The Smart Set: Lauren Cerand’s weekly events

The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays at 12:30pm 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 send details to by the Thursday prior to publication, with the event’s date in the subject line.

MONDAY, 3.27: Joe’s Pub and independent producer Earl Dax present “Weimar New York, an eclectic array of performers plucked from the heights of Broadway to the depths of the Bowery. Performances of Weimar-era music by Kurt Weill and others will be mixed with twenty-first century downtown cabaret acts and embody and update the Weimar spirit. ” 11:30p – 4:00a, $20 (phone orders only; call (212) 539-8778).

TUESDAY, 3.28: The Poetry Society presents an evening with “Nina Cassian and Her World,” celebrating the life and work of the “poet, composer, translator, fiction writer, and film critic, Nina Cassian…born in Galati, Romania in 1924, and exiled in 1985.” In the Sculpture Court of the National Arts Club. 7:30p, $10. And, in the LES Gallery at The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, Marie Sabatino presents Deborah Batterman (Shoes Hair Nails, Christine Boyka Kluge (Domestic Weather), and Alexandra van de Kamp. 8:00p, “$5 admission includes one free drink.” Additionally, “Simon Reynolds (Rip It Up and Start Again) discusses New York City during the postpunk era and the crossover synergy between the downtown art world and the downtown music scene,” in conjunction with The Downtown Show: The New York Art Scene 1974-1984. At NYU’s Fales Library, 70 Washington Square South. 6:00p, FREE.

WEDNESDAY, 3.29: At Makor, Jonathan Karp of Warner Twelve, Johnny Temple of Akashic Books, and Sarah Weinman of Galleycat convene to discuss “Secrets to Success in Publishing Today,” including “what it takes to make the right book take off in an industry that’s in flux” and how “Internet marketing, demographic change, evolving habits and the growing number of books crowding the market are transforming the rules of the game for authors and consumers.” [Full disclosure, as always: moderator Bryan Keefer is like, totally, my boyfriend!!!] 7:00p, $12 in advance or $15 at the door. And, the Small Press Center inaugurates its “Emerging Voices” series, highlighting the role of innovative small presses in discovering new literary talent, with author Lee Stringer (Grand Central Winter. In conversation with Dan Simon of Seven Stories Press, Stringer focuses on his memoir of childhood and adolescence, Sleepaway School. 6:30p, FREE.

THURSDAY, 3.30: Thomas Kelly reads from his novel, Empire Rising ( a New York Times Notable Book in 2005 and newly published in paperback), in the South Street Seaport Museum’s Melville Gallery, a gorgeous, pitch-perfect setting for a very New York story. Highly recommended. 7:00p, $5 suggested. And, the Mercantile Library of New York is the setting for the Annual Proust Society Lecture, to be delivered by Richard Howard, who “will demonstrate how a single page of Proust’s great novel can be dilated into the entire book, with all the threads and elements stretching explosively from that one page to connect to the whole.” 6:30p, $10.

FRIDAY, 3.31: At the Museum of the Chinese in the Americas, in an evening co-sponsored by the Asian American Writers Workshop, “Dr. John Jung recounts his youth as one of the few Chinese Americans living in Macon, Georgia during the 1940s in Southern Fried Rice: Life in a Chinese Laundry in the Deep South.” Dr. Jung reflects on the social, economical, and cultural barriers he and his family faced as Asians living in the Black & White divide of the South in his poignant memoir.” Recommended. 6:30 – 8:00p, $5 sugested.

SATURDAY, 4.1: At Tribeca Performing Arts Center’s Artists in Residence Dance Festival, Katie Workum presents “RED: A dance-theatre piece that takes audiences on a crash collision course through myth and modern families, the world of Romulus and Remus, the woods, and a pack of wolves.” 7:00p, $10.

SUNDAY, 4.2: “Bearings: the Female Figure,” a group exhibition curated by Allen Frame, opens at P.S. 122 gallery on Sunday with a reception from 1:00 – 5:00p, FREE. PS: “The show’s opening boasts a belly dance performance by photographer Elinor Carucci, who is also signing copies of her book, Diary of a Dancer (the performance is scheduled for 4 pm on Apr. 2).”

A special notice for Smart Set readers in Chicago: On April 2, Sunday Salon debuts a new local chapter of its much-loved New York reading series at Charleston Bar in Bucktown. Gina Frangello (My Sister’s Continent), Melissa Fratterigo (The Longest Pregnancy), Mike Zapata (editor, Make: A Chicago Literary Magazine), and Caroline Berger, host of Sunday Salon NYC. Highly recommended. 7:30p, FREE.


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