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The Schmooze

The Year’s Best Books, ‘The Disaster Artist’ And More To Read, Watch And Do This Weekend

It’s been a week of big news and high tension. None of that will go away by Monday; if you hope to use the weekend to rejuvenate, do so with some of the best culture in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as the week’s best movies, TV and books.

1) Watch

Need a laugh? Check out James and Dave Franco’s “The Disaster Artist,” a biopic of “The Room” creator and star Tommy Wiseau. Before you go, read Daniel Witkin’s insightful take on the film. Also worth a chuckle: Amy Sherman-Palladino of “Gilmore Girls” has a new TV show on Amazon, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” about a Jewish housewife in the 1950s who becomes a stand-up comic, befriends Lenny Bruce and wears fabulous coats. According to Shira Feder, the show lives up to its name. For a hint of what’s in store, read Thea Glassman’s interview with Sherman-Palladino and her husband and collaborator, Dan Palladino, from last spring.

2) Read

Start with two entries on The New York Times’s list of the 10 Best Books of 2017: Naomi Alderman’s thrilling novel “The Power” and Ron Chernow’s Ulysses S. Grant biography “Grant.” If you’re itching for something new, Norma Stevens’s Richard Avedon biography “Avedon: Something Personal” is a good bet, as is A.J. Jacobs’s “It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree.”

3) New York City

Foodies: A Friday-night conversation at the 92nd Street Y between beloved food bloggers and cookbook authors David Lebovitz and Deb Perelman is not to be missed. Theater lovers, try your luck at BAM, where both Ivo van Hove’s adaptation of “The Fountainhead” and Rachel Dickstein’s staging of Naomi Iizuka’s adaptation of the Haruki Murakami short story “Sleep” are good bets. I spoke with van Hove in advance of the New York premiere of “The Fountainhead;” take a look at our interview before you go.

4) Washington D.C.

Head to The University of Maryland’s Clarice theater for The Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv’s “Suddenly,” a multimedia adaptation of a book of short stories by Etgar Keret. Another good theatrical pick will be “Crazy for You” at the Signature Theatre. Sunday afternoon, head to the National Gallery of Art for a concert by pianists Inna Faliks and Daniel Schlosberg.

5) Chicago

It’s a good weekend for theater in Chicago: Theater Wit’s “Significant Other” and Aguijón Theater’s “La Muerte y La Doncella,” or “Death and the Maiden,” are both worth a try. Monday — yes, we know it’s not technically the weekend — stop by the American Writers Museum for a talk by Walter Isaacson about his new biography “Leonardo da Vinci.” Isaacson and I spoke about the book; read his remarks here.

6) Los Angeles

Catch two gallery shows in L.A. this weekend: Iris Klein’s “These Women” at Bluff Creek Gallery and Bunnie Reiss’s “Space Angels” at Superchief Gallery. If you’re feeling musical, head to one of Hilary Hahn’s performances of Leonard Bernstein’s “Serenade,” alongside works by Stravinsky and Glinka, at the L.A. Phil.


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