AMONG THE CREATIONISTS
Creationism. It’s one of those great dividers of people: the believers and non-believers, the religious and the scientists. To some it’s fantasy; to others it’s the unshakeable truth. Struck with fascination by how people could believe such a literal interpretation of Genesis and have such influence that they could affect state laws, Rosenhouse became a frequenter of anti-evolution conventions, hoping to find answers to his questions and challenge the theologians. Throughout the book, Rosenhouse presents both scientific and philosophical discussion, delivering a compelling ‘fish-out-of-water’ narrative.
EVERYTHING YOU KNOW
Willy Muller of Zoe Heller’s debut novel, Everything You Know, is the misanthropic, offensive, emotionally-stunted man of any cynic’s dreams. In this sharp black comedy – after a stint in jail due to being accused of his wife’s murder and his youngest daughter’s suicide – Muller takes stock of his pathetic life when his daughter’s posthumous journals appear on the doorstep. It’s equal parts witty, cringe-worthy, and heart-wrenching.
THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION’S ‘BEST OF THE BEST’ – A 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF AMERICA’S OUTSTANDING CHEFS
Kit WohL; Foreword by
As commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the James Beard Foundation, this full-color coffee table book contains a foreword by the domestic goddess herself, Martha Stewart. The beautifully compiled volume features not only mouth-watering recipes, but also full profiles on the 21 chefs who have helped shaped modern American cuisine. The featured chefs, all winners of the prestigious James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef Award, include Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, and Tom Colicchio – and with gorgeous images of their dishes, it’s a book good enough to eat.
RENEGADE: HENRY MILLER
AND THE MAKING OF
TROPIC OF CANCER
On what happens to be the year of the 50th anniversary of Tropic of Cancer’s controversial release in the US, comes Frederick Turner’s Renegade: Henry Miller and the Making of Tropic of Cancer. In this Henry Miller biography, Turner attempts to explain how Tropic of Cancer first came to exist, how it overcame the censors, and how the book went on to become an American classic. Turner artfully depicts a time when Tropic of Cancer – originally published by a Parisian pornographer – was considered the dirtiest book in the world and one had to sneak it out of Europe, hidden under shirts and deep within suitcases.
THE RIGHTEOUS MIND
“My hope is that [this book] will help us to get along,” states Jonathan Haidt, as he begins The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Drawing on everything from Plato’s Republic to evolutionary theory to findings by anthropologists and historians, social psychologist Haidt tries to decipher the real reason why those divided by politics and religion just can’t seem to fully understand the other side’s perceptions and understandings. It’s both a plea for mutual tolerance and an exploration of morality.
Picking up a dating book is probably going to make you feel a little bit pathetic. But, as author Jessica Massa points out, not as pathetic as the thousands of women across the country trying to decipher “What the fuck is up with my love life?” In The Gaggle, Massa sets out to convince the masses that the problem is simply their outdated expectations of what a dating life should be. Massa introduces readers to their own personal “gaggle,” the small (or not so small) herd of men that they are not actually dating but still play a role: the ex-boyfriend, male coworkers, the hot sex prospect, etc. The Gaggle is at once sharp, refreshing, and witty.
The Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will Serve you More than Ropes Will Ever Do
Fiona Apple’s haunting melodies are why the elusive singer-songwriter’s highly-anticipated fourth studio effort, The Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will Serve you More than Ropes Will Ever Do, is garnering so much reckless excitement. With good reason. The same alt-jazz abstractions and sultry, throwback vocals that thrust the songstress into the spotlight over two decades ago are doused with even more life experience this time around.
EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROS
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros took listeners to the 60s with their blissful, folk-inspired debut Up From Below. With their follow-up Here, the free-spirited, 11-member troupe are out to prove that reality hasn’t burned them out from an overabundance of happy hand-claps, lovey-dovey-ness and a slight case of the messiah-complex. Overall, they succeed. Here provides listeners with a slightly different take on the same energetic, ragtime-y whirlwind of harmonious samplings of 60s folk-rock.
Patti Smith can do no wrong. The legendary punk rocker’s artistries and experimentations have propelled her to a cultural icon over the past three decades, and at 66, the firebrand poetess proves her staying power with Banga, her first album of original material in over eight years. Intriguing, inventive, and ripe with ethereal reflections and tributes, Smith is as capable as ever of seizing listeners with seductive, intelligent and rebellious songs that hold the message.
What We Saw from
the Cheap Seats
Regina Spektor’s sixth-coming album, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, proves to further stamp that the quirky, piano-playing musician has a continuous wealth of clever coos and croons, bittersweet narratives and enigmatic, pop-ish loveliness in her musical treasure-trove. With a mix of re-mastered and new material, Spektor’s latest effort is a testament that her non-conventional niche is one that never fails to surprise with its balanced, whimsical curlicues.
The Scissor Sisters have mastered the act of producing colorful, disco-tinged pop-rock, and their forthcoming release, Magic Hour, is certainly no different. The transgressive rockers won’t disappoint devoted fans with their glamourized mix of 80s-inspired power ballads and futuristic synth-pop rhythms, but the album does emanate a certain taste-test air of untried samplings that will please those looking for a bit more variation. All in all, it’s exactly what you expect and crave: a joyful, rollicking track list.
The Hives have never been subtle, and Lex Hives, to no one’s surprise, is nothing short of nuclear. In what is a thundering display of jubilant garage-rock, the charismatic Swedish quintet have yet again unleashed another specimen of flawlessly-arranged, invigorating rock-and-roll-popcraft with their latest self-produced effort. Full of the same reckless guitar rifts, frenetic baselines and viscid, The Hives’ staple momentum is still there, but they’ve managed to add a few extra dollops of grit to the polished frenzy.
“ROCK OF AGES”
This big hair, big dreams, big names (Tom Cruise, Moves cover girl Malin Akerman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, and Mary J. Blige) musical follows a waitress/aspiring actress and busboy/wannabe rock star in 1987 Los Angeles, as they fall in love and navigate the rock music era of 80’s. Like the Broadway musical of the same name, it’s heavy with hair-metal, mullets, drugs, and guitar solos, and with the soundtrack being made up of Def Leppard, Journey, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, and Poison hits, it’s the definition of a fun, good-time, summer movie.
“ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VAMPIRE HUNTER”
Based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter depicts just what the title suggests: Abraham Lincoln, the president who lead our nation through the civil war, as a vampire hunter. When Lincoln discovers a legion of hungry vampires are a threat to the future of his grand country, he goes off on a bloody mission to eliminate the undead. The theater could seem a little blood-thristy this summer with both Twilight and Dark Shadows due to be released, but this fantasy-thriller does manage to stand out amongst the other vampire flicks, by title alone. But not to worry, its bite definitely measures up against its bark.
“THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”
It’s no secret that Hollywood becomes a little obsessed with men in tights when summertime rolls around, but The Dark Knight Rises follows in 2008’s The Dark Knight’s footsteps by proving to be more than a brainless and blundering summer popcorn movie. It’s darker, grittier than the typical superhero flim. Picking up after the events of The Dark Knight, we find Batman (played again by Christian Bale) as a fallen hero in the eyes of the public after taking the rap for Harvey Dent’s crimes, but still compelled to intervene when the fate of Gotham is once again threatened.
A collaboration of Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, and Wes Anderson is like the golden calf to movie buffs. In Anderson’s newest film, Moonrise Kingdom, a pair of young New England lovers flee their homes and turn their bizarre 1960s town upside-down as the concerned citizens partake in a rather ridiculous wild goose chase to find the missing teens. With so many huge names attached to the project, Moonrise Kingdom has some big expectations to meet, but by the looks of it will have no trouble rising to the occasion.
“THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN”
One would think cranking another movie out of the Spider-Man franchise, which has been active since the year 2002 with three movies starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, all of the same standard summer blockbuster fizz and sparkle, would be just that. However, with a complete reboot and Andrew Garfield starring as the title character, now just a teenager trying to figure out his identity, The Amazing Spider-Man proves the comics still have a bright future on the big screen. This time around, the film focuses on Peter Parker’s journey to becoming the hero who, after three movies, we already know he will become and his quest to solving the mystery of his parents’ disappearance.
It just wouldn’t be summer without a special effects-heavy alien flick. The science fiction thriller, Prometheus, stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, and Guy Pearce as a team of scientists aboard a spaceship named after the Greek mythology character, as it travels through the universe on a journey to discover alien life forms. Dubbed a prequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien, Prometheus turned into it’s own independent story as the scientists become stranded in the aliens’ world, who turn out to be a threat to the existence of all of mankind. It’s an acquired taste but will satisfy those who crave it.
Into the Woods
If you’re unable (and most of us will be for sure) to land the highly coveted $1000 seats to the one-night only Shakespeare in the Park 50th anniversary performance of Romeo & Juliet starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline on June 18, well, there’s a fantastic consolation prize this summer. Two-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams (Doubt, Junebug) will make her Delacorte Theater debut in Shakespeare in the Park’s Into the Woods. The play will weave characters from classic fairy tales into a new story, and the music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim. Previews begin July 23 with the official opening set for Aug. 9. The limited engagement plays through August 25.
If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet
If there’s one actor who we wouldn’t mind seeing take the stage this summer, it’s Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie’s kid bro. Jake will make his American stage debut at the Roundabout Theatre in a new play by Nick Payne, If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet. The play centers around Anna, a 15-year-old who is the subject of ridicule by a group of bullies at school for being “overweight.” When her mom transfers Anna to the school where she teaches so that she can protect her daughter, chaos follows and things go from bad to worse. If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet delves into the human spirit and shows how one family can tackle an obstacle head on and solve a problem… together.
Rapture, Blister, Burn
Taking her talents to New York City comes actor Amy Brenneman of Private Practice fame in the Playwrights Horizons’ world premiere of Rapture, Blister, Burn, a play by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Gina Gionfriddo (Becky Shaw). The play centers around two friends who choose different career paths only to envy the other’s lives decades later. Five-time Emmy nominee Brenneman’s stage credits include The Learned Ladies, Sincerity Forever, God’s Heart and St. Joan of the Stockyards. Her many TV credits include Private Practice, Judging Amy and NYPD Blue. Rapture opens on June 12 at Playwrights Horizons’ Mainstage Theater at 416 W. 42nd Street.
David Hyde Pierce
Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce (Niles on Frasier) will star in the Vineyard Theatre’s Developmental Lab Production of The Landing, a collection of three related one-act musicals, and will mark Hyse Pierce’s debut with the Vineyard. Based on stories written by John Kander and Greg Pierce, The Landing will be performed by an ensemble of four and showcase “gripping and soulful pieces” that will bring audiences into richly imagined worlds, characters confronting “what it means to get what they think they want.” Emmy and Tony Award winner Hyde Pierce made his Broadway debut in 1982 in Beyond Therapy.
BROOKLYN MUSEUM – Keith Haring: 1978–1982
Through July 8
If you were a child of the 80s, you’ve probably seen those vibrant neon images of faceless bodies dancing in full color glory. That work belonged to Keith Haring, one of the most influential artists from the Andy Warhol pop art era. Through July, the Brooklyn Museum will showcase the many works of Haring in the exhibition Keith Haring: 1978–1982, the first large-scale exhibition to explore the early career of one of the best-known American artists of the twentieth century. The exhibit includes 155 works on paper, numerous experimental videos, and over 150 archival objects, including rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs. Pieces on view include early works never before seen in public; seven video pieces, including Painting Myself into a Corner (his first video piece) and Tribute to Gloria Vanderbilt. www.brooklynmuseum.org