The Smart Set: Lauren Cerand’s weekly events

“The Good Friends Edition”

The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled and written 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 by the Thursday prior to publication, with the date of the event in the subject line.

MONDAY, 12.5: British playwright David Hare appears at the 92nd Street Y for a discussion of his work and creative process as well as a post-reading conversation with his good friend, the actor Wallace Shawn, also an accomplished playwright (and stage and screen actor) himself. Highly recommended. 8:00pm, $17. EXCITING NEWS! I have a pair of complimentary tickets to give away to the Smart Set reader who emails me the best original, self-penned haiku about why politically engaged theater matters by 4:00pm today; I’ll post the winner here by 5:00. And, The Reader’s Room, co-hosted by Emilie Stewart and her good friend Leigh Newman, at Mo Pitkin’s every Monday evening, features “the hilarious rock ‘n’ roll novelistic musings of Bill Scheft,” who reads from his second novel, Time Won’t Let Me. The former chief monologue writer for The Late Show With David Letterman for 10 years, he is introduced on Monday evening by his good friend Paul Shaffer. 7:00pm, no cover. Elsewhere, film fans rejoice as director Joe Pacheco [full disclosure, as always: Joe is a client of mine] debuts Brooklyn Independent, which aims to “present audiences with the best in contemporary independent cinema.” At Barbes. 7:00pm, no cover.

TUESDAY, 12.6: Home team captain Maud Newton discusses “The Art of Online Criticism” with her good friends Sasha Frere-Jones and Terry Teachout in a conversation moderated by Bryan Keefer [full disclosure: my good (boy)friend]. 7:00pm; $12 in advance, $15 at the door. From 10:30pm on, “The #1 Transexual in the World”, Miss Amanda Lepore, celebrates another year of being fabulous and, perhaps as a direct result, her good friends “Hotel Chelsea Resident Susanne Bartsch, Kenny Kenny, Richie Rich & David La Chapelle Invite You To Amanda Lepore’s Birthday Celebration. Shows: Dirty Martini, Cazell & More. Happy Valley Tuesdays, 14 East 27 St.” [thanks to our good friend at Living with Legends for the tip].

WEDNESDAY, 12.7: I’m starting a new salon series with Jen Bekman, owner of the eponymous downtown gallery specializing in contemporary photography as well as emerging art in mediums such as painting and video art [full disclosure, as always: I am the gallery’s PR director]. “@jenbekman: words and pictures” debuts on Wednesday with a very special evening featuring my good friend Lizzie Skurnick reading from her award-winning chapbook, Check-In. 7:00pm, admission is free but reservations are essential due to limited space.

THURSDAY, 12.8: “Rising literary stars” Marcy Dermansky [full disclosure: Marcy is one of my PR clients] and Hannah Tinti read from their work at an edition of a new series at KGB created by worthy local nonprofit Behind The Book, which “works on a simple, but proven, premise: find a subject or author that interests kids, and you will get them reading. To reinforce the magic and power of reading, we give every child copies of the books they read in our program to keep for their own. For many children, these books are the first they have ever owned.” 7:00pm, no cover. Meanwhile, across town, “The Believer will co-present a special event commemorating the publication of the second annual Visual Issue, in conjunction with P.S.1’s Fine Print: Alternative Media series. At the event, Eric Fischl will give a PowerPoint presentation on the death of painting; Matthew Ronay will explain his work and life to Brandon Stosuy; Cory Arcangel will commit Friendster suicide live before the audience; Lori Barbara Waxman will be in residence as a ³60 wrd/min art critic² (in which she writes on-demand art reviews for any artist who needs them). Also, a Believer chart for eventual publication will be created live from members of the audience, and Matthew Derby will mangle something with science.” 6:00pm, “Admission is free, but seating is limited. Tickets may be picked up in the Main Lobby of P.S.1 the day of this event.”

FRIDAY, 12.9: Painter Maria Scavullo [full disclosure as always: Maria is not a client, but she’s a good friend and I own one of her works and also put this event together, so you know it will be fabulous!] debuts the first public showing of her moody, evocative paintings of alienated women in a show called “Glamorous Fugue,” at Lolita. Turntablist Maxx Klaxon [disclosure: a client] spins “an electro set focused on the same topic, with selections from Swayzak, Ladytron, Adult., Goldfrapp, Kraftwerk, Björk, Prince, and more.” 6:00-9:00pm, no cover.

SATURDAY, 12.10: On Saturday night, “‘King of Comedy’ Murray Hill, ‘the hardest working middle-aged man in show business,’ crashes his comedy sleigh into Mo Pitkin’s with his annual Yuletide nightlife tradition: a bawdy, ballsy, boozy holiday show that has become a destination event for fractured families, drunken floozies, and hormone-crazed singles on the prowl.” Saturday’s performances: 10:00pm ($18) + Midnight ($15); advance tickets available via

SUNDAY, 12.11: Last month, I checked out Sunday Salon and found it to be even more stellar than I had imagined! I highly recommend this thoughtfully-curated series and its simply marvelous venue, Stain Bar. Sunday evening, hosts Nita Noveno and her good friend Caroline Berger welcome writers (and likely future good friends) Jackson Taylor, Anne Elliott, Ellis Avery and Thomas Hopkins. 7:00pm, no cover.


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