Monday, December 20, 2010

JAN/FEB 2010 William Burroughs: A Man Within; Wuhnderlust; Catfish; Jess Row & Emma Straub

The Raconteur, The Forum Theatre, and The Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission present
8 PM, Sat. Jan 8
W/Special Guest Director YONY LEYSER
Film Screening/Q&A

Hailed as the grandfather of punk and the godfather of the beat generation, Burroughs was a bartender, a private detective, a factory worker, an exterminator, a heroin addict, and a writer. His novel, Naked Lunch, one of the last books to be banned by the U.S. government, remains one of the most recognized literary works of the 20th century. It celebrates William S. Burroughs: A Man Within is the first and only posthumous documentary about the legendary "Pope of Dope." Narrated by Peter Weller, who played a Burroughs-like character in David Cronenberg’s film version of Lunch, Leyser’s portrait of the formidable proto-Beat author is a kind of genealogy of hip that connects Burroughs with many currents of America’s outlaw cultural tradition. He was a close friend and sometime lover of Allen Ginsberg, an idol of the Clash, the Dead Kennedys, Iggy Pop and Sonic Youth. Featuring never before seen footage of Burroughs and exclusive interviews with John Waters (who calls him "a religious figure"), Patti Smith (who recalls having a crush on him), Gus Van Sant, Laurie Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Jello Biafra, and David Cronenberg, with a soundtrack by Patti Smith and Sonic Youth, Leyser’s intimate documentary delves into the troubled and fascinating world of one of the greatest authors of our time. TICKETS: $12. TO PURCHASE ONLINE, CLICK HERE. THE FORUM THEATRE, 314 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ.

8 PM, Fri & Sat. Jan 28 & 29
Radio Play/Rent Party
Ages 8 & up!
Featuring Carlyle Owens, Jeff Maschi, and Laurence Mintz

More bad news is on the way for winter-weary New Jersey residents. Accuweather expects up to six inches to fall tonight and into Friday morning. This only days after Tuesday's ice storm and only a week after nearly a foot of snow was dumped on parts of the state. It goes without saying that this recent onslaught of "weather" has been horrible for business. Our staged presentation of the chilling radio play, "The Abominable Snowman," is an attempt to offset such wintry assaults and the woefully slow retail days they produce. North of the Main Central Thrust, the highest ranges of the Himalayas rise abruptly into a realm of perpetual snow and ice. It is here, on the frozen slopes of the great mountain, terrified, caught in a blizzard, that our two heroes and their loyal Sherpa, Nah Song, realize that the hulking bear-like biped they've been doggedly hunting has suddenly...become the hunter! Theatrical lighting! Sound FX! Complimentary wine (and juice). As noted above, this is essentially a "rent party," with a suggested donation of $10.00 (but no one will be turned away). Please note: our radio plays are among our most popular events and reservations are strongly suggested. To reserve a seat for either Fri or Sat, reply to this e-mail with your name, the number in your party, and the evening you wish to attend.

7:00 - 9:30 PM, Tues., Feb 1 - March 1 (no class 2/22)
Register Now! Sessions fill quickly.

In The Spooky Art, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Norman Mailer talked about crisp words "clamping down…sticking." In an interview shortly before his death, noir author Raymond Chandler spoke of perfectly pitched sentences "walking off the page." Despite using opposing metaphors, they are obviously describing the same thing. Good writing. A key focus of the class is this acoustical quality. The profound difference between how a sentence sounds and its mute presence on the page. Participants should come prepared to revise/resolve a prior project or to draft a pre-existing idea. The workshop does not assign exercises, but rather use the students' own projects to instruct. The cost of the workshop is $200.00 payable at the beginning of the first class ($150.00 w/student ID). Returning participants may sign up for single workshops at a reduced rate of $25 per class. Individual instruction can also be arranged. Complimentary wine is served. For further information or to register, e-mail with INFO or ENROLL as the subject.

8 PM, Feb 3
LA Funk Band
Live Music

From Pultizer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon to Peaches on Flavor of Love. I've always wanted to say that. And now I can. Wahnder Lust features Kim Manning (a.k.a. Peaches) and Lantz Lazwell. Manning has performed a decade as a featured vocalist for George Clinton and the P-Funk Allstars and on the Grammy Awards, the David Letterman Show, Jay Leno, and, of course, VH1's Flavor of Love. She can be heard on albums alongside Snoop Dogg, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and recently Sly Stone. Lantz Lazwell has drawn comparisons to Jimi Hendrix, Jack Johnson, and Stevie Wonder. He took home the LA Music Award for Best Rock Vocalist in 2007, and joined the all-star lineup of Trulio Disgracias which included members of Fishbone, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and his future Wahnder Lust partner, Kim Manning. Fresh from performances at the House of Blues, San Francisco's Great American Music Hall, and SXSW, Wahnder Lust now plays your favorite bookstore. FREE! Comp wine.CDs on sale at event.

The Raconteur, The Forum Theatre, and The Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission present
8 PM, Sat. Feb 12
W/Special Guest Director Ariel Schulman
Film Screening/Q&A

We meet New York photographer Nev Schulman, brother of director Ariel, as he unwraps a painting of one of his photos by a young Michigan girl named Abby. They become Facebook friends, which eventually leads to Nev’s online romance with Abby’s older sister, Megan. But as he comes closer to meeting Megan in person, Nev uncovers some unsettling information.…I'll respect the studio's wishes by abbreviating the plot description, suffice it to say Catfish is a mash up of Blair Witch and The Crying Game in the world of Facebook. The Social Network is about origins, but Catfish, at once narrower and more universal in implication, is about consequences. Mr. Zuckerberg may be the genius who invented Facebook and cashed in on its success, but many of the rest of us live, at least some of the time, in the world he made, and on the evidence of Catfish, it can be a pretty creepy place. But the story Catfish has to tell, at least in part, is older than the Internet, and certainly not limited to the latest technology. You may have read The Confidence Man, by Herman Melville, or followed the strange literary career of J.T. Leroy, or you may cherish the lore of your own favorite frauds and hoaxsters and impostors, from Jay Gatsby to Don Draper. America is the land of spurious, seat-of-the-pants self-invention, and Mr. Joost and Mr. Schulman, a couple of young men with cameras and college degrees, find themselves in a real-life variation on a venerable American theme. TICKETS: $12. TO PURCHASE ONLINE, CLICK HERE. THE FORUM THEATRE, 314 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ


Friday, December 3, 2010

DEC 2010: Rac/Benn @ NYC's KGB Bar; Penny Dreadful; Holiday Hootenanny

7 PM, Mon. Dec 13.
The Raconteur presents BENNINGTON in MANHATTAN
The KGB Bar
85 East Fourth Street, NYC
(btwn Bowery and 2nd Ave),

Students/graduates of the Bennington College MFA Writing Seminars (ranked as one of the top three programs of its kind by Poets & Writers Magazine) read from recent work. Willa Carroll, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Liz Arnold, Jeremy Oldfield, Robert Hansmann, Lisa Alexander, Hannah Tennant-Moore, Jennifer Acker, Alex Dawson, and the acclaimed poet/Bennington professor Timothy Liu. The work of student participants has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, The New Republic, The Guardian, Tin House, n+1, The Sun, Mississippi Review, Gulf Coast, Tricycle, Cimarron Review, Surface, The Best Buddhist Writing, Mary Magazine, Tuesday Journal, Ploughshares, One Story, The Kenyon Review, Shenandoah, Oxford American, and the 2010 anthology New Stories From the South.

Timothy Liu is the author of For Dust Thou Art; Of Thee I Sing, selected by Publishers Weekly as a 2004 Book-of-the-Year; Hard Evidence; Say Goodnight; Burnt Offerings; and Vox Angelica, which won the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award. Liu edited Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry and his poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Bomb, Grand Street, Kenyon Review, The Nation, New American Writing, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and Virginia Quarterly Review.

Labeled "Best Literary Venue" in Manhattan by New York Magazine and The Village Voice, the iconic KGB Bar, once the expat meeting house of Ukrainian socialists, has grown over the last decade into one of the choicest venues for literary talent. Ricky Moody, Susan Orlean, Michael Cunningham, Robert Bly, Jimmy Breslin, Budd Schulberg, Joyce Carol Oates, Luc Sante, Jonathan Franzen, David Foster Wallace, Jerry Stahl, and Jonathan Lethem have all appeared on its hallowed stage. FREE!

8 PM, Thurs. Dec 16
A Staged Reading/World Premiere
A New Steampunk Penny Dreadful by KAYLA BASHE
W/Carlyle Owens, Gwen Owens, Laurence Mintz, and Kristy Lauricella

The plucky young scientist, Ms. Anna Cartridge, and her bubbly best friend, the mildly famous actress Poppy Valdene, travel to a deceptively charming cliff side resort to save Dr. William Boyle, her fiancé and the ingenious inventor of 2,5-pentlyl sentirate, from the contemptible clutches of long-time rival and nefarious hypnotist, Charles Rawlingson, a would-be scientific mastermind. Running time: 45 min. FREE!

Kayla Bashe is one of my writing students. Witty, precocious, and sixteen, she self-published her first novel at thirteen, and was a recent runner-up in a poetry contest hosted by the Young Adult Review Network. Pentylsentirate is Kayla's first full-length play.

8 PM, Sat. Dec 18
Steve Kaplan/Guitar & Paul Caluori/Violin
Live Music/Party

400 years of music: from Gustav Holst's "In a Bleak Midwinter" to Coltrane's groovy "Greensleaves" to classic Zep (Led, that is), with detours into Celtic folk and Victorian dance hall. Steve Kaplan and Paul Caluori bring their love of traditional folk, classical music and acoustic jazz into sharp focus by using truly acoustic instruments to perform, exploring sonic possibilities without the "clutter" of other instrumentation. Their approach to the music is deceptively simple: wring out as much emotion as possible without losing the essential structure of the pieces they're playing. Expect a variety of spiked nogs, puissant punches, and a withering concoction called Yukon Cornelius, along with a range of baked, roasted and boiled dishes (capon anyone?), marinated tench, and an edible lifelike scene sculpted in colored marzipan. Plus Cream Wafers, Date Drops, Honey-Filled Biscuits, Cinnamon Stars, Zucker Hutchen, Fattigmands Bakkels, Drumkake, and Buttery Nut Rounds. FREE!