Category Archives: Readings and Talks

This American Live Tonight at The Skirball Center and In Theaters Near You!

TAL Live (05/10/12)
TAL Live

On Thursday, May 10th, 2012, we will perform an episode of This American Life on stage at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City and beam it live via satellite to more than 500 movie theatres around the US and Canada! We did a show like this in 2009, and were blown away when 50,000 people came out to see it. A lot of you have asked us if we’ll be doing it again.

So yeah, we’re doing it again!

Live on Thursday, May 10th at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT (tape delayed to 7:00pm MT/ 8:00pm PT). Some theatres will present encore screenings on Tuesday, May 15th at 7:30PM (local time). []

Tonight’s TAL Live show will feature performances by: Ira Glass, David Sedaris, David Rakoff, Tig Notaro, Glynn Washington, plus live music by OK Go, a new short film by Mike Birbiglia, dance by Monica Bill Barnes & Company, and many more special surprises. Find tickets here.

Watch a trailer for TAL Live after the jump.

Continue reading This American Live Tonight at The Skirball Center and In Theaters Near You!

Tribeca Film Festival / Apple Store Events

TFF Apple Store Events

Hey folks, the Tribeca Film Festival kicks off today (April 18) in New York and aside from the interesting films that will be screening in Lower Manhattan, there are quite a few opportunities to meet some of your favorite stars and filmmakers at our local Apple Stores.

Wednesday, April 18 (West 14th St)
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm Meet the Musician: Melanie Fiona

Join Grammy-winning soulstress Melanie Fiona for a discussion of her life and career. Hailed for her unique ability to mix classic R&B/soul influences with hip-hop swagger, the Canadian-born singer took the charts by storm with her debut album, “The Bridge.” Don’t miss this chance to meet Melanie and see her perform a few songs from her just-released follow-up album, “The MF Life.”

Wednesday, April 18 (SoHo)
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Meet the Actor: John Cusack, “The Raven”

Join actor John Cusack (“Being John Malkovich”) as he discusses his role as Edgar Allan Poe in his new film, “The Raven.” The movie is a gritty thriller in which Poe joins forces with a young Baltimore detective to hunt down a mad serial killer who is using Poe’s own works as the inspiration for a string of brutal murders.

Friday, April 20 (West 14th St)
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Tribeca Film Festival: Picture Paris

Join actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) and director Brad Hall (SNL) as they discuss their short film, “Picture Paris.” With her son leaving for college, an ordinary suburban mom (Louis-Dreyfus) compensates for her empty nest by planning a life-changing trip to Paris. When her plans go hilariously awry, she finds herself wondering if she’ll ever have what she really desires: Love, passion, revenge…and Paris.

Friday, April 20 (West 14th St)
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm Tribeca Film Festival: Your Sister’s Sister

Join director Lynn Shelton (Humpday) for a discussion of her new film, “Your Sister’s Sister.” The story begins when Iris (Emily Blunt) invites her friend Jack (Mark Duplass) to stay at her family’s remote getaway while he grieves the death of his brother. Iris drops in unexpectedly on the heels of Jack’s drunken encounter with Iris’ sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), resulting in a rivalry and other surprising revelations.

Saturday, April 21 (SoHo)
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Meet the Filmmakers: “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”

Join actor Hugh Grant and director Peter Lord as they discuss their new film, “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.” Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the high seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the captain has one dream: to beat out his bitter rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the much coveted Pirate of the Year Award.

Saturday, April 21 (West 14th St)
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Tribeca Film Festival: Jack and Diane

Join filmmaker Bradley Rust Gray (The Exploding Girl) and actor Riley Keough (The Runaways) for a discussion of their new drama, “Jack and Diane.” The film follows two teenage girls, Jack (Keough) and Diane (Juno Temple), who meet in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously. When Diane reveals she must soon leave the city for school in Europe, their budding relationship is put to the test. Weaving horror elements into a distinctive yet universal love story, Gray brings his unique vision to this idiosyncratic story of the joys and terrors of first love.

Saturday, April 21 (West 14th St)
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Tribeca Film Festival: Mansome

Join Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and Super Size Me), actors Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses) and Will Arnett (Up All Night), and producer Ben Silverman for a discussion of “Mansome,” Spurlock’s new documentary on men’s grooming habits.

Sunday, April 22 (West 14th St)
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Tribeca Film Festival: Struck by Lightning

Join Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer (Kurt on “Glee”) and director Brian Dannelly for a discussion of their new coming-of-age comedy, “Struck by Lightning.” Starring and produced by Colfer, this film tells the story of Carson Phillips (Colfer) who (after being struck and killed by lightning) explains how he blackmailed his classmates into contributing to his literary magazine.

Sunday, April 22 (West 14th St)
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Tribeca Film Festival: Side by Side

Join director Chris Kenneally and industry experts for a discussion of the documentary “Side by Side,” produced and presented by Keanu Reeves. The film takes us on a journey through the rise of digital filmmaking – and addresses the aesthetic implications caused by the transition away from traditional film.

Monday, April 23 (West 14th St)
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Tribeca Film Festival: Sleepless Night

Join filmmaker Frédéric Jardin for a discussion of his film “Sleepless Night.” It’s the story of a botched drug heist with dangerous implications — as one of the drug carriers escapes after stabbing the robbers and seeing their faces. The robbers are then left in possession of the drugs — which belong to a mob boss who will do anything to retrieve his property.

Monday, April 23 (SoHo)
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Tribeca Film Festival: Location Scouting Event with Nick Carr

Location scouting expert Nick Carr has worked on some of Hollywood’s top films, including “Spider-Man 3,” “The Smurfs,” and “Night at the Museum.” He’ll discuss finding locations on a very tight budget, what to do when you can’t find what you’re looking for, and other necessary scouting considerations. Nick will share some of his personal experiences and answer questions.

Tuesday, April 24 (West 14th St)
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Tribeca Film Festival: The Giant Mechanical Man

Join actor Jenna Fischer (“The Office”) and director Lee Kirk as they discuss their new film, “The Giant Mechanical Man,” an offbeat romantic comedy about a silver-painted street performer and the soft-spoken zoo worker who falls for him.

More Tribeca Film Festival free events over here.

April 2012 Bookstore Events

Letters To Kurt Monsters Eat Whiny Children

Things are looking up at our local booksellers this month I think. Here are some April 2012 bookstore events that looked interesting to me for one reason or another.

Barnes & Noble NYC
04/02 Kristen Johnston: Guts (82nd & Bway)
04/03 Harvey Araton, Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry: Driving Mr. Yogi (5th Ave)
04/03 Jim Abbott: Imperfect: An Improbable Life (82nd & Bway)
04/04 Rachel Dratch: Girl Walks Into A Bar (USQ)
04/04 Tori Spelling: celebraTORI (5th Ave)
04/04 Jill Smokler: Confessions of a Scary Mommy (86th & Lex)
04/04 Delia Ephron: The Lion Is In (86th & Lex)
04/05 Fred Weintraub: Bruce Lee, Woodstock and Me (Tri)
04/05 Eric Erlandson and Melissa Auf der Maur: Letters To Kurt (Upstairs at USQ)
04/07 Bruce Eric Kaplan: Monsters Eat Whiny Children (Tri)
04/10 R.A. Dickey: Wherever I Wind Up (Citi)
04/10 Carole King: Carole King: A Natural Woman (USQ)
04/11 A.J. Jacobs: Drop Dead Healthy (82nd & Bway)
04/11 David Rees: How To Sharpen Pencils (USQ)
04/12 Bill Clegg and Rachael Yamagata (Upstairs at USQ)
04/16 Eric Alterman: The Cause (82nd & Bway)
04/17 You Have No Idea: Vanessa Williams, Helen Williams (Citi)
04/19 Ricki Lake: Never Say Never Finding a Life That Fits (86th & Lex)
04/23 World Book Night With Patti Smith, Anna Quindlen and Buzz Bissinger (USQ)
04/24 Amber Dermont: The Starboard Sea (Tri)
04/24 Madeleine Albright: Prague Winter (USQ)
04/26 Gary Marshall: My Happy Days in Hollywood (USQ)
04/26 Zach Wahls: My Two Moms (82nd & Bway)
04/27 Marilu Henner: Improve Your Memory, Take Charge of Your Life (86th & Lex)
04/30 Ryan O’Neal: Both of Us: My Life With Farrah (82nd & Bway)

The Tobolowsky Files Live Tonight at The Bell House

The Tobolowsky Files Live at The Bell House Tonight! (02/28/12)
The Tobolowsky Files

Hey folks, one last reminder about the NYC debut of The Tobolowsky Files Live! tonight (02/28/12) at The Bell House in Brooklyn. It’s nearly sold out, but you can still buy tickets online, some tickets should also be available at the door. As the Village Voice says, “Prepare to become addicted.”

Times Talks Events: Robert De Niro, John Cusack and Mad Men

Times Talks

Some interesting Times Talks events coming up, unfortunately the one I really want to go to is sold out.

2.23.12 Election 2012: Behind the Scenes
Get an insider perspective to the 2012 election and find out what goes on behind the scenes with New York Times correspondents Jim Rutenberg, Jeff Zeleny and Helene Cooper. Moderated by assistant managing editor Rick Berke.

3.13.12 Robert De Niro and Paul Weitz: Collaboration in Film
Robert De Niro and director Paul Weitz discuss their careers and collaboration on the new father/son drama, “Being Flynn.” Moderated by Janet Maslin.

3.20.12 “Mad Men” A Conversation with Creator and Cast
Get an inside look at the new season of “Mad Men” with creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner and cast members Jon Hamm, January Jones, John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser and Jared Harris. Moderated by Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff.
SOLD OUT — Watch the live Webcast at

4.13.12 A Conversation with Julia Louis-Dreyfus
The actress, best known for “Seinfeld” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” discusses her new role as the vice president of the U.S. in the HBO series “Veep.” Interviewed by Bill Carter.

4.17.12 A Conversation with John Cusack
The actor-writer-producer talks about his career and latest role as Edgar Allan Poe in the gothic thriller, “The Raven.” Interviewed by Dave Itzkoff.

New Tobolowsky Files Podcast Out Now, Boston Show Added, Win Tickets To The Live Show at The Bell House!

The Tobolowsky Files Live at The Bell House (02/28/12)
The Tobolowsky Files Live at The Bell House!
Buy Tickets

Hey folks, as you may know by now, I’m a big fan of The Tobolowsky Files, so I just wanted to give you a couple of updates on the live show and the podcast. First off, Stephen has just released episode 54 of his podcast (“The Long Road To Somewhere Else”), the emotional conclusion to the 3 episode arc about his recent open heart surgery. Sure, I know the subject may sound a little downbeat, but like all of Stephen’s stories, the “heart calamity trilogy” managed to be poignant, captivating and humorous all at the same time. If you haven’t heard it yet, I do recommend that you give it a listen, but you really should hear episode 52 and 53 to give yourself the proper background. On the live front, Stephen has added a Boston show (well, Brookline, to be exact) to his upcoming “east coast tour” of the Tobolowsky Files Live! Tickets for the Monday, February 27 show at the Coolige Theatre in Boston are on sale now. Last but not least, tickets for The Bell House show on Tuesday February 28 are nearly gone, but I’ve got a pair to give away to one lucky winner. Contest entry form is after the jump, contest ends on Friday, February 24 at noon.

Continue reading New Tobolowsky Files Podcast Out Now, Boston Show Added, Win Tickets To The Live Show at The Bell House!

Lost In The Trees and Other Housing Works Bookstore Events

Lost In The Trees at Housing Works (02/17/12)
Lost In The Trees

I usually post the Housing Works events in my monthly bookstore events roundup, but for some reason, I omitted them this month. Well, shame on me, because Housing Works has some killer events in February including shows by Lost In The Trees (tonight, Feb 17), Josh Ritter (Feb 24) and Amy Ray (Feb 27).

View more Housing Works Feb 2012 events after the jump.

Continue reading Lost In The Trees and Other Housing Works Bookstore Events

The Tobolowsky Files Live at The Bell House

The Tobolowsky Files Live

When I first heard that they were putting on live versions of The Tobolowsky Files in cities other than New York (there should be a law against it right?), I was so passionate about getting them to come here too, that I reached out to the show’s producer David Chen and asked him if he’d like to bring the show to Brooklyn. Fast forward a couple of months, and thanks to the good efforts of producer extraordinaire Caroline Creaghead and myself, the show has now been set for February 28 at The Bell House. If you’ve ever watched movies or TV, you’re probably familiar with the work of Stephen Tobolowsky, he has about a million acting credits, but is probably best for known for his roles as Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day, Sammy Jankis in Memento, Hugo Jarry in Deadwood, Clayton Townley in Mississippi Burning as well as his current recurring role on Glee as ex-glee coach Sandy Ryerson. The Tobolowsky Files podcast arose as an offshoot of the charming 2005 film Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party and is based on stories from Stephen’s own interesting life experiences. The live show has been previously staged in Cambridge, MA and Seattle, WA. The debut performances at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge were a big success and the recent show at the Neptune in Seattle was completely sold out (850 tickets). Stephen is also currently writing a companion book of stories entitled The Dangerous Animals Club which will be published by Simon and Schuster in August. The show at the Bell House marks the live debut of The Tobolowsky Files in NYC and I really couldn’t be more excited about it. Tickets went on sale earlier this week (but you probably just got an email about it today) and I’m pretty sure the show will sell out quickly once the word gets out. If you haven’t heard The Tobolowsky Files podcast yet, I urge you to go check it out, Stephen’s stories and compelling and heartfelt and his recall is uncanny. After listening to it once, I’m sure you will be hooked, I know I was.

You can read more detailed information about the show after the jump and most of all you can get your tickets here. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one folks!

Continue reading The Tobolowsky Files Live at The Bell House

NYTimes Arts and Leisure Weekend Happening This Weekend

NYTimes Arts & Leisure Weekend
Arts & Leisure Weekend 2012

It’s been a little while since I’ve written about the NYTimes Arts & Leisure Weekend (about a year I guess), but this coming weekend (January 5-7, 2012) marks the return of the newspaper’s annual gabfest. This schedule actually looks pretty enticing this year (David Cross, Errol Morris, Kristen Wiig, Paul Feig and the venerable Clive Davis), and if you’re interested in going to something, you can try the code NYTSUB to get $5 off a talk.

View the full Arts & Leisure Weekend schedule after the jump.

Continue reading NYTimes Arts and Leisure Weekend Happening This Weekend

October 2011 Bookstore Events

The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides
The Marriage Plot - Jeffrey Eugenides

It’s October and the holiday season has officially arrived. Check out this list of October 2011 literary, comedic and musical events that I found interesting for one reason or another.

Barnes & Noble October 2011 Events (NYC)
10/03 Eric Carle: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse (USQ)
10/04 Jeffrey Sachs: The Price of Civilization:(82nd & Bway)
10/04 Julianne Moore: Freckleface Strawberry Best Friends Forever (86th & Lex)
10/05 Stephen Greenblatt: The Swerve How the World Became Modern (86th & Lex)
10/06 Chuck Klosterman: The Visible Man (USQ)
10/06 William Shatner: Shatner Rules (5th Ave)
10/10 Anita Hill: Reimagining Equality (82nd & Bway)
10/10 Hilary Duff: Devoted An Elixir Novel, Vol. 2 (Tri)
10/10 Russell Banks: Lost Memory of Skin (86th & Lex)
10/10 Sandra Bernhard, Justin Vivian Bond: Tango: My Childhood Backwards and in High Heels (USQ)
10/11 Stephen Mitchell: The Iliad (The Stephen Mitchell Translation) (86th & Lex)
10/11 Jeffrey Eugenides: The Marriage Plot (USQ)
10/12 Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga: The Walking Dead (USQ)
10/13 Tim Riley: Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music (82nd & Bway)
10/13 Marketa Irglova, Ann Beattie: The New Yorker (USQ)
10/13 Harry Belafonte: My Song A Memoir (5th Ave)
10/13 Linda Evans: Recipes for Life My Memories (86th & Lex)
10/14 Everlast: Chad Michael Murray (86th & Lex)
10/14 Frank Miller: Holy Terror (USQ)
10/15 Laura Numeroff: If You Give a Dog a Donut 11AM (Park Slope)
10/17 Kevin Sorbo: True Strength My Journey (Tri)
10/17 Greil Marcus: The Doors (USQ)
10/18 Death Takes a Holiday (86th & Lex)
10/18 Michael Uslan: The Boy Who Loved Batman (Greenwich Vill)
10/19 Judy Collins: Sweet Judy Blue Eyes (USQ)
10/20 Nile Rogers: Le Freak (USQ)
10/21 Russell Simmons: Def Jam Recordings (USQ)
10/25 Mario Batali: Molto Batali (USQ)
10/25 Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: Confessions of a Guidette (5th Ave)
10/26 Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan: The Night Eternal (USQ)
10/27 Craig Marks, Rob Tannenbaum: I Want My MTV (Tri)
10/27 Roz Chast: What I Hate: From A to Z (82nd & Bway)
10/29 Goodnight Goon 11AM (Park Slope)
10/31 Joyce Carol Oates, Edmund White, Michael Carroll: New Jersey Noir (86th & Lex)

Bookcourt October 2011
10/04 Jeanne Darst – Fiction Ruined My Family
10/10 Bored To Death Season 3 Screening Hosted by Jonathan Ames
10/12 Michael Ondaatje – The Cat’s Table
10/13 Henry Rollins – Occupants
10/15 Selina Alko – Every-Day Dress-Up
10/21 Courtney E. Smith – Record Collecting For Girls
10/24 Ha Jin – Nanjing Requiem
10/26 Christina Tosi – Momofuku Milk Bar

Housing Works
10/06 The Opera Section: Free Comedy Night hosted by Elihu Dietz
11/11 The Moth StorySLAM

McNally Jackson
10/03 Michael Cunningham at The Crosby Street Hotel
10/06 Helen DeWitt in conversation w/ Sam Lipsyte
10/14 Henry Rollins
10/20 Colson Whitehead
10/31 Real Characters

Powerhouse Arena
10/05 Helen Dewitt
10/06 Rebecca Skloot, Floyd Skloot
10/18 The Ecstasy of Defeat: The Onion Sports

10/11 John Lithgow w/ Bill Moyers
10/12 Harry Belafonte w/ Paul Holdengraber
10/14 Russell Simmons & Rick Rubin In Conversation w/ Paul Holdengraber

Brooklyn Bowl
10/06 Bored To Death Special Screening Event Ft. Sean Bones (Free)