The A-List


By Scott Stiffler



“Bird of Imagining” from “How Does a Bird Imagine?”

April is National Poetry Month. April 22nd is Earth Day. From now through May, Poets House (that downtown depository of over 50,000 volumes) is hosting a number of events which mix poetry and ecology like peanut butter and chocolate (and we all know how great that combination turned out). “Ecopoetic Futures” celebrates the natural world. Poets House will open its outdoor courtyard for readings and host a number of imaginative, forward-thinking happenings. Among them: Now through May 29, “How Does a Bird Imagine? What Does a Tree Know?” documents the creation of public spaces by a public-school community in response to images of a bird, a tree and a labyrinth. At Poets House (10 River Terrace at Murray St.). Call 212-431-7920 or visit www.poetshouse.org.  



“Paradise Deranged” is filmmaker Edith Stephen’s personal history of Greenwich Village. She came here in 1942 and was friends with the likes of Allen Ginsburg, Jackson Pollack, Andy Warhol, Timothy Leary  Norman Mailer and Merce Cunningham. This documentary tells then and now stories about those notables and other less known denizens of the Village. Also covered is how, as Edith puts it, various events “turned Greenwich Village into Millionaires Ghetto.” A work in progress to be finished by September, the filmmaker will rely on audience feedback after the screening as she sprints towards the final edit. FREE. April 2nd, 7:00 p.m. at Westbeth Community of Artists (57 Bethune St.).



Too many portrayals of Mark Twain emphasize the doddering, buffoonish aspect of the author (who made and lost several fortunes touring the world as a public speaker). This production, written and performed by Chris Wallace, puts the emphasis on Twain as a deep thinker and ahead-of-his-time social critic whose solid philosophy was easily overshadowed by his observational humor. Hopefully, there will be plenty of both to go around when Wallace dons the white suit and moustache. Through April 5th, 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.



This festive literary evening benefits the Washington Square Music Festival. The soirée, held amidst the New York Antiquarian Book Fair in the historic Park Avenue Armory, offers friends of the Washington Square Music Festival a chance to support the venerable free music series while hunting for treasure in the form of books from 200 internationally renowned dealers. Music Director and cellist Lutz Rath and mezzo-soprano Laila Salins will provide elegant entertainment. April 9th, 5-8 p.m. at The Armory ( 643 Park Ave., between 66th & 67th Streets). Tickets at $200 come with two readmissions during run-of-show, $100 tickets with one readmission during run-of-show, or $50 tickets (benefit only). For info., call 917-855-4205. Tickets are also available at the door.



This show won’t happen until early May; but The A List couldn’t pass up the opportunity to plug Mark Twain twice on the same page! To celebrate the centenary of Samuel Clemen’s death, actor/performer Alan Kitty brings the witty author social critic and humorist back to life. Kitty’s Twain isn’t content to dwell on the past. He’s traveled through time and space to offer us a way out of the recession and to announce his candidacy for President in 2012. Kitty, who’s been impersonating Clemens/Twain for over 30 years, had better have some solid solutions for our troubled times; or we might just ride him out of town on the rails as they did in the olden days! May 6th through May 30th, at The Kraine Theatre (85 East 4th Street). For tickets ($28; $18 for students/seniors), call 212-868-4444.