Friday, April 2, 2010

APRIL/MAY 2010: Noah Baumbach; Qtet; D&D Tournament; John Ciardi; It Ends in a G; Lenny Bruce; Oscar Winner Pam Boll; Myra Ciardi

8 PM, Fri. April 2
Directed by Noah Baumbach
Film Screening

The heavy anxiety that takes center stage in Noah Baumbach's just released Greenberg and his Oscar nominated Squid and the Whale is already waiting in the wings in his stingingly funny first feature. One of the highlights of the nineties indie film scene, Kicking and Screaming mines J. D. Salinger territory (to cite a writer often linked to screenplaymate Wes Anderson--they co-wrote Mr. Fox--as well as to Baumbach), speaking directly to a generation of would-be adults unable to reconcile their hermetic educational experience with workaday responsibility, and posing the eternal question: where do we go from here? FREE! Comp wine.

8 PM, Fri. April 9
Live Music

The music the Qtet plays is jazz-based but reflects the wide diversity of its co-leaders, Ware & Kaplan. Vibraphonist Bill Ware toured with Steely Dan on their live comeback tour in the mid 90s and was a founding member of the ground-breaking acid jazz group the Groove Collective, and the jazz/theater group the Jazz Passengers, which often featured ex-Blondie singer Debbie Harry. Saxophonist Mike Kaplan currently leads his 9 piece horn-proud jazz unit the Mike Kaplan Nonet, and has performed with the Joneses, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Chico Mendoza Latin Jazz Dream Band. Kaplan has had original arrangements and compositions performed and/or recorded by the Composers Big Band, Juan Oliva y sus Progressiva, and Orquesta Royal. Also with bassist Saadi Zain and drummer Lou Petto.FREE. Comp wine.

12 (noon) - 10 PM, Sat. April 10
Hosted by Peter & Ian Fairclough (his 13 year old son)
Beginners Welcome! (Ages 10 & up)

Before ergonomic gaming consoles and wireless controllers utilizing Bluetooth technology, there was twenty-sided dice and octagonal graph paper. Before Xbox 360, there was D&D. When I was ten, my mother and stepfather moved my brother and I from suburban NJ to a seven hundred acre ranch in Alabama. Apparently feeling we should be further isolated, they took us, every summer, cross country to Nebraska, where we camped and lived in a hybrid house/horse trailer so they could train gundogs on prairie grouse. It was here my brother and I discovered D&D, playing it the trailer's drop table, trying to kill those long flat days while our parents fieldworked and trialed the dogs. Though our D&D backgrounds differ (us, ten and twelve, on the plains of Nebraska; him, British, early twenties, throwing extravagant "D&D Fancy Dress Parties" in Eastern England), when Fairclough expressed interest in organizing an open-door D&D marathon, I immediately offered the shop as a venue. And with its museumized charms and medieval clutter (pig-faced helmets, basket-hilted swords), what better venue for the dice based fantasy game? FREE to participate (natch).

8 PM, Sat. April 17
FIVE BANDS hosted by IT ENDS w/a G
Live Music

Can't say much except the front man for the organizing band has an Abe Lincoln beard and thick black glasses and sort of looks like a Civil War Buddy Holly, and one of our shop volunteers, a twenty-something muppety hipster I call O' Lucky Man after the Lindsay Anderson film (his last name is Lukman), is playing a short set, and it will likely be loud, and crowded with those kids you usually see boarding (skate, not water) in the Pearl Street parking lot.

7 PM, Weds, April 21
LENNY'S BACK! (& Boy is He Pissed)
A One Man Show Starring General Hospital's RONNIE MARMO

I know, groan, General Hospital. But c'mon, it's LENNY BRUCE! And maybe this dude's no Dustin, but he looks just like Lenny. Immortalized on the cover of Sgt. Pepper and in songs by Simon & Garfunkel, Nico, Frank Zappa, and Bob Dylan ("he was bad, he was the brother you never had"), Lenny Bruce fancied himself an oral jazzman and worshiped the gods of Spontaneity, Candor and Free Association. His tongue would often outrun his mind and he would say things he didn't plan to say, things that surprised him, delighted him, cracked him up. His provocative stand-up paved the way for such comic greats as Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Robin William, all of whom cite Mr. Bruce as their primary influence. Recently performed in Hollywood to rave reviews ("The performance is flawless," Teller (of Penn & Teller); "Thoughtfully funny...poignant," L.A. Times; "Perfectly paced," LA Weekly, LENNY'S BACK moves to NJ for a three day run at Edison Valley Playhouse (where Ronnie got his stage start fifteen years ago). Why? Who knows. Something to do with a soap opera convention at the Meadowlands Hilton. But Ronnie is doing a TEASER of the show for FREE at The Raconteur before the EVP opening on April 22.

8 PM, Sat. May 8
Academy Award Winning Filmmaker
Introducing & Screening

Georgia O'Keefe. Edith Wharton. Janis Joplin. Emily Dickinson. Amelia Erhardt. None of these women had children. Who Does She Think She Is?, the new documentary by Oscar winning filmmaker Pamela Boll (Born into Brothels), explores the competing demands of muse and mothering and the struggle to make art while nuturing life. The film, which follows five fierce women who refuse to choose, is a call to arms (rise up ladies! with your chisels and brushes and pens!) and ultimately demonstrates that creativity and caregiving are not mutually exclusive, but deeply connected. Followed by a Q&A with Ms. Boll and video updates of the five mother/artists in the film. For trailer, click HERE. Bring your Mom! What better way to spend Mother's Day weekend? Cooler than a pot of poppies! General Admission: $15 (tickets on sale soon). Note: Screening is at The Forum NOT The Raconteur.

Date TBA
Myra Ciardi
The late John Ciardi's daughter discusses her famous father. More info soon