Entries tagged with: Colson Whitehead

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Big Terrific
Big

I didn't check any other price points, but I was able to pull up a $1000 ticket no problem to tonight's show at Beacon Theater no problem. It's this one:

JIM GAFFIGAN, RICKY GERVAIS, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, JON STEWART, AND THE MAX WEINBERG BIG BAND JOIN FORCES WITH THE BOB WOODRUFF FOUNDATION AND THE NEW YORK COMEDY FESTIVAL TO BRING LAUGHTER AND MUSIC TO THE 5TH ANNUAL STAND UP FOR HEROES EVENT.
Bruuuuuuce...

Tickets are much cheaper, if not already sold out, for the rest of the events comprising this year's NY Comedy Festival which runs through November 13th. Venues range from the fancy Beacon to the homes of drink minimums to more indie offerings. The official schedule lists Big Terrific at Cameo and multiple things happening at UCB East and West tonight.

Tim Minchin, Cintra Wilson & Colson Whitehead are appearing at the Greene Space today and tickets are still available.

words & photos by David Andrako

"Boo Todd relentlessly. Throw shit at him. When Jon (Benjamin) and I tell you to stop, ignore us and boo louder." - David Cross's instructions to the audience just before Todd Barry's "surprise" appearance.

John Wesley Harding

The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival came to a close on Sunday, its fourth and final day, at The Bell House with two sold out shows. There was the early show billed as "Wes and Eugene's Cabinet of Wonders", and the late show "A Toddless Tinkle."

Friend and frequent collaborator of Eugene, John Wesley Harding, hosted the early show along with Eugene. The show featured performances by Yo La Tengo, John Oliver, Colson Whitehead, Darin Strauss, and Scott McCaughey.

Darin Strauss, the Brooklyn based author of "Half a Life" read a recently written piece entitled "Puberty", which was an autobiographical story set in the mid 1980s that involved gaining entrance to a much cooler high school classmate's party. Scott McCaughey, touring member of REM, performed two songs backed by Harding and his backing band The English UK including a 5 minute tribute to the 1986 Mets.

Eugene Mirman made a brief appearance with his newly purchased $380 Theremin and also returned to the stage to "sing" a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson." Colson Whitehead, the New York based author, read a chapter from his best selling 2009 book, Sag Harbor. "John Wesley Harding's favorite comedian", John Oliver, from The Daily Show and the upcoming "Smurfs" movie followed with a set that featured a particularly interesting story about a gig in the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Yo La Tengo closed the show with a five song set that featured both Harding and McCaughey and included covers of "I'm A Believer" and The Kinks' "All That Will."

Between the shows Eugene made his way out to the dunk tank in front of The Bell House as John Oliver and Daniel Kitson threw balls at the target and were cheered on by the long line of fans waiting for the 2nd show.

Tinkle

The 2nd show, "A Toddless Tinkle", was hosted by Tinkle founders David Cross and Jon Benjamin. Todd Barry, the other member of the Tinkle crew was at the Music Hall of Williamsburg as an opening act for Superchunk. From the beginning of the show Cross and Benjamin let the crowd in on the fact that Todd would be making a "surprise" walk on sometime between 10 and 11PM. Both agreed that the proper greeting for Todd would be for the audience to boo him off stage. Throughout the evening random audience members were brought onstage to audition to fill the role of "Todd." "Todd #2", an audience member named Andy ventured out into the audience to attempt to do some of Todd's famous crowd work. Andy failed miserably but did offer some unintentional comedy when he approached (and didn't recognize) Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo and mocked him for his orange shirt and told him that he looked like Gilbert Gotfried. Cross quickly jumped in and saved Kaplan from being mocked by the auditioning "Todd".

Todd Barry made his way to The Bell House shortly after 11PM and was greeted by the aforementioned boos as well as cups, beer cans and hundreds of expletives. He attempted to win the crowd over but ended up quickly leaving the stage and the venue.

The nearly 3 hour show featured short sets from John Mulaney, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, and Karen Kilgariff. Festival favorite Daniel Kitson was the final performer of the evening with a 12 minute set that saw him chastise the audience over their reaction to Todd Barry's appearance and pointed out that everyone went along with the "mean boys" (Cross and Benjamin). The show ended with the 2nd ever screening of Cross and Bejamin's "Paid Programming", a mock informercial that aired a handful of times on Adult Swim last fall. The 11 minute short was meant to be aired at 4AM and didn't have any mention of the creators. And with that the 3rd Annual Festival came to a close. 9 shows, 3 venues, 25 velvet paintings of Eugene and 1 angry Todd Barry.

Check out the pictures and reviews from previous nights: NIGHT 1, NIGHT 2 and NIGHT 3. NIGHT 4 continued below...

Continue reading "Todd Barry booed, Yo La Tengo harassed, David Cross & more @ night 4 of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest (pics & review)"

Brooklyn Book Festival

"Now in its fifth year, the Brooklyn Book Festival is one of the top book festivals in the nation with a hip, huge and free all-star literary lineup!

Come see Salman Rushdie, Venus Williams, Sarah Silverman, Paul Krugman, Dennis Lehane, Paul Auster, Naomi Klein, Gary Shteyngart, Rosanne Cash, Jennifer Egan, John Ashbery, Nelson George, Mary Gaitskill, Colson Whitehead, Francine Prose, Esmeralda Santiago, Pete Hamill, Russell Banks, Michael Connelly, John Hodgman, Kristen Schaal, Sam Lipsyte, Sloane Crosley, Paul Harding and over 200 more! Plus children's and young adult lit stars like Rebecca Stead, Sara Shepard, Jacqueline Woodson, Jon Scieszka, Jenny Han, Tad Hills, and Francisco X. Stork! Click here for festival program schedule."

by Klaus Kinski

Mirman

As I get older, I just I don't have the wherewithal to see as much comedy as I should. It's really depressing. There are so many goddamned GREAT comedy shows happening in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and even Queens that rather than pick one to go to, my brain shuts down and says "Just go home and watch Wheeler Dealers on the ole DVR, KK." It was easier to decide when Rififi was around. So thank Cod there's a yearly comedy festival in Brooklyntown that brings my ever flabbening body out of hibernation and reacquaints me with a sliver of the current roster of the greatest living comedians. That festival is the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, and this year it takes place from September 16th - September 19th and will impregnate The Bell House, The Rock Shop, and Union Hall (or as I like to call them, the most annoying venues to go if you don't have kids or play bocce) with its comedy seedlings.

As with previous years, the 2010 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival brings together a supremely jaw-dropping group of comedians and performers. What can one expect? Oh, I don't know. Maybe (definitely) Emo Philips, Daniel Kitson, Jon Glaser, Max Silvestri, David Cross, Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Kurt Braunohler, Yo La Tengo, John Wesley Harding, Sarah Vowell, John Mulaney, and so many more I'm liable to puke with glee should I continue. What am I most looking forward to? Thanks for asking! I'd have to say it's a toss up between the bill Yo La Tengo falls on and a rare Tinkle performance (without Todd Barry, sadly)(although, Todd is opening for Superchunk at MHOW on September 19th, so that's something) (sold out though) (probably because Todd is on the bill).

The festival line-up will be tweaked, added onto, emboldened, modified, and made better as we make our way to the opening date, but have a gander at what's already planned below. In the immortal words of the person who put the roster together for me, "This is what's happening; but not everything that's happening". Ticket info to follow, but many shows will be on sale in advance. Also, please see a message from enfant terrible David Cross below...

Continue reading "the 2010 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival is coming"

photos by Kurt Christensen

Guggenheim

"[Friday] night, The Walkmen headlined It Came from Brooklyn, [The Guggenheim's first] concert series [which highlights artists from Brooklyn and happens to coincide with the museum's] 50th Anniversary. The band were sleek in dress and voracious in music. As they rattled off numerous tracks off their 2008 release, "You & Me", they also were accompanied by a section of trumpets and trombones. The Walkmen's songs, some straightforward and mellow and some more palpitating and post-punk, filled the rotunda beautifully without so much as a word or a chord being lost. In fact the venue of the night seemed to enhance the whole performance; the grandiosity of the Guggenheim could pose an air of overwhelmingness, but instead the performance felt wholly intimate..." [Gothamist]
High Places, the Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band, novelist Colson Whitehead, and comedian Leo Allen were also on the museum bill. For the Walkmen it was the first of two NYC shows this weekend; the second was on Sunday in Central Park (pics coming soon). For the Guggenheim it was the first of this new series. The next will feature a performance by Interpol front-man Paul Banks aka Julian Plenti. More pictures from Friday below...

Continue reading "The Walkmen, High Places, Leo Allen, Colson Whitehead & a marching band @ The Guggenheim Museum in NYC - pics "

It Came From Brooklyn

Tickets for the first show of the Guggenheim's It Came From Brooklyn series on Friday, August 14th are on sale now. They cost a whopping $45 for non-members, and museum members don't do much better with a reduced cost of $40. The night will feature sets from The Walkmen and High Places, and an opening performance by Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band. Hosting will be comedian Leo Allen; novelist Colson Whitehead "reads selections from Walt Whitman between performances." The next edition of the series is scheduled for September 25th. None of the acts have been confirmed.

Two days after on Sunday, August 16th, the Walkmen will playing a free Central Park Summerstage show with Dinosaur Jr.

More info on the It Came From Brooklyn series, below...

Continue reading "It Came From Brooklyn w/ The Walkmen, High Places, Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band - tickets on sale"

photos by Tim Griffin

DOWNLOAD: John Wesley Harding and Eugene Mirman's Cabinet of Wonders w/ special guests - Oh! Pandora (MP3)

John Wesley Harding

At Le Poisson Rouge[on March 11th], the Cabinet of Wonders show unfolded with an appealing airiness and a confident sort of self-deprecation. Mr. Whitehead read an essay in which the narrator encouraged T.S. Eliot's character J. Alfred Prufrock to lighten up. While reading from a novel in which he fictionalized the life of Rudolf Nureyev, Mr. McCann plugged in Mr. Harding's name for one of his characters. Ms. Wallen's performance of her suite for children, text by Mr. Harding, was a delight, and Ms. Cash's reading from her memoir contained a touching passage about her late father, Johnny Cash. She sang a few songs with her characteristic perceptive grace.

A spoof by the new duo of Harding and Mirman of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" gave the evening its touch of vaudeville. The song concluded with the comedian unleashing wild feedback-like squeals via a handheld oscillator that let him play the rock star for a few seconds. Mr. Mirman glowed with glee, as did Mr. Harding, who stepped back to enjoy the inspired silliness. The audience roared in delight.-[Wall Street Journal]

John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders has been working through its three-show Le Poisson Rouge engagement plus tour. The first show took place on February 11th, and on March 11th, JWH and friends (Rosanne Cash, Colson Whitehead, Colum McCann, Errollyn Wallen, and tour-regular Eugene Mirman) returned to the venue (more pics below).

Tonight (3/20), the traveling revue hits SXSW, with a show at Maggie Mae's.

Then "Wes & Eugene's Cabinet of Wonders" tour heads across the US, before a final show at LPR on April 15th (feat. guests Graham Parker, Josh Ritter, Eugene Mirman, Daniel Wallace, Dan John Miller, Sam Lipsyte, Daniel Felsenfeld). Tickets are still on sale.

More pictures from the March 11th show, below...

Continue reading "John Wesley Harding, Eugene Mirman, Roseanne Cash & more @ Le Poisson Rouge, NYC - pics "