The Smart Set: Lauren Cerand’s weekly events

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 lauren@maudnewton.com by the Thursday prior to publication, with the date of the event in the subject line.

MONDAY, 1.16: The Manhattan Repertory Theater presents a two-day run of Two Gentlemen of Verona, and “Shakespeare’s most despised, most racist, most sexist, and most anti-semitic comedy (other than that play about Shylock) gets a helluva workover. Like the Bard gettin’ hated on by Dave Chapelle, this all-minority cast will make you jump for joy, or at least make you want to burn your Barbies.” 8:00pm, $15 (second performance on Tuesday). Also, Softskull Night @ Coliseum Books features Douglas Martin reading from his new release, Branwell: A Novel of the Bronte Brother, along with Maggie Nelson (Jane: A Murder) and Wayne Koestenbaum (Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes). Highly recommended. 6:30pm, free.

TUESDAY, 1.17: The perfect escape from January in New York: “Capoeira Angola Quintal and Afro Brazil Arts are hosting A Night in Bahia at Opus 22 [All money raised will go to Afro Brazil Arts to provide for school programs and scholarships for youth to train at the academy]. The event will include a live performance of capoeira, samba, and maculele (a traditional Brazilian stick dance). A live DJ will be spinning Brazilian beats while showing a silent screening of capoeira filmed in Bahia, Brazil. The bar will serve Brazilian drinks.” Highly recommended. 6:00 – 10:00pm, $10. 192 Books hosts Carolyn Burke, author of Lee Miller: A Life. Did you know? “Lee Miller (1907-77) was one of the most extraordinary photographers of the 20th century. A legendary beauty and fashion model, Miller soon became an acclaimed photographer in her own right. Her relationships with Surrealist artist Man Ray and collector Roland Penrose placed her at the heart of 20th-century artistic and literary circles and, in a career spanning more than three decades, she came into contact with an astonishing range of people.” [Source: Britain’s National Portrait Gallery] 7:00pm, free, but, as always, “Seating is limited. Please call 212.255.4022 for reservations.”

WEDNESDAY, 1.18: “Ben Munisteri presents his patented fresh, frisky-fun, densely constructed dance for this New York City season. Expect lyrical litheness peppered and the occasional discothèque booty bump set against eclectic sound design. ” [via Upcoming] Tuesday, 4 a.m. and other dances kicks off a five-performance run at Dance Theater Workshop, with a post-performance discussion on Wednesday evening. 7:30pm, $25. And, the New York Chapter of AIGA (“The professional association for design”) presents Small Talk No. 4, featuring “Syrup: Work Revolutionaries.” Noted, Syrup is a multidisciplinary firm with offices in New York and Helsinki and a work philosophy like no other. Based on a live/work premise – the firm and its members allow their lives to permeate their work: “Friends hang out, clients stop by, wives drop off kids, and kids make us drop everything.” This way of life has led Syrup to develop branding, interactive and print projects for high-profile clients like GE, L’Oréal, Aeropostale, Sony, Warner Records and Motorola as well as more intimate projects with smaller organizations, companies and cultural institutions.” 6:30pm, $25. And, Danyel Smith, author of Bliss, reads from her latest as part of the In The Flesh reading series at Happy Ending. 8:00pm, no cover.

THURSDAY, 1.19: Paul Auster and Paula Fox read as part of the action-packed new season presented by the Unterberg Poetry Center (P.S. Lit junkies: membership offers a sweet deal) at the 92nd Street Y. Highly recommended. 8:00pm, $17. And, you’re invited to “Join Demos at Strand Book Store for the release of Strapped: Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead with author and Economic Opportunity Director, Tamara Draut. Strapped offers a groundbreaking look at the new obstacle course facing young adults–the under 35 crowd–as they try to build careers, buy homes and start families.” 6:30pm, free.

FRIDAY, 1.20: Alegrias en La Nacional, “New York’s oldest Spanish benevolent society (established 1868) hosting Hispanic cultural events,” presents “Flamenco performances featuring Spanish gypsy artists: Carmen Salao (from Huelva); Luis Vargas (from Algeciras); Maria Benjumeda (from Jerez de la Frontera) with Pedro Cortes, Sean Kupisz, Peter Basil, Maria de los Angeles and Danica de Leon.” Highly recommended. Performances are at 8:30 and 11:00pm. And, 5 Streams has its world premiere at Asia Society: “Using ancient texts from Islamic and Hindu traditions, 5 Streams is internationally acclaimed director Ibrahim Quraishi’s personal rumination on a world torn apart by conflicts and brought together by shared histories and identities…This multi-media performance installation includes an extraordinary international team of collaborators and performers including music by Norscq and Paul Miller a.k.a DJ Spooky [note: author of Rhythm Science, published by MIT Press and one of my faves] and choreographer and dance by Parul Shah.” 8:00pm, $25.

SATURDAY, 1.21: Anthology Film Archives screens Toutes Les Nuites (Night After Night). Director Eugene “Green’s first feature, the film’s anarchic humor and incredible visual precision made it a hit in France and winner of the prestigious Delluc prize for Best First Feature. Based loosely on a Flaubert novella, the film charts the fate of two young men through the tumultuous 1960s and 70s.” 4:30pm. And, GlobalFEST New York, which “challenges audiences to re-think the parameters of world music,” returns after two consecutive years of sold-out concerts with expanded programming over two days, including Keren Ann. See GlobalFEST site for details.

SUNDAY, 1.22: On Sunday afternoon, Marcy Dermansky, author of TWINS [Full disclosure as always: Marcy is a PR client of mine], joins her fellow Astoria writer of twins-y fiction, Tara McCarthy, author of Love Will Tear Us Apart, for a reading and a drink at LIC Bar. In keeping with the local theme, aussi Queens resident Ron Hogan, editor of Beatrice and author of The Stewardess is Flying the Plane, hosts. 3:00pm, no cover.


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