Volume 79, Number 44 | April 7 - 13, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

The A-List

By Scott Stiffler


Keeping a bookstore in the black these days is about as easy as making a living from the retail selling of LPs. Now add to that the fact that Revolution Books is a specialty store focused on “contributing to building a new movement for revolution.” Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine (and Kenyan exile) Ngugi Wa Thiong’o makes his only NYC public appearance to benefit of the struggling store. He’ll read and talk about his new book “Dreams in a Time of War:  A Childhood Memoir.” April 15th, 7:30 p.m. at Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Sq. South; south side of Wash. Sq. Park). Tickets: $15 (students with ID, $5). $100 ticket includes a copy of Ngugi’s memoir and special seating; $250 ticket includes the book, seating and a 1-year membership in Friends of Revolution Books. For reservations or more info., call 212-691-3345. Revolution Books is located at 146 W. 26th St. (btw. 6th and 7th Aves.).


This new, free weekly performance series at Dixon Place features artists who turn toys, electronics, and gadgets into funk-filled, spaced-out, trippy musical instruments. “Circuit Bending Wednesdays” short-circuits electronic devices to create new musical or visual instruments and sound generators. April 7th, Amanda Ervin brings her minimal but ferocious 555-chip oscillator/sequencer instruments. April 14th, series curator Craig Flanagan draws from the deep well of contact mics, phone coils, and electric morots he’s been crafting since 1978. April 21st, Threep comes armed with bakelite knobs, patch cables, software and custom-made instruments designed to explore parallel worlds within sound and circuitry. Free, every Wednesday night, 7:00 p.m. in the lounge at Dixon Place (161A Chrystie St.). For info, visit www.dixonplace.org.


Reports of the April 5th demise of his show have been greatly exaggerated — at least by the A List (which last week incorrectly indicated that closing date). We should have said “The Mark Twain You Don’t Know” bows out on April 11th. Until then, Chirs Wallace — who’s been impersonating Twain for three decades now —delivers a fleshed-out Twain who’s light years beyond the buffoonish portrayals which have plagued more than one historical recreation over the years. Wallace thankfully puts the emphasis on Twain as a deep thinker and social critic whose solid philosophy was overshadowed by his observational humor. Through April 11th, at the Richard Shepard Theatre (309 E. 26th St. at Second Ave.). For tickets ($20, $15 for students/seniors), call 800-838-3006. Visit richmondshepardtheatre.com. 

Photographer: Larry Cobra

Why are these poor folks so happy?

Happy In The Poorhouse

Although they’re still a relatively young theatre company (making trouble downtown since just 2006), The Amoralists have earned enough of a loyal following to extend their current Off-Broadway cultural affront. “Happy In The Poorhouse” has been packing them in with resident playwright Derek Ahonen’s trashy tale of Paulie “The Pug” — a Coney Island boxer just one fight away from the big time. A cheating wife, a crooked brother-in-law and a best friend who’s more trouble than he’s worth sprinkle the road to the land of dreams with broken glass. Thurs. through Sat., 8 p.m. and Sun., 5 p.m. through April 26th; at Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place between 1st and 2nd Aves.) For tickets ($40 adults, $20 students), call 212-388-0388. Visit www.TheAmoralists.com.


What is the sound of two shoes clapping (the floor)? It’s tap — that dance form as uniquely American as jazz. Fitting, then, that the American Tap Dance Foundation’s second annual Sound Check event is “A Tap Dance Journey.” This concert series highlights the vast scope of tap — from improvisation to new choreography, solo to group dances, classical to rhythm tap. The eclectic cast includes dancers from The New American Tap Dance Orchestra, Harold Cromer (who’s been tapping since the 1940s), 20-year-old tapper Cartier Williams and Flamenco dancer Aurora Reyes. Live music and vocals — plus dances which use story lines — contribute to the innovative vibe. April 14th-16th at 8 p.m.; April 17th at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; April 18th at 2 p.m.; at Dance Theater Workshop (219 West 19th St.). For tickets ($25; $15 for students/seniors/children), call 212-924-0077 or www.dtw.org. For the April 15th benefit ($125 includes performance and champagne toast reception before the show), call 646-230-9564.

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