Beacon on June 22 and 23. Although the full-capacity shows are technically sold out — with Anastasio being the first artist to welcome concertgoers back to the theater — the determined and dedicated can still find tickets from brokers.
Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway; MSG.com/beacon-theatre
Green Day, Fall Out Boy & Weezer at Citi Field
The Mets will have to move over when this punk-pop train comes to town during the Hella Mega Tour. This three-band bill — a dream teaming of Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer — was originally supposed to hit Citi Field in 2020, so you can be sure that these boys will be revved up and ready to rock on Aug. 4, with tickets starting at $120.
Citi Field, 41 Seaver Way, Queens; Mets.com/upcoming events
Alanis Morissette, Garbage & Liz Phair at Jones Beach
Singer Alanis Morissette will shake the Long Island amphitheater this summer.WireImage
They are women, hear them roar: It will be one rocking ladies’ night when “Jagged Little Pill” powerhouse Morissette, the Shirley Manson-fronted Garbage and fierce femme Phair — whose new album, “Soberish,” drops Friday — take over the Long Island amphitheater on Aug. 29, with tickets starting at $80.50. You oughta know you should be there.
Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, 896 Bay Parkway, Wantagh; JonesBeach.com
Governors Ball Music Festival
It will be all about Billie Eilish, who will put her newly blond ambition on display at Governors Ball, where you can expect the 19-year-old alt-pop princess to showcase new tunes from her sophomore album, “Happier Than Ever,” due July 30. Also helping the festival celebrate its 10th-anniversary edition taking place from Sept. 24 to 26 — with limited tickets ranging from $129 for one-day general admission to $319 for three-day general admission — will be A$AP Rocky, J Balvin and Post Malone.
Citi Field, 41 Seaver Way, Queens; GovernorsBallMusicFestival.com
Broadway at Tavern
Ariana DeBose kicks off the Broadway at Tavern concert series at Tavern on the Green.Photos by Jenny Anderson
It’s the meeting of two New York classics: Broadway and the iconic Central Park restaurant Tavern on the Green. Called “Broadway at Tavern,” the concert series brings stage stars to the idyllic outdoor eatery. You nosh before the show on dishes like grilled lobster and spring pea risotto and then enjoy some tunes. The series kicked off with Ariana DeBose from the upcoming “West Side Story” film, and continues with Shoshana Bean (“Waitress,” “Wicked”) on June 8 and 9.
Tavern on the Green, Central Park at West 67th Street; TavernontheGreen.com
Comedy at Union Hall
The laughs are back on indoors. At Union Hall in Brooklyn, proof of vaccination is required to enter the basement venue, and they have a full, funny lineup for summer including David Cross (July 16, 21, 26, 31), Joel Kim Booster (June 30, July 7, July 14, July 21) and “Stamptown” (June 23), a raucous night of comedy and alternative performance.
Union Hall, 702 Union St., Brooklyn; UnionHallNY.com
‘Pass Over’ on Broadway
The play “Pass Over,” which played Lincoln Center in 2018, will be the first show back on Broadway.Jeremy Daniel
Believe it or not, you can actually see a Broadway show before Labor Day. Currently, the first production to begin performances on the Great White Way will be “Pass Over,” Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s drama about two black men who can’t leave a street corner — starting previews just two months from now at the August Wilson Theatre. It plans to perform to full-capacity crowds.
Previews start Aug. 4. August Wilson Theatre, 245 W. 52nd St.; SeatGeek.com
Burlesque at Club Cumming
At Alan Cumming’s East Village hotspot, there’s live entertainment every night, and after a buttoned-up year, some naughtiness is certainly called for. On Thursdays, Tallulah Talons hosts “Pandemic Burlesque,” an intimate, boozy variety show. Wednesday night’s “Cabernet Cabaret,” a comedy night hosted by Catherine Cohen, is also great fun.
Thursdays, Club Cumming, 505 E. 6th St.; ClubCummingNYC.com
Restart Stages at Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center has transformed its famous plaza into a lush green space for lounging and performances.Getty Images
The 66th Street complex has reconfigured its plaza into a lush garden out of “Alice in Wonderland,” and it’s staging musical and theatrical performances there. Artists include Juilliard students as well as famed jazz musician Eddie Palmieri (June 5). Tickets are available via TodayTix lottery.
Lincoln Center Plaza, 150 W. 65th St.; LincolnCenter.org
Brooklyn Film Festival
While many of the marquee festivals (Sundance, Cannes, Toronto) are beacons of prestige and important stops on the awards circuit, Brooklyn Film Fest prizes stranger, riskier fare. In the dark comedy “Kringle Time,” after a kids program presenter dies, we learn he had a checkered, highly objectionable past.
June 4-13. Windmill Studios, 300 Kingsland Ave., Brooklyn; BrooklynFilmFestival.org
Rooftop films at Our Wicked Lady
The cool Bushwick bar Our Wicked Lady puts on Monday movie nights every week on its rooftop. The screen is smaller than a big theater or drive-in, but the fully vaccinated environment is big on atmosphere. Coming up are “Interview With the Vampire” (June 14), “Cry-Baby” (June 21) and “Snakes on a Plane” (June 28).
Every Monday. Our Wicked Lady, 153 Morgan Ave., Brooklyn; OurWickedLady.com
At the drive-ins
Skyline Drive-In was a big hit last summer in Greenpoint.Courtesy of Skyline Drive-in
Last summer, the world went retro, baking bread, spending hours talking on the phone and going to drive-in movies. Only the third one, though, seems to have stuck. A bunch are returning this year, including the Skyline Drive-In in Greenpoint, the Queens Drive-In at the New York Hall of Science in Corona and Juicy Lucy BBQ on Staten Island.
Indie theater highlights
While powerhouses like Regal and AMC hog the attention, smaller niche cinemas in the city are roaring back, too. Coming up at the Angelika Film Center is “Summer of 85” (June 18), a French 2020 Cannes selection. Starting June 11, Film At Lincoln Center will be showing New York Film Festival 2020 movies that weren’t able to be screened in-person, such as Steve McQueen’s Small Axe trilogy. And from June 11, the IFC Center will be showing the creepy Sundance horror film “Censor.”
Three-course dinner and a movie
A drive-in worth singling out is the Bel Aire Diner. The Queens restaurant hopped on the bandwagon last summer, and set themselves apart by serving a three-course prix fixe dinner included in the ticket price. Also useful for vehicularly challenged New Yorkers is you don’t need to bring a car at all — you can book an outdoor table. The next two weeks they’re showing the classics: “Lawrence of Arabia” (June 5), “Jaws” (June 19) and (a new classic!) “Crazy Rich Asians” (June 18).
Bel Aire Diner, 31-91 21st St., Queens; BelAireDiner.NYC/events