8 PM, SAT. MARCH 3
GERTRUDE STEIN GERTRUDE STEIN
A Staged Reading Featuring Jane Hardy
The Raconteur cordially invites you to spend an evening with Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Isadora Duncan, Henri Matisse, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Salvador Dali at 27 Rue de Fleurus. Hosted by Gertrude Stein. A work of theatrical magic that captures the essence of an extraordinary woman, "Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein" is an imaginary monologue set on the eve of Stein's eviction from her famed Paris studio. Jane Hardy is a former Off Broadway Actress. Raconteur patrons may remember her from her riveting performance as a panicky invalid in the staged radio play "Sorry, Wrong Number" or her witty reading of Dorothy Parker at last year's WORD FEST. Includes complimentary wine and Alice B. Toklas brownies (sans "cannabis," sorry!). FREE!
Wanna spend the night being jostled and jounced by frat boys in mesh crop tops and plastic leprechaun hats drinking green Killians? No? Well, then...SPEND ST. PATRICK'S DAY W/THE RACONTEUR!
8 PM, SAT. MARCH 17
IF I SHOULD FALL FROM GRACE
As the frontman/driving force behind Irish rock band The Pogues, dentally-challenged dipso Shane MacGowan crafted a unique brand of whiskey-soaked punk influenced by Celtic musical traditions. Dismissed from the band in the early nineties for his staggering liquor consumption, he carried on the torch with his new band The Popes, releasing their debut album THE SNAKE in 1995. Over ten years later, MacGowan is still the unrepentant alcoholic, but for all his toothless cackling and constant stupor, MacGowan is seen here as an amiable Irish pub-crawler, coherent in thought if not always in speech, still making music (with The Popes), and obviously devoted to his wife, Victoria Clarke, an enabling saint whose love for MacGowan is joyfully unconditional. Considered one of the most important and poetic Irish songwriters of the last thirty years, MacGowan often echoes his influences such as Irish playwright Brendan Behan and 19th century Irish poet James Clarence Mangan. Funny, sad, depressing, uplifting and utterly irresistible, IF I SHOULD FALL FROM GRACE provides a rare glimpse at the phenomenon of Shane MacGowan, who remains one of the iconic figures in Irish music. Featuring archival clips, live performances, "Shane about town," and commentary from friends/followers including Nick Cave, Elvis Costello and Johnny Depp. FREE! With complimentary Raconteur Stout, homebrewed by The Raconteur's Monday night volunteer/resident classicist/beermaker Octavian Walsh.
8 PM, FRI. MARCH 23
PARTY #27! Featuring MOUTHPEICE
One of the coolest consequences of the recent New York Times feature about The Raconteur is it put us on the Manhattan radar, making it easier for us to coax big city entertainment like MOUTHPEICE out to our little central Jersey bookstore. A new twist on the ancient tradition of oral history, MOUTHPEICE tells stories. Period. No scripts. No crib notes. No rehearsals. But the group's true tales don't begin with "Once upon a time...," more likely it's "It was Christmas morning and Dad was going through our dead neighbor's stuff" (think David Sedaris or Spalding Gray). They're veterans of a rapidly growing New York storytelling scene where organizations like The Moth (whose eclectic assortment of tale-tellers include Ethan Hawke, Moby and Mira Nair) and floating specialty nights with names like Speakeasy, Sound Off, and Yackety have brought to the stage an oral tradition that grew up around campfires, at dinner tables and on front porches. Their shows aren't literary readings (they don't read, they tell), or stand up comedy, but they're thoughtfully crafted, frequently hilarious and disarmingly honest. Mouthpiece has been featured on NPR, Fresh Yarn, and The Moth's Mainstage and incorporates a dynamic/constantly changing cast of storytellers that have included such greats as Mike Daisey, Jonathan Ames, and Lewis Black. FREE!
8 PM, SAT. MARCH 31
GEORGE & CO: PORTRAIT OF A BOOKSTORE AS AN OLD MAN
U.S. THEATRICAL PREMIERE!
Gonzague Pichelin's award winning documentary has won raves overseas but has yet to find domestic distriubtion. In 1951, New Jersey born expat George Whitman opened a unique English Language bookshop/commune in Paris called Shakespeare and Company. Offering free, but often dirty beds to poor literati, cutting his hair with a candle and gluing the carpet with pancake batter, Whitman ran his "den of anarchists disguised as a bookstore" well into his nineties. More than 40,000 poets, travelers and political activists have stayed at Shakespeare and Company, writing or stealing books, throwing parties and making soup or love while living with George's generosity and sudden fits of anger. Illustrious guests include Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin, Jacques Prévert, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, James Baldwin and Richard Wright. A fascinating account of Shakespeare & Co's crotchety and complicated owner and the strange residents of this Tumbleweed Hotel. $5 (FREE for Raconteur Society Members!).