Category Archives: Readings and Talks

2013 New Yorker Festival Schedule Announced

2013 New Yorker Festival
New Yorker Festival

The schedule for the 2013 New Yorker Festival is here and as usual, the lineup is rife with literary luminaries such as Jonathan Franzen, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith, Junot Diaz, Colm Tóibín and many other NY Festival favorites. IMHO, some of the more interesting shows on the docket this year include: Apollo Robbins talks with Adam Green, Brad Paisley talks with Kelefa Sanneh, Marina Abramovic talks with Judith Thurman, Michael Shannon talks with Burkhard Bilger, First-person Filmmaking with Miranda July, Improv Everywhere with Rachel Dratch, An Evening with Funny or Die hosted by Billy Eichner, High Spirits with Simon Coughlin and Jim McEwan (Master Scotch Distillers), The Fermentation Project with David Chang, and Television and Politics with W. Kamau Bell Armando Iannucci, Michelle King, Robert King and Shonda Rhimes, Christoph Waltz with Susan Orlean, “Buried Alive” with Aziz Ansari, and Foodies Unite in the garden of Roberta’s.

A special presale of tickets will be made available to MasterCard cardholders beginning at 11 A.M. on Thursday, September 12th. Additional tickets will be sold from noon to 4 P.M. on Friday, October 4th, at MasterCard Stage at SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, and throughout the weekend at event doors. (PS In year’s past, the presale and general on sale for New Yorker Festival had crashed whatever ticketing site they were using.)

Full schedule after the jump.

Continue reading 2013 New Yorker Festival Schedule Announced

This American Life Releases “The Invisible Made Visible” Today

Ira Glass and The Cast of The Invisible Made Visible
The Invisible Made Visible

Like Louis CK, Aziz Ansari, and Jim Gaffigan before them, the folks at This American Life are releasing a video of their live film, The Invisible Made Visible, as a DRM-free $5 download starting today (Nov 15). In addition to the download/stream option, fans can also purchase a DVD of the show for $16 at the show’s web store which includes a bonus Q&A feature. All proceeds go to directly to the show.

Radio you can watch – that’s the idea.

On November 15th, 2012, the public radio show This American Life will release a video of a two-hour episode entitled “The Invisible Made Visible.” Fans can download or stream the video for $5 at, with proceeds going directly to the show. It will also be released on DVD, exclusively via the show’s web store.

“The Invisible Made Visible” was originally performed onstage and broadcast live into movie theaters in May, 2012, to over 70,000 people across the U.S., Canada and Australia. Now the rest of the show’s 1.8 million radio listeners and 750,000 podcast subscribers will have a chance to see it. The download is available worldwide.

Host Ira Glass personally curated the show. “The whole point,” he says “was to do stories that are far too visual to ever be on the radio.”

The result is a mix of animation, live dance from Monica Bill Barnes & Company, a short film by Mike Birbiglia starringFresh Air’s Terry Gross, a classic This American Life story (told by Glass) that’s primarily visual, about street photographer Vivian Meier, plus comic monologues by David Sedaris, Glynn Washington, and Ryan Knighton. ComedianTig Notaro tells a now-famous story about repeatedly running into 80’s pop star Taylor Dayne. Rock band OK Go provides music. It’s all performed in front of changing illustrated backgrounds.

Probably the most memorable moment in the episode comes during a story by longtime This American Life contributor David Rakoff. He talks about the abilities he’s lost during his fight with cancer, and then, gracefully, beautifully, does a solo dance onstage. It was the last story Rakoff ever wrote for the radio show. He died three months later, in August.

A unique component of the show is a custom mobile app (for iPhone and Android) developed with OK Go, that allows the audience to play along with the band on digital hand bells, following animated cues. For the streaming version of the show, a web version of the app will automatically appear on screen.

Watch a trailer from The Invisible Made Visible after the jump.

Continue reading This American Life Releases “The Invisible Made Visible” Today

Last Minute New Yorker Festival Tix Available Today!

New Yorker Festival

Get your last minute New Yorker Festival tickets (including the sold out shows) today!

Ten per cent of tickets for ALL Festival events will be available on Friday, October 5th, from 12 noon to 4 P.M., at MasterCard Stage at SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street. First come, first served. Receive expedited box-office service when you use your MasterCard card.

October 2012 Bookstore Events

 Pete Townshend

Hey folks, the stars of stage, screen and page are out in a big way this month at our local and big box book stores. Just a few of October’s bold face names include: Stephen Colbert, Pete Townshend, Kenny Rogers, Kirk Hammett, Stanley Tucci, Rod Stewart, John Taylor, Peter Criss, Uggie, Richard Belzer, Mariano Rivera, Liza Minelli, Anderson Cooper and Chris Elliott, just to name a few.

Barnes and Noble Oct 2012 Events
10/02 Stephen Colbert: America Again Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t (USQ)
10/03 David Denby: Do the Movies Have a Future? (82nd and Bway)
10/03 Kenny Rogers: Luck or Something Like It (Citi)
10/03 Richard Belzer: Straight Facts on the Country’s Most Controversial Cover-ups (Tri)
10/03 Da Chen: My Last Empress (86th and Lex)
10/04 Ralph Nader: The Seventeen Solutions Bold Ideas for Our American Future (USQ)
10/08 Betty Buckley, Seth Rudetsky (86th and Lex)
10/09 Dennis Lehane: Live by Night (86th and Lex)
10/09 Pete Townshend: Who I Am (USQ)
10/09 Ray Negron: Yankee Miracles (82nd and Bway)
10/10 D.L. Hughley: I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up (Tri)
10/10 William J. Mann: Hello, Gorgeous Becoming Barbra Streisand (86th and Lex)
10/11 Kirk Hammett: Too Much Horror Business (Tri)
10/12 Robert Kirkman: Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury (USQ)
10/12 Stanley Tucci: The Tucci Cookbook (82nd and Bway)
10/15 Janet Grossbach Mayer: As Bad as They Say? (82nd and Bway)
10/15 Uggie: My Story (Tri)
10/15 Sherman Alexie: Blasphemy New and Selected Stories (USQ)
10/15 Joyce Carol Oates: The Oxford Book of American Short Stories (86th and Lex)
10/16 John Taylor: In the Pleasure Groove Love, Death, and Duran Duran (Citi)
10/17 Michael Feinstein, Liza Minnelli: The Gershwins and Me A Personal History in Twelve Songs (86th and Lex)
10/17 Orhan Pamuk: Silent House (USQ)
10/17 David Mendelsohn: Waiting for the Barbarians (82nd and Bway)
10/17 Chris Elliott w/ Dave Hill: Guy Under the Sheets: An Unauthorized Autobiography (Tri)
10/18 Jeffrey Toobin w/ Anderson Cooper: The Oath The Obama White House and the Supreme Court (USQ)
10/18 Mariano Rivera: You Gotta Have Balls (5th Ave)
10/19 Nelson DeMille: The Panther (USQ)
10/20 Jo Nesbo: Phantom (USQ)
10/22 R. L. Stine: Red Rain A Novel (86th and Lex)
10/23 Peter Criss: Makeup to Breakup My Life In and Out of Kiss (5th Ave)
10/23 Rod Stewart: Rod: The Autobiography (5th Ave)
10/23 Tom Wolfe: Back to Blood (USQ)
10/24 Frederick Kaufman: Bet the Farm How Food Stopped Being Food (Tri)
10/24 Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel in Conversation With Dana Cowin (USQ)
10/25 Mark Bowden: The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden (USQ)
10/26 Alexander McCall Smith: The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds (USQ)
10/29 The Onion Editors: The Onion Book of Known Knowledge (82nd and Bway)
10/30 Pete Hamill: The Christmas Kid: And Other Brooklyn Stories (82nd and Bway)

Housing Works Oct 2012 Events
10/02 Live From Home with Jake Shimabukuro
10/03 Presidential Debate: Domestic Policy
10/04 Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany Book Launch and Variety Show
With humor by Roy Blount Jr. and Calvin Trillin, music by Rhett Miller (Old 97’s), a performance of Portis’s only play; and free drinks to the first 100 attendees.
10/09 The Moth StorySLAM: The Finish Line
10/10 The Traveler’s Handbook Launch Party
10/11 Raise a Glass to Kingsley: A Celebration of Kingsley Amis with NYRB Classics & Vol. 1 Brooklyn
10/11 Vice Presidential Debate
10/16 Presidential Debate: Town Meeting
10/17 Ask Roulette with Pat Kiernan, Edith Zimmerman, Charlie Todd, and More
10/18 The Moth StorySLAM: Caution
10/22 Presidential Debate: Foreign Policy
10/24 Live From Home with Milo Greene and Kat Edmonson
10/29 Live From Home with Jesse Harris and Danielia Cotton

10/02 A.M. Homes
10/03 Yona Zeldis McDonough
10/08 Juris Jurjevics
10/09 Ty Burr
10/10 Chris Hedges
10/11 Michael Hearst
10/14 Walter Stahr
10/15 Eduardo Halfon
10/16 Benjamin Anastas
10/17 Beth Bosworth
10/18 Scott Hutchins
10/19 Jobie Hughes
10/23 Junot Diaz

Stephen Colbert Has a New Book, Appearing at Barnes & Noble, 92Y and Night of Too Many Stars

America Again

Good news nation, America’s favorite patriot and tongue-in-cheek conservative pundit, Stephen Colbert, has a new book coming out just in time for the holiday season. The patriotically titled, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t, drops on Oct 2, 2012 and on that very same day Stephen will be paying a visit to our very own Barnes & Noble Union Square. The reading/signing is free, but the line will be long. Tickets are probably already sold out to the other stop on Stephen’s 2012 “book tour”, a Q&A and signing event on Oct 19 at the 92nd St Y. As of right now, your best chance of seeing Stephen live and in-person is by buying a ticket to the Jon Stewart hosted Night of Too Many Stars which will take place on Oct 13 at the Beacon Theatre and then subsequently air on Comedy Central (in an edited format) on Oct 21.

2012 New Yorker Festival Schedule Announced

New Yorker Festival 2012

Margaret Atwood, Lena Dunham, Viola Davis, Lucinda Williams, Beirut, Norah Jones, Punch Brothers, Vampire Weekend, Sarah Silverman, Ben Stiller, Carrie Brownstein, and Fred Armisen are just a few of the bold faced names who are taking part in this year’s New Yorker Festival. View the full 2012 New Yorker Festival lineup after the jump.

Continue reading 2012 New Yorker Festival Schedule Announced

2012 New Yorker Festival Presale Ticket Info (Sarah Silverman, Christian Louboutin and Punch Brothers)

2012 New Yorker Festival (Oct 5-7, 2012)
2012 New Yorker Festival

I’m sure this presale will be a CF, just the regular NYF on sale usually is.

Advance Ticket Sales
As a special offer for MasterCard cardholders, tickets for select Festival events will go on sale beginning at noon E.T. on Thursday, September 13th, continuing through 11:30 AM on Friday, September 14th. Pre-sale tickets are available online only, at, while supplies last. Click here to learn more about this exclusive offer.

As usual, the New Yorker Festival is teasing a part of the lineup with blind items at the Festival Wire Blog. If my Googling is any good, some of this year’s guests will be: Sarah Silverman, Christian Louboutin and Punch Brothers.

View all the Festival Wire blind items after the jump.

Continue reading 2012 New Yorker Festival Presale Ticket Info (Sarah Silverman, Christian Louboutin and Punch Brothers)

David Rees at Public Assembly Tonight w/ John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton

How To Sharpen PencilsCartoonist, author and professional pencil sharpener David Rees will be doing a reading and book signing tonight at Public Assembly Brooklyn with John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton.

David Rees with Jonathan Coulton and John Hodgman at Public Assembly
Start: 05/18/2012 7:00 pm
Buy Tickets

In the culminating event of his tour, David Rees will be joined by fellow funnymen John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton. The evening will include a pencil sharpening tutorial, a Q&A and signing, and much much more.

Please note: This event will take place at Public Assembly, and is 21 and up only! Doors will open at 6:30pm, and the show will start at 7pm SHARP. Each ticket includes admission and a copy of How to Sharpen Pencils; extra books, including John Hodgman’s, will also be available for purchase.

Here’s a little more about David Rees’ artisinal pencil sharpening service:

In July 2010, Rees announced his Artisanal Pencil Sharpening service, where for $12.50 plus $2.50 S&H, people can mail in their own pencils to be sharpened, or receive a sharpened pencil provided by the craftsman. According to the site, “…craftsman David Rees still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening. His artisanal service is perfect for artists, writers, and standardized test takers. Shipped with their shavings and a ‘certificate of sharpening’, these extra-sharp pencils make wonderful gifts.”. His book, How to Sharpen Pencils, was released April 16, 2012. [wikipedia]

Radiolab Live “In The Dark” at BAM w/ Demetri Martin and Thao Nguyen

Radiolab Live

Radiolab Live “In The Dark” with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich will be making its way to BAM on June 26, 2012. Tickets aren’t available to the general public yet, but if you make a $250 donation to WNYC, you can get “free” pair of advance tickets to the show which also features Demetri Martin and Thao Nguyen.

Get first dibs on a pair of tickets to the Tuesday, June 26th show at BAM!
The folks at Radiolab are super excited about their live show – In the Dark. During the show, Jad and Robert will explore the dawn of sight and the evolution of the eye, hear from two blind men who couldn’t disagree more fiercely about what it’s like to live without vision, and relive a harrowing spacewalk with an astronaut. This show has science, suspense, comedy from Demetri Martin, rock and roll from Thao Nguyen, and even modern dance! ($110 value)

More Radiolab Live tour dates after the jump.

Continue reading Radiolab Live “In The Dark” at BAM w/ Demetri Martin and Thao Nguyen