arts 05.4.06

Up Next

movie… The documentary Wordplay explores the crossword puzzle subculture in much the same way Spellbound examined spelling bees and the book Word Freak looked at the world of tournament Scrabble. Wordplay fills in the white spaces with Times crossword editor Will Shortz, puzzle creators, puzzle champs, as well as puzzle addicts like Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, and Mike Mussina. The movie isn't opening until next month, but it's screening now as part of the Tribeca Film Festival Saturday at 4:30pm and Sunday at 1:30pm, door sales only, details here, trailer here.

indie rock… Friday: Oxford Collapse and The Narrator get energetic and noisy at Cake Shop. Tuesday: Instrumental bands Pelican and Mono cut like a machete. Just Announced: 6/13 Sonic Youth at CBGBs, 6/13 & 6/14 Radiohead.

memoir… From food writer Molly O'Neill, a new memoir called Mostly True: A Memoir of Family, Food, and Baseball (Scribner, $25). You can read an excerpt here.

dvd… Get squirrel and moose on May 9th, when two new DVDs arrive from Classic Media: "The Best of Rocky & Bullwinkle" and "The Best of Boris and Natasha." They make perfect companions to The Best of Fractured Fairy Tales.

poetry and history… Tonight, 6:30-8:30pm, the subject is Gotham Poetry and History at the CUNY Grad Center, 365 5th [34th]. The historians and poets on hand will be introduced by the Pulitzer-prize winning author Mike Wallace and two rare short films by Allen Ginsburg will be screened. Free, but reserve at 212.529.1955.

classical… Mozart, Schumann, and Schoenberg are on the bill for the final spring concert of the Musicians from Marlboro series at the Met next Friday, May 12th, 8pm. Tickets are $40, available at 212.570.3949.

out of town… Airfarewatchdog points to fares (scroll down a little) on Travelocity that take you to Manchester in the U.K., flying Delta, for $481 (taxes included). The best part is it's offered through July and at last check almost all dates were available. Manchester not high on your list? Ix-nay on the orting-snay. Just think of it as the gateway to the Lake District.

novel… The uncommonly wise and empathic writer Anne Tyler has long been a favorite of ours and she's got a new novel called Digging to America (Knopf, $24.95). Among many other virtues, Tyler writes great opening scenes (Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant) and one of our all-time favorite first lines, from Searching for Caleb: "The fortune teller and her grandfather went to New York City on an Amtrak train, racketing along with their identical, peaky white faces set due north."
Dinner at Rao's…sort of, maybe
An "Italian Evening in East Harlem" takes place Tuesday, May 9th, 6pm-9pm at the Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School. It's a benefit for the school and the evening will include a four-course dinner catered by Rao's. There will also be a live auction — you'll be able to bid on a Rao's reservation and having a Rao's dinner cooked in your home. Good cause, good food. Tickets start at $125. For more info call Jill Kafka at 212.371.1011 ext. 3338 or email here.

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