The Smart Set: a weekly events listing by Lauren Cerand

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, with the date of the event in the subject line.

MONDAY, 6.6: Feeling flush and grown-up this week? If you’re willing to drop a little bunse in support of the arts, you can may attend School of American Ballet’s annual Workshop Performance Benefit. 7:00pm performance at Juilliard theater at Lincoln Center, with dinner to follow at SAB studios; Junior tickets (for patrons 21-35) are $250, all others $600-$2,500. For tickets and details, call School of American Ballet’s Melissa Kinsella at (212) 769-6600. If pointe isn’t quite your cup of absinthe, perhaps you’d rather head to Junno’s for a chic macabre evening of tales from the new book, 2DO Before I Die. Miriam Parker and other contributors convene at 64 Downing Street to read from their work at 7:30pm, no cover.

TUESDAY, 6.7: Kevin Smokler, editor of Bookmark Now, a collection of essays exploring the writer’s life and (and prospects) in our modern age, and Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Robert Lanham, Benjamin Nugent, and Elizabeth Spiers read from their work and celebrate the book’s publication by probably getting a little drunk on a work night at Galapagos. The event also features audience giveaways of “Bookmark Now”, “Food Court Druids, Cherohonkees, and Other Creatures Unique to the Republic”, and “Elliott Smith And The Big Nothing”, all of which will be raffled off in-between readers. [FULL DISCLOSURE: (a) Kevin hired me to help him make this event smashingly fun. (b) Also, in unrelated news that is 99% special and dazzling only to me, Tuesday is my birthday. THEREFORE, if a + b, then: (c) You should come and help make my birthday fabulous by joining us for a marvelous time hearing these smart hipsters talk about this rad book over oh-so-quenchy-cash-bar-cocktails.] 7:00pm, no cover. Stick around afterwards for Cheryl B’s superbly of-the-moment Poetry vs. Comedy Variety Show. 10:00pm, no cover.

WEDNESDAY, 6.8: This one goes out to all the crafty freelancers in this town who deserve a break on Wednesday — remind yourself of one of the supreme perks of the lifestyle with three cool, intensely creative-sounding shows in Chelsea that look to be worth a breeze through on a summer afternoon while the worker bees are still in the hive: Cheryl Kelley at lyonswiergallery (“The scale of the work alludes to the memory of the sound of the big 8 cylinder engine. These paintings are about first loves… a lifelong love of painting coupled with the collective memory and admiration of the American Muscle Car.”), Gregory Crewdson: Beneath The Roses at Luhring Augustine [both via Trigger] and Goya’s “Los Caprichos” and “Here Comes the Bogey-Man” (after Los Caprichos no 3 “que viene el coco”) at The Chelsea Art Museum [via Bloggy].

THURSDAY, 6.9: Stephen Elliott and Dallas Hudgens read from their work at Lolita. Steve says, “I promise to read something you haven’t heard or read, namely, a piece originally published in Canada and included in the next Best American Non-Required Reading anthology out later this year. It’s about the time my little brother came to visit me in San Francisco and it’s called My Little Brother Ruined My Life.” [FULL DISCLOSURE: (1) Dallas is a client of mine, and I put this event together. (2) It’s going to be a party.]. 266 Broome Street (at Allen); 7:30pm, no cover. And, “in order to promote Sean Carswell’s new book, Barney’s Crew, indie publishers Gorsky Press hijacked the Perpetual Motion Roadshow and turned it into a two week fiasco going all around the East Coast and northern Midwest in June. ” On Thursday, Sean (“once opened for X”), Joe Meno (wrote “Hairstyles of the Damned,” published by the so crushworthy Punk Planet Books), and Mickey Hess (“likes to think about rap music”) turn up in New York for a reading at Jigsaw with Chris Dickens. At 526 East 11th Street. 8:00pm, no cover.

FRIDAY, 6.10: Men pulling each others’ hair? A nice nails-out slapfight between two ladies? Allegations of behind-the-scenes “sexy coaching” by the judges? I will be at the finale of The L Magazine’s Literary Upstart, The Search For Pocket Fiction Competition, drink in hand and expecting a spectacle, or at least some serious trash-talking after getting an email last week that started like this: “I wanted to thank you again for listing us on I loved the listing last time, speculating about which judge would most likely shag a contestant. Partly in response, we’re featuring some special features for our final on June 10…”. Noted, “Actors from the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theatre … will present the winning stories Symphony Space style. Our judges will then offer their final commentary before announcing the overall winner… In a special segment called Judges, Uncensored, our glamorous panel takes a bitter look in the mirror, and will give special readings followed by coldhearted commentary, scandalous revelations, and hopefully some fist fights.” Featuring potential villains Ben Greenman, Peter Steinberg, Coates Bateman, Kendra Harpster, and Rebecca Schuman. The Baggot Inn, 82 West 3rd Street between Thompson and Sullivan. 8:00pm, no cover.

SATURDAY, 6.11: “The 2005 MoCCA [Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art] Art Festival will again be held at the fabulous Puck Building at 295 Lafayette Street [on both Saturday and Sunday]…. Everyone is welcome to attend the MoCCA Art Festival… There is no advance sale, but card-carrying MoCCA members will be allowed to enter via the VIP line.” Extremely relevant and intriguing panel discussions and events include topics such as Do Political Cartoons Matter?, Slideshow with Adrian Tomine, Gender and Representation in Manga and Anime, Gained in Translation: Comics Adaptation, Dan Clowes in conversation with Jonathan Lethem, and much more. Saturday and Sunday, tickets at the door for $7/day or $12/weekend. Also, John Glassie signs copies of Bicycles Locked To Poles in conjunction with an exhibition at Jen Bekman. 2:00-4:00pm, free.

SUNDAY, 6.12: The Human Rights Watch 2005 International Film Festival, taking place from June 9-23, presents a full day of programming on Sunday, starting with Mardi Gras: Made in China, which “tracks the ‘bead trail’ from the factory in China to Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, poignantly exposing the inequities of globalization. Filmmaker Redmon gained unprecedented access to follow the stories of four young Chinese women working and living in the largest Mardi Gras bead factory in the world, located in Fuzhou, China… Redmon inter-cuts these stories with strikingly candid interviews with the factory manager and the US businessman (who owns the factory) who offer their own visions on why globalization is a success.” Followed by the New York premiere of Seoul Train, “an unprecedented glimpse into the little known ‘underground railroad’ working to help North Korean refugees escape one of the world’s most repressive governments.” The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers of both films. 1:00pm, $10. Also of interest on Sunday is Jailhouse Drawings, an exhibition “featuring drawings submitted to the Columbia Human Rights Law Review’s annual cover contest for ‘A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual.'” Curated by members of Amnesty International’s Firefly Project and the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. At ABC No Rio through June 16th; viewing hours on Sunday are 1:00-3:00pm, free.

This week’s soundtrack? Mellow music for a hot summer night: Edison Woods, Seven Principles of Leave No Trace. Site-specific and perfectly succinct: Julia Sleeping On Books.


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