19 Reasons We’re Looking Forward to 2020

nycgo.com staff

2020 is going to be a huge year in New York City. Big-name concerts, women’s pro sports, new Coney Island thrills, a vertiginous observation deck and a reality TV star showing up on Broadway are just a few of the reasons why we can’t wait for it to start.

Diana. Courtesy, Serino Coyne

1. We’re getting a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills in New York City for Chicago.Erika Jayne, aka Erika Girardi of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, is known for her head-turning musical performances. So her fans are not surprised that she’ll soon make her Broadway debut in Chicago. Jayne will play murderess Roxie Hart from January 6 through March 29. Another Broadway premiere takes place in March: the musical Diana, about the life and legacy of the late Princess Diana of Wales. —Christina Parrella

Courtesy, Big East Conference

2. We’ve got a case of March Madness. The Division I NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament returns to New York City in March when the East Regional comes to Madison Square Garden. That deep into the tournament, we’re guaranteed to have powerhouses, Cinderella stories or both. Other maddening March college basketball events include the Atlantic 10 and Big East tournaments, plus the National Invitation Tournament. —nycgo.com staff

3. We’ll say goodbye, again, to the yellow brick road. If you read our reasons to look forward to 2019, this one might seem familiar. But Elton John is still standing (or at the least, sitting at the piano) and singing those sad songs. His final tour touches down once more in NYC, hitting Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden in spring. Consider it part of the circle of life. —Andrew Rosenberg

4. Whoa, here they come. Hall and Oates are also set to perform live at Madison Square Garden, along with Squeeze, on February 28. Other concerts of note include the reunited Motion City Soundtrack at Webster Hall (January 8); Pomplamoose at Bowery Ballroom (January 17); Snoop Dogg at the Gramercy Theatre (January 22); Spin Doctors at Brooklyn Bowl (January 30); Chance the Rapper at MSG (February 8); Eagles at MSG (February 14, 15 and 18); Lauryn Hill at the United Palace Theatre (February 22); Wire at Music Hall of Williamsburg (March 11–12); Billie Eilish at MSG (March 15); Harry Styles at MSG (July 6–8); Green Day with Fall Out Boy and Weezer at Citi Field (August 22); and residencies from They Might Be Giants (playing Flood on select dates several months in a row at Bowery Ballroom) and Billy Joel (continuing to play Madison Square Garden once a month indefinitely). —nycgo.com staff

Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy, New York Botanical Garden

5. Our Instagram feeds will be well fed. Yayoi Kusama is coming. In May, the New York Botanical Garden will host Kusama: Cosmic Nature across its 250 acres, adding neon colors, polka-dot sculptures and mirrored installations amidst its already eye-catching spring blooms. —Gillian Osswald

Jacob deGrom. Courtesy, New York Mets

6. This is the year for a Subway (World) Series. The Mets and Yankees both have exciting, young cores but haven’t quite broken through in the past few seasons. We’re betting 2020 is the year that changes. The Mets, with reigning Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso and back-to-back Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom, and the Yankees, led by Brobdingnagian slugger Aaron Judge and all-around good baseball player DJ LeMahieu, are destined to meet in the Fall Classic for the first time in 20 years. We can feel it. Also make time to see our City’s minor-league baseball teams before MiLB’s threatened reorganization, and check out soccer’s Red Bulls and NYCFC, football’s Jets and Giants, basketball’s Knicks and Nets, and hockey’s Rangers and Islanders. —nycgo.com staff

7. Hugh Jackman is The Music Man. If you loved Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly!, you won’t wanna miss Hugh Jackman’s superstar turn as the fast-talking salesman-professor Harold Hill in another highly anticipated revival of a mid-20th-century Broadway classic. Directed by Jerry Zaks, who guided Midler’s Tony-winning performance in 2017, the show opens in September and pairs Jackman with Broadway veteran Sutton Foster as Marion the Librarian. Tickets are selling faster than musical instruments in River City…so don’t delay or ya got trouble, my friends! —Brian Sloan


8. Pride Plays is back for a second season. As part of last summer’s Stonewall 50/WorldPride celebration, the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in the West Village put on a five-day celebration of LGBTQ+ plays and playwrights, which included staged readings of new and classic works along with panel discussions for creators and fans. The shows sold out, so the festival is returning in 2020 for Pride Week. Broadway star Michael Urie (Torch Song) is co-producing with Doug Nevins and festival director Nick Mayo. —BS

9. Scandinavian style will beguile. Ikea devotees will be able to visit a new store next summer in Queens’ Rego Center mall—the first Ikea in the borough. Furniture will only be available by delivery, but you can take home plenty of reliably inexpensive products that you never knew you needed, like giant stuffed animals, regular-size hangers and a leaf-shaped serving plate. And as long as they offer Swedish meatballs and cinnamon buns, we imagine everyone will leave happy. —AR

"Day’s End" rendering, David Hammons. Courtesy, Guy Nordenson and Associates

10. We’re getting a ghost building. In fall, the Whitney Museum is set to unveil a massive outdoor installation that harks back to its neighborhood’s rich history as an industrial area and hotbed for outlaw art. David Hammons’ Day’s End will be a warehouse-sized outline of a structure that used to sit on Pier 52 across from the museum. The abandoned building was the site of an infamous work of art from the 1970s, also called Day’s End, which consisted of shapes carved by artist Gordon Matta-Clark into the shed’s walls. There will also be an accompanying exhibit exploring the legacy of the art scene on the waterfront during the ’70s and ’80s. —BS

Courtesy, Carolines

11. You will have many opportunities to “LOL” live and in person. In addition to great ongoing shows like Butterboy (Mondays at Littlefield in Brooklyn) and Whiplash (periodically at Union Hall, also in Brooklyn), 2020’s comedy slate will bring a veritable clown car full of outstanding stand-up performers. Among them: Todd Barry at Union Hall (January 2); Sinbad at Carolines (January 2–4); John Hodgman at Murmrr Theatre (January 13); Phoebe Robinson at the Bell House (January 16); insane sketch duo Tim & Eric at the Kings Theatre (February 11); Ali Wong at the Beacon Theatre (March 31–April 3); nycgo.com intervieweeJim Gaffigan at Radio City (April 10–11); Jen Kirkman at Carolines (May 7–9); and Jerry Seinfeld continuing his Beacon Theatre residency each month. If you love sketch and improv, check out the schedules at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and the PIT. —nycgo.com staff

12. We’re gonna go nuts for doughnuts. New York City is full of delicious sweet treats, but there’s always room for more…and Krispy Kreme opening a mega flagship in Times Square in 2020 is good news for anyone with a sweet tooth. The 4,500-square-foot store will feature a glaze “waterfall”—or, we suppose, glazefall—from which glaze streams down onto doughnuts. A theater showing films on the doughnut-making process and a walk-up window open 24/7 are among the other highlights. —CP

13. It’s crystal clear: NYC rocks. Two of our favorite sections of the American Museum of Natural History—the Halls of Gems and Minerals—reopen in fall 2020. Giant geodes from afar, stones unearthed from subterranean NYC, one of the world biggest sapphires—they’ll all shine brightly in a transformed, expanded setting. —AR

14. Speaking of rock…may as well roll next door from the natural history museum to the New-York Historical Society to check out the Bill Graham retrospective, which for about half the year will fill the floors with concert posters and other music ephemera from the psychedelic rock era. —AR

15. Midtown will get even more dramatic. The century-old Drama Book Shop was forced to close in January 2019—but, thanks to a funding boost from Lin-Manuel Miranda and other theater-lovers, it will open its doors again in March just south of Times Square. —GO


New York Liberty. Courtesy, Getty Images

16. Our pro women’s sports teams are on the move. 2020 is a huge year for two of New York’s pro women’s sports teams: the WNBA’s New York Liberty, led by NYC native Tina Charles, have found a new home at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, while soccer club Sky Blue FC—whose roster includes World Cup hero Carli Lloyd—settle in at Red Bull Arena. The larger, more transit-friendly venues will give more fans a chance to see some of the City’s best athletes in action. —nycgo.com staff

"Stroke of Midnight at Studio" (1978–79), Dustin Pittman. Courtesy, Brooklyn Museum

17. Studio 54 is getting its own museum exhibition. Studio 54: Night Magic, opening March 13 at the Brooklyn Museum, puts into perspective the nightclub’s effect on NYC and pop culture. The show will feature images, video footage, drawings and fashion from the Midtown club’s 1970s and ’80s heyday. —CP

Edge. Courtesy, Related Oxford

18. We’ll go high. Hudson Yards’ outdoor observation deck, Edge, opens this March along with an indoor bar and restaurant called Peak, which will offer sky-high sips and snacks. The buzzy Moxy East Village will also debut a new rooftop bar this spring, just in time for outdoor-drinking season. —GO

19. New rides are dropping at Coney Island. NYC’s famed boardwalk amusement district gets two major debuts next summer: a log flume and a roller coaster. The rides will be intertwined with each other for a little extra terror. Their names will come from the public’s submissions to a contest that was held last summer. Also scheduled to open: a waterfront ropes course and an interactive water ride. The park starts its season in early April. —BS