The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please submit details to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the date of the event in the subject line.
MONDAY, 6.27: Two of New York’s most entertaining readers, Miss Corpus author and Pumpkin Pie Show ringleader Clay McLeod Chapman, and How To Kick People (see Wednesday) impresario Todd Levin, aka “Sovereign King of Wordsopolis,” take the stage as part of Smut at Galapagos. 8:00pm, no cover. Highly recommended. Also, the Apocalypse NOW series at Apocalypse Lounge (189 East 3rd Street btw. A & B) presents readings of poetry, fiction, and drama by Erin Stalcup, Mary Lou Buschi, Jason Brenner, and Rynn Williams. 7:00pm, no cover. Note: this is the second installment of a new series, and if you’re in the neighborhood, do consider stopping by to support it (and take advantage of the $2 Rheingolds from 7-8). Additionally, Lara Vapnyar and Pearl Abraham read as part of the Scribblers on the Roof series, wherein “Jewish writers read from their recent work.” 8:00pm, free [first spotted at StillJohn.com]. Also highly recommended.
TUESDAY, 6.28: Marie Sabatino hosts Readings on the Lower East Side, featuring Frank Damico and Denis Woychuk, in the LES Gallery at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center. 9:00pm, $5 (one free drink included with admission). And, Opium Magazine presents the fourth installment of its reading series at Happy Ending, featuring Oliver Conant, Wayne Gladstone, Christopher Hickman, and Todd Zuniga (but sadly, no Lobster Girl). 8:00pm, no cover.
WEDNESDAY, 6.29: As part of the PAGE series at the National Arts Club, anthology editor Marc Parent and contributor Benjamin Cheever read from The Secret Society of Demolition Writers. 7:00pm, free (the good news: this event features an open bar; the bad news: you’ll have to wear a blazer over that tube top). Also, How To Kick People presents an evening entitled “Stay Gold, Ponyboy,” with Jonathan Corbettt, Amanda Melson, Tom Shillue and musical guest Walter Salas-Humar. 8:00pm, $7. And, the reading series at the Kettle of Fish (the hands-down-favorite-bar of an old friend of mine, and so recommended just on that fact alone) presents Television Without Pity co-editor-in-chief Sarah D. Bunting (who will read from her fiction, although she could probably get away with Gilmore Girls episode summaries), forthcoming novelist Matt de la Pena, and Shifting Through Neutral author Bridgett M. Davis. The Kettle of Fish is located at 59 Christopher Street. 7:00pm, no cover [Thanks to Living With Legends: Hotel Chelsea blog for the tip].
THURSDAY, 6.30: Gabrielle Zevin, author of Margarettown, a nuanced and beguiling debut novel that I recently enjoyed, reads at Barnes & Noble, Astor Place. 7:00pm, free. And, Karen Heuler hosts “Bad Date Stories,” tales of “impossible connections and unredeeming sex,” with Jennifer Dziura, Armistead Johnson, Martin Cohen, and Jennifer Sears. At Cornelia Street Cafe. 6:00pm, $6 (one house drink is included with admission).
FRIDAY, 7.1: Week Six of Rooftop Films’ Summer Series 2005 brings an evening of music by The Couriers and a full program of Dark Toons. 8:30pm, $8. Highly recommended.
SATURDAY, 7.2: Summer officially arrives with WarmUp at P.S. 1, featuring “a stunningly futuristic architectural installation” and “a unique multi-sensory experience for music fans, artists, and families alike.” Saturday’s musical guests: “DJ Harvey, whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s known for his signature mix of eclectic disco, New York City acid jazz ensemble Groove Collective adds to the spontaneous vibe, and Simon James of the LAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Projections also DJs.” 3:00-9:00pm, $8.
SUNDAY, 7.3: Check out the recently-released-on-DVD documentary, In The Realms of the Unreal, filmmaker Jessica Yu’s excellent investigation into the life of reclusive self-taught artist Henry Darger, whose life’s work included a twelve-volume, more than 15,000 page illustrated novel exploring an alternate universe inhabited by child-enslaving warmongers and seven fiercely lovely princesses known as the Vivan Girls. Darger’s Untitled (Portrait of Colonel Jack Francis Evans) is currently on view as part of the Self and Subject exhibition of portraiture at the American Folk Art Museum. The museum’s Sunday hours are 10:30am -5:30pm, admission $9.