Art has often been used to express dissent, dramatize events and express what words alone can't. This Independence Day weekend, exercise your freedom of thought by enjoying one of these shows.  

Founders Album Release Party
July 2, 7 p.m.
Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2, 196 Allen St.

It takes chutzpah to form an indie music group that’s out to prove classical music can be cool. But for the five members of Founders, who cross genres from experimental rock to folk, it was a no-brainer. Their new album, “You & Who,” launches tonight at Rockwood Music Hall, so be among the first to see them and earn your next hipster merit badge.

‘Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2’
Through July 5
1634 Broadway
$85.50-$139.50 single, $150-$195 package

King Henry VIII might’ve gotten the good pub song, but Thomas Cromwell was the real man behind the beheadings. This is the final weekend to catch the award-winning play about the manipulative chief minister to the king, which is adapted from Hilary Mantel’s best-selling novel. Both Nathaniel Parker and Ben Miles were nominated for Tonys, playing the king and Cromwell, respectively.

Danny Elfman presents Music from the Movies of Tim Burton
July 6-12
Avery Fisher Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza

We all know legendary director Tim Burton has a certain propensity for recasting actors he likes, but the same can be said for his longtime partnership with composer Danny Elfman, who scored most of his films. From the obvious — “Batman,” “Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Beetlejuice” — to rarer gems like “Big Fish” and “Frankenweenie,” the entire oeuvre will be featured with a full chorus and orchestra, plus movie clips, as part of the Lincoln Center Festival, following sold-out runs in Los Angeles and London.

‘Putnam County Spelling Bee’ 10-Year Reunion
July 6, 7:30 p.m.
Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St.

Ten years after the Broadway debut of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” the original cast is reuniting for a special, one-night-only benefit concert, including stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Celia Keenan-

Bolger and Sarah Saltzberg. James Lapine and Darren Katz are co-directing the concert, featuring the complete score by William Finn, to benefit The Actors Fund’s Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative.

Penn & Teller on Broadway
July 7-Aug. 16
Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway

With temperatures soaring into the triple digits, everyone in Las Vegas probably wishes they could disappear right about now. So it’s a wise move for comedy-magician duo Penn & Teller to take a hiatus from their popular show on the Strip for a six-week stay in NYC, starting next Tuesday at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway (where they debuted in 1987!).

‘Posters & Politics’
July 8, 6:30 p.m.
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave.

Art has been used to convey social messages in the guise of beauty or entertainment. Often, those colorful missives can lead to real-world change, not to mention chronicle history. That’s the idea behind “Posters & Politics: The Art of Activism in New York,” a display, discussion and reception at the Museum of the City of New York featuring outspoken activists such as the feminist Guerrilla Girls and comic book artist Seth Tobocman.