Thursday, January 24, 2008

JUNE 2007: Alatriste; Pearl Buck; K2; Steve Hart; Lit not Litter; James Braly

ALATRISTE (Spanish Lang/English Sub)
U.S. Theatrical Premiere!
Film Screening

Spanish writer Arturo Perez-Reverte has generated an eager international readership for his erudite thrillers which include Club Dumas and the recent Queen of the South. Alatriste is based on an earlier five-novel sequence (though each title was a phenomenal best-seller in Spain, only the first has been translated and released stateside) featuring swordsman-for-hire Diego Alatriste and set in Spain's quickly tarnishing seventeenth-century Golden Age. Captain Alatriste, a veteran of Spain's Flemish wars, deploys his sword for anyone who will pay, which inevitably leads him into some dicey situations. Featuring Viggo Mortensen (speaking Spanish) as the swashbuckling title character, Alatriste was released abroad in late 2006 to rave reviews and box office success, but has yet to find US distribution.

The Pearl Buck Ride

The Raconteur Motorcycle Club, which now allows "cagers" (people in cars) to tag along with supplies, meets at the shop and proceeds en masse to a destination of literary significance. Next ride: The Pearl Buck House. This 1835 farm, set on sixty acres of good earth in Bucks County, is now a museum to the illustrious woman who lived there for over forty years. An acclaimed American author and Nobel Prize winner, Pearl Buck is best known for her novel, The Good Earth, which won The Pulitzer Prize in 1932. The ride is two hours each way. We stop for lunch in the river village of Frenchtown around 1:30 PM.

8 PM, FRI. JUNE 15
Featuring Jeff Maschi and Marshall Correro

The curtain rises on an icy mountain in Pakistan. Two climbers have just spent a desperate night on a ledge 27,000 feet high. Trapped, cold, and short of life-saving supplies, they make what they call a "situation assessment" and arrive at the inevitable conclusion: one of them, physically injured, cannot possibly climb down. Now, as they face the elements, they must also face themselves, the reality of death, and the substance of their lives. Here is a drama rich in dialogue and characterization, a portrait of two men who begin what they consider to be a recreational "hobby" and are forced to confront their ultimate fates. K2 takes you to the frozen altitude of the world's second highest mountain and the chilling climax of a life-and-death struggle.

Steve Hart

In the tradition of Robert Caro's The Power Broker, a sweeping, investigative history of the building of the road connecting Manhattan to the rest of the country. At the dawn of America's love affair with the automobile, cars and trucks leaving the nation's largest city were unceremoniously dumped out of the western end of the Holland Tunnel onto local roads wending their way through the New Jersey Meadowlands.Jersey City mayor Frank Hague-dictator of the Hudson County political machine and a national political player-was a prime mover behind the building of the country's first "superhighway," designed to connect the hub of New York City to the United States of America. Hague's nemesis in this undertaking was union boss Teddy Brandle, and construction of the last three miles of Route 25, later dubbed the Pulaski Skyway, marked an epic battle between big labor and big politics, culminating in a murder and the creation of a motorway so flawed it soon became known as "Death Avenue" -now appropriately featured in the opening sequence of the hit HBO series The Sopranos. Books on sale at the event.

10 AM, SAT. JUNE 23

A monthly effort to keep clean the six block span that comprises Main Street proper (from Route 27 to Amboy Ave). Interested parties should meet at The Raconteur.

8 PM, FRI. JUNE 29

Written/Performed by James Braly & Directed by Hal Brooks
Take my wife - just kidding. You love her, you need her, but she's cold-storing your seven-year-old son's placenta in the back of the freezer. How do you stay married? James Braly joins forces with celebrated director Hal Brooks (2005 Pulitzer Prize nominee Thom Paine: Based on Nothing) to explore this and other domestic dilemmas in his solo show, Life in a Marital Institution, 20 years of holy matrimony in one terrifying hour. "Life in a Marital Institution" currently contains a half-dozen stories that capture the major emotional themes of his marriage and refracts them through the lens of his family. We meet his siblings; his parents; his children; his college girlfriend; the half Sioux medicine man Susan consulted about natural childbirth; and of course Susan herself - Braly's wife and muse. He takes us from a quiet hospice room in Texas where his sister lays dying of cancer as their dysfunctional family gathers and her most recent boyfriend (a tattooed, tangle-haired Kiwi) arranges a bedside wedding; to his contentious first meeting with his future wife at a pastry shop near Columbia University; to their back-packing vacation through Europe; to the very risky home birth of his second child in their luxury apartment on Central Park West; to a gathering of oddball neighbors at their new residence in upstate New York.