To kick off 2020, we’ve compiled a month’s worth of free, family-friendly and otherwise noteworthy cultural events.

The holidays are over. The new year is here. And there are a number of films series, plays and more to keep you entertained this month. Looking to chill out at home? Read Mike Hale’s guide to the TV shows you’ll want to watch this winter at Looking for even more reasons to get out of the house? Visit our Arts & Entertainment Guide at

Movie night! The first week of January is a notorious dead zone for new movies, which means it’s a good time to catch those awards-season contenders you missed over the holidays. With the Golden Globes this Sunday, try one of the nominated films (like “Dolemite Is My Name,” streaming on Netflix, or “Marriage Story,” in select theaters and Netflix). Or, to protest the lack of female representation among the best film and director Globe nominees, see Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women.”

‘My Name Is Lucy Barton’ at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater. Laura Linney returns to Broadway in this stage adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s 2016 novel of the same name. The one-woman show follows a writer whose unexpected reunion with her mother leads to a reckoning. Previews begin Jan. 4; opening night Jan. 15;

‘Matthew Wong: Blue’ at Karma gallery. Matthew Wong was “one of the most talented painters of his generation,” Roberta Smith wrote in her review of this posthumous show. (The 35-year-old artist died this fall before the exhibition opened.) Wong’s paintings of nocturnal landscapes and interiors “explore the infinite tones, moods and luminosities of the color blue,” and reveal a “visionary fusion of form and feeling,” Smith wrote. Free. Through Jan. 5;

Erika Jayne as Roxie Hart in ‘Chicago.’ “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star knows a thing or two (or eight) about drama. While her series is currently filming its new season, Jayne’s been gearing up for her Broadway debut. She’ll join the ranks of “Real Housewives” to appear on Broadway (including NeNe Leakes, Kandi Burruss and Lisa Rinna). Through March 29;

‘The Bong Show’ opens at Film at Lincoln Center. Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” was one of the best films of 2019, but it’s just the latest in the South Korean filmmaker’s strong body of works, most of which comment on humanity (or the lack of it) in some manner. “He combines showmanship with social awareness in a way that re-energizes the faded but nonetheless durable democratic promise of movies,” A.O. Scott wrote about the filmmaker. Most of his films are available on streaming platforms, but all of his films will be screened as part of this retrospective. From Jan. 7-14;

‘Party of Five’ debuts on Freeform. The 1990s series gets a topical reboot: family separation. In this version of the family drama, the five Acosta siblings must cope after their parents are deported to Mexico.

Under the Radar Festival at various locations. The performance artist Laurie Anderson and the artist Hsin-Chien Huang will take theatergoers to the moon in a virtual-reality experience that’s part of this year’s annual Public Theater festival. The lineup also includes several international works, like “Salt,” from the Britain-based theater artist Selina Thompson, and “Andares,” from the Mexican company Makuyeika Colectivo Teatral. From Jan. 8-19;

‘To Save and Project’ at the Museum of Modern Art. The 17th edition of MoMA’s annual showcase of newly preserved films kicks off on Jan. 9, with Gustav Machatý’s avant-garde 1933 feature “Ecstasy,” starring a young Hedy Lamarr. Other interesting finds include Cherd Songsri’s “The Scar” (1977); Timité Bassori’s “The Woman With the Knife”; and Raoul Walsh’s silent film “Loves of Carmen” (1927), featuring Hollywood’s first woman star of Mexican descent, Dolores del Rio. While at the museum, stop by “Private Lives Public Spaces,” an exhibition of amateur films and home movies. From Jan. 9-22;

‘The Thin Place’ at Playwrights Horizons. Why not kick off the new year with a really good ghost story? Lucas Hnath’s slyly structured play, about a psychic and her friend, has multiple threads and a 90-minute running time. It’s another example of the playwright’s “theatrical intelligence and respect for human mystery,” Jesse Green wrote in his review. Through Jan. 26;

NYC Winter Lantern Festival at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. This is the last day to visit this 10-acre site, with more than 1,200 huge lanterns, a heated tent, outdoor live performances, a skating rink and the glittering Starry Alley. The light display is easily reached by a free shuttle bus from the Staten Island Ferry terminal. Through Jan. 12;

‘Inside Catfish Row: The Voices of Porgy & Bess’ at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The Gershwin classic opened the Metropolitan Opera’s 2019-2020 season, and returns to the repertory for a run from Jan. 8-Feb. 15. Get insights into the production from two of its stars, Eric Owens (Porgy) and Angel Blue (Bess), during this event. They will be joined by the choreographer Camille A. Brown, who devised movements for the production, and the evening’s host, Terrance McKnight. Free; at 7 p.m.;

‘Medea’ in previews at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Those who saw the Australian director Simon Stone’s much-lauded version of Federico García Lorca’s “Yerma” at the Park Avenue Armory in 2018 will want to make sure they get tickets to this one. Stone is back, with a reworking of another classic: Euripides’s “Medea.” The actors Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale star. Previews begin Jan. 12; opening night is Jan. 30;

Winter Jazz Fest at various venues. This 11-day festival — with a mission to support social and racial justice, gender equality and more — keeps getting bigger. There’s something for everyone, including concert marathons over consecutive weekends; performers like Marquis Hill, Marc Ribot and Mary Halvorson; and, for the younger set, “Jazz for Kids” at noon at Brooklyn Bowl on the festival’s final day. Jan. 8-18;

New York Jewish Film Festival at various locations. Dani Menkin’s documentary “Aulcie” is the opening-night film, officially kicking off the 29th edition of this festival. The film examines the basketball player Aulcie Perry, who led the Israeli basketball team Maccabi Tel Aviv to numerous championships, converted to Judaism and overcame a drug-smuggling conviction. The festival is presenting a range of films from around the world that explore the Jewish experience. From Jan. 15-28;

Black Comic Book Festival at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. This free two-day event returns to the museum for its eighth iteration. Programming includes panel discussion with illustrators, writers and independent publishers; a vendor marketplace; a cosplay show; and more. Jan. 17-18;

‘Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s-1980s’ at Grey Art Gallery, New York University. This new exhibition, drawn from the collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation, based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, tracks the development of abstraction in the Arab world through paintings, sculptures and works on paper. The show consists of about 90 works, featuring artists like Etel Adnan, Shakir Hassan, Huguette Caland, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Rachid Koraïchi and others. Jan. 14-April 4;

‘Black Women: Trailblazing African-American Performers & Images, 1920-2001’ at Film Forum. Curated by the film historian Donald Bogle, with the media archivist Ina Archer, this extensive series showcases 80 years of African-American actresses and images in American cinema. The opening weekend lineup includes “Carmen Jones,” “Cabin in the Sky” and the kid-friendly “Sounder,” for which Cicely Tyson received a best actress Oscar nomination. Kathleen Collins’s “Losing Ground,” “Dirty Gertie From Harlem U.S.A.” and other forgotten gems that have gotten their due in recent years round out the programming. Jan. 17-Feb. 13;

34th Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. This full day of free events commemorating King’s legacy will feature a keynote speech by Nikole Hannah-Jones, a domestic correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, focusing on racial injustice. The musical performers include Son Little and the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir. As usual, free tickets will be distributed on a first come, first seated basis. Lobby doors open at 8 a.m.; events kick off at 10:30 a.m.;

‘A Soldier’s Play’ opens at the American Airlines Theater. Charles Fuller’s drama, first staged Off Broadway in a 1981 production that featured Denzel Washington, delves into questions about service and identity in America following a murder on an Army base in Louisiana in 1944. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play, on Broadway for the first time, stars David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood and is directed by Kenny Leon. In previews; opens Jan. 21;

‘Worlds Beyond Earth’ at the American Museum of Natural History. The museum’s first space show in six years takes viewers on a tour of our solar system from the comfort of their seats in the Hayden Planetarium. Narrated by Lupita Nyong’o, the film explores the nature of the planets and moons in our solar system and the conditions that make life on Earth possible. Opens Jan. 21;

‘Grand Horizons’ opens at the Hayes Theater. Bess Wohl’s play about a couple considering divorce after 50 years of marriage opens on Broadway. The cast include Jane Alexander, James Cromwell, Priscilla Lopez and Michael Urie. In previews; opens Jan. 23;

BroadwayCon at the New York Hilton. The fifth edition of this three-day expo is back for hard-core Broadway fans. There are singalongs, fan meetups and workshops; sessions dedicated to stage managing and national tours; and conversations about shows like “Beetlejuice” and with choreographers like Camille A. Brown. From Jan. 24-26;

The Winter Show at Park Avenue Armory. One of the industry’s bellwether events, promising “5,000 Years of Art, Antiques and Design,” is both “a trove of potential artistic discoveries and a gold-star appointment on New York’s social calendar,” Jason Farago wrote of the 2019 edition. Now in its 66th year, the fair is making efforts to appeal to a new generation of younger collectors. From Jan. 24-Feb 2;

‘Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley’ at the Brooklyn Museum. On the heels of Kent Monkman’s commission for the Met (in which he updated Euro-American painting traditions), the Brooklyn Museum pairs Kehinde Wiley’s “Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps” (2005) with the 19th-century painting on which it is based, Jacques-Louis David’s “Bonaparte Crossing the Alps” (1800-01). Families visiting the museum on this day might want to sign up for a Family Art Magic class, in which children ages 4 to 6 learn more about the art world and create their own works of art. From Jan. 24-May 10;

Angelica Garcia at Elsewhere in Brooklyn. The singer’s 2016 debut album, “Medicine for Birds,” leaned toward guitar-centered roots-rock, but her new one, “Cha Cha Palace” (due Feb. 28), is “brashly determined” and “defies formats,” Jon Pareles wrote. Some of her new songs will surely make the set list on this evening, so consider this concert a listening party. Doors open at 7 p.m.;

‘Weakness is the Brand’ on multiple platforms. Comedy Dynamics is making the comedian Maria Bamford’s much-awaited new special available on Amazon Prime Video, Spectrum, Apple TV, Vimeo, YouTube and other platforms. The special finds her getting “back to basics,” Jason Zinoman wrote recently. He called her “one of the absolute masters of the craft.”

André De Shields at the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The actor has come a long way since his breakout role in “The Wiz” in 1975. He embodies “style and elegance in motion, like an ultracharismatic emissary from some higher plane,” Laura Collins-Hughes wrote of the actor last year, before he won a Tony for playing the god Hermes in “Hadestown” and delivered a speech (about his three cardinal rules for longevity) that went viral. Expect more wisdom and charm during his concert, “Old Dawg; New Tricks.” At 8:30 p.m.;

‘The Good Place’ on NBC. Is Earth really canceled? Can Chidi (William Jackson Harper) persuade Gen (Maya Rudolph) to spare the human race? We’ll find out when this comedy returns on Jan. 9. Or will we? The final few episodes leading to the Jan. 30 finale — a 90-minute episode — will surely bring lots of twists and turns. One thing is certain: Seth Meyers will host a post-finale special featuring the full cast.

‘Bojack Horseman’ on Netflix. The second half of the final season arrives to the dismay of fans, who are in deep denial. It’s been one of the best shows on TV for its six-season run. Margaret Lyons recently wrote: “‘BoJack’ is its most spectacular self when it is echoing, satirizing and reimagining well-known TV formats. It’s done it for hokey family sitcoms, for cable news, for weird game shows, for bleak antihero dramas. And now for the prestige finale rollout.”

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