Thursday, August 4, 2011

AUG 2011: Ted Alexandro; Geek Wisdom; Outdoor Film; Stairwell Art; The Third Man; War of the Worlds; Raiders: The Adaptation

8 PM, Tues. Aug 2
Stand Up Comedy

Alexandro has performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, The View, and two half-hour specials on Comedy Central. He has also appeared on the television shows Oz, Dr. Katz and Louie, and has performed internationally in countries including Egypt, Kuwait, South Korea, England, Holland, and Israel. With: Gordon Baker-Bone, Matt Jenkins, Jimmie Allinder, Justin Flanagan, Max Lorenzi, Adam Mamawala, and event host, Dina Hashem. Don't like laughter? We've got used books and records! Dead inside? We've got free wine! Wow! There's something for everyone! FREE!

8 PM, Fri. Aug 5
Stephen Segal (NOT the martial artist/deputy sheriff)
GEEK WISDOM: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture

Computer nerds are our titans of industry; comic-book superheroes are our Hollywood idols; the Internet is our night on the town. Clearly, geeks know something about life in the 21st century that other folks don’t—something we all can learn from. Geek Wisdom takes as gospel some 200 of the most powerful and oft-cited quotes from movies, television, literature, games, science, the Internet, and more. Now these beloved pearls of modern-day culture have been painstakingly interpreted by a diverse team of hardcore nerds with their imaginations turned up to 11. Yes, this collection of mini-essays is by, for, and about geeks—but it’s just so surprisingly profound, the rest of us would have to be dorks not to read it. Stephen H. Segal is the Hugo Award winning senior contributing editor to Weird Tales, the world’s oldest fantasy/sci-fi/horror magazine (Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft were regular contributors), and an editor at Quirk Books. FREE! Comp wine. Books on sale at event.

8:30 PM, Sat. Aug 6
W/Live Mixed DJ Soundtrack by CIRCUIT BORED
Outdoor Screening/Live Music

Our terrace screening of Fantastic Planet was such a success we decide to continue our outdoor programming with Fritz Lang's Metropolis. Metropolis belongs to legend as much as to cinema. It's a milestone of sci-fi and German expressionism. In the stratified society of the future, the son of a capitalist discovers the atrocious conditions of the factory slaves, falling in love with the charismatic Maria in the bargain, who preaches nonviolence to the workers. But even the benevolent leadership of Maria is a challenge to the privileged class, so they have the mad-scientist Rotwang concoct a robot double to take her place and incite the workers to riot. The story is melodrama, but it's the powerful imagery that is so memorable, with one of the most arresting images being legions of cowed workers filing listlessly into the great maw of the all-consuming machine-god Moloch. Again, the titled silent film will be screened outdoors on the back terrace of The Raconteur and will be accompanied by a live-mixed soundtrack courtesy of Circuit Bored, a DJ known for his minimal sci-fi inspired electronica. Folding chairs are available, but if you prefer something more comfortable (e.g. lawn lounger), bring it with you. Refreshments. FREE!

8 PM, Fri. Aug 12
Art Exhibition/Live Music
As many of you know, one of our shop volunteers, Ben Luckman, recently opened a record store, People Under the Stereo, in our basement. The stairwell down is a cavernous shaft with walls that run 15'x20', so, in keeping with our cultural utilization of nontraditional spaces (e.g. People Under the Stereo), we've decided to turn it into an art gallery. Grand opening this Fri! Featuring the work of Jason Stewart. Plus a range of special musical guests. FREE!

4 PM, Sun. Aug 14
A Staged Reading of a New Screenplay by
Featuring Quinn Shephard, Lily Houghton, Jonathan Wierzbicki,
Sherilyn Alyssa Morse, Natasha Thaler, Nicolette Pizzigoni, Laurie Shephard, Daniel Paul, Shelby Day, and Carlyle Owen

Set in an age of technology and disconnect, BLAME brings us into the lives of five teenage girls whose paths become tangled when envy and suspicion spiral out of control. After word gets out that one of the school's students may or may not be involved in a scandalous affair with her teacher, the line between truth and accusation blurs as the craze for information sweeps the school into a whirlwind of digital hysteria. Quinn Shephard is a 16-year-old film actress whose credits include Unaccompanied Minors (w/Lewis Black & Wilmer Valderamma), Harrison's Flowers (w/Andie McDowwell & David Straithairn)', From Other Worlds, and Assassination of a High School President (w/Bruce Willis & Mischa Barton). As a student filmmaker, her work has been showcased in multiple festivals, including the Garden State Film Festival. This is her first feature-length screenplay. FREE!

Raconteur Radio & Stage Left Present
6:30 PM, Thurs. Aug 18
Staged Radio Play/Themed Dinner
Featuring Carlyle Owens, Laurence Mintz, Michael Jarmus, Jackie Nuzzo, and Alex Dawson
The atmospheric rubble and melancholy damp of war-smashed Vienna is powerfully evoked in this thrilling radio play, based on Sir Carol Reed's 1949 film starring Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles. Holly Martins is a "scribbler" of hack Westerns who arrives in postwar Vienna to land a job and join his old pal Harry Lime. Instead he finds himself drawn into a murder mystery and a network of deadly black-market racketeers. The story blurs the lines between what's comic and what's corrupt, melding melodrama and smirking frivolity with razor-blade noir tones and grave ruminations on the seductive nature of money and evil. Theatrical Lighting! Sound FX! Meet at the Stage Left bar at 6:30 PM to drink Austrian Gruner Veltliner before repairing to one of their private oak-paneled salons for the performance. Afterward dine on a luxurious dinner with choices appropriate to the time and setting. For more info/reservations, CLICK HERE.

Raconteur Radio & The Metuchen Public Library Present
7:30 PM, Aug 24
Staged Radio Play
Featuring Michael Jarmus, Laurence Mintz, Carlyle Owens, and Alex Dawson
The War of the Worlds was first performed October 30, 1938 as the Halloween episode of "Mercury Theatre On Air." Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode, set in Grovers Mills, NJ, is a loose adaptation of the H. G. Wells' novel, and begins as a dance band broadcast intermittently interrupted by news flashes about strange explosions on Mars. A cylindrical meteorite lands in a field. A crowd gathers at the site. The meteorite unscrews, revealing itself as a spacecraft, and onlookers catch a glimpse of a tentacled, pulsating creature, its arms throbbing, but immobile, which then springs to life and incinerates the crowd. The simulated "news bulletins" suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. As a result, there were instances of panic throughout the US, especially in New York and New Jersey. There has been continued speculation that the panic generated by the broadcast inspired government officials to forever cover up subsequent unidentified flying object evidence. THEATRICAL LIGHTING! SOUND FX! FREE! NOTE: This at the Metuchen Library NOT The Raconteur.

The Raconteur & The State Theatre Present
8 PM, Fri. Aug 26
W/Special Guests: Director Eric Zala & Actor Chris Strompolos
Film Screening/Onstage Conversation/Q&A

It's the 30 year anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the summer of Super 8, which means it's the perfect time to see the homemade cult sensation Spielberg himself calls "hugely imaginative!" After seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, three 12 year old friends, Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb, began filming their own shot-by-shot adaptation in the backyards of their Mississippi homes. Vigilant, resourceful, and a little bit insane, these Mississippi tweens gained access to sacks of gunpowder, gallons of gasoline, a retired WWII battleship and a functioning Navy submarine. They broke bones, got grounded, burned down a garage, and got grounded again. Eric had to be hospitalized twice, once for having his hair set aflame, and once because shards of plaster from an exploding head "effect" had to be surgically removed from his scalp. Seven years later their film was in the can. Click HERE to read the Vanity Fair article on the boys' amazing movie-making adventure. THE ONLY WAY TO SEE THIS FILM IS TO CATCH ONE OF THE RARE INTERNATIONAL SCREENINGS HOSTED BY THE FILMMAKERS THEMSELVES. This August, Eric and Chris are flying into New Brunswick to screen and discuss their now legendary remake at the State Theatre! MORE INFO/BUY TIX!

ON DECK: Outdoor video game tournament w/DJ Circuit Bored; staged reading of Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein; two time Oscar nominated animator Bill Plympton screening/discussing Idiots and Angels at the State Theatre, 8 PM, Tues. Sept 26.