Readers of The New Yorker may recall last year's 75th anniversary which was celebrated with a weekend of cultural events. Buoyed on its success, The New Yorker Festival now returns to its namesake at various venues all over the city May 18-20.
Subtitled "A Literary and Arts Celebration," over 50 events will comprise the festival which includes book and poetry readings, interviews/conversations, panel discussions and a tribute (with playwright Sam Shepard et al.) to the works of Bob Dylan. Some of the artists scheduled to participate in the event include names like Norman Mailer, Christopher Guest, M. Night Shyamalan, Woody Allen, Steve Martin and Chuck D.
Theatre fans may care to note, on May 18, New Yorker drama critic John Lahr will host "The Broadway Show and Tell," a pre-show conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson. The discussion will begin at 6:30 PM at Gallagher's Trophy Room, 228 West 52nd St. The event will end in time for audiences to view Wilson's current Tony nominated play King Hedley II across the street at the Virginia Theatre.
On Saturday, Lahr will also host a forum on playwright Tennessee Williams with a special appearance by Tony Award-winning actress Elizabeth Ashley. Recently seen in Gore Vidal's The Best Man, she was nominated for a Tony for her performance as Maggie in the 1974 revival of Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The talk will take place at 11 AM at the Yale Club, 50 Vanderbilt Ave.
Making it a double bill for May 19, Lahr will host another event that day with Anna Deavere Smith 2 PM at the Friar's Club, 57 East 55th St. Smith, who currently fills the position of National Security Advisor on TV's "The West Wing," will speak about her play Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 as well as her memoir "Talk to Me." Playwrights Paul Rudnick and Wendy Wasserstein will take two chairs on the panel discussion "Enter Laughing" 11 AM at Float, 240 West 52nd St. The penners of Jeffrey and The Heidi Chronicles respectively, will talk about "writing funny."
For more complete information on all the events, call toll-free (877) 847 TNYF or visit them online at www.newyorker.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez