The best of culture in a single weekend at The New Yorker Festival
Whether it’s music, film, literature, politics, or food, The New Yorker Festival holds an array of inspirational figures together for one weekend every year, igniting New York City before its upcoming winter hibernation.
This year’s lineup has some pretty epic choices in the mix (including writer Jonathan Safran Foer, Girls creator/actress Lena Dunham, jazz vocalist Norah Jones, indie favorite Vampire Weekend, and designer Christian Louboutin). We've highlighted the tip top of the cream of the crop so the haze of fabulous events can clear just a little bit.
Tickets can be purchased starting September 14 at 12pm.
Utopia/Dystopia: with Margaret Atwood, Jennifer Egan, and George Saunders, 10/5, 7pm at Gramercy Theater
Margaret Atwood may be one of the greatest American writers to hit this century, having penned one of the most eerily realistic depictions of what society can become under an oppressive government with passive citizens in her female-driven sci-fi novel The Handmaid's Tale. Now, you can catch her discussing the very foundations used to form this highly-regarded dystopian fiction along with Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan (author of the punk rock-centered, A Visit from the Goon Squad), and the observational humorist and non-fiction writer George Saunders (The Braindead Megaphone).
Punch Brothers Talk with Alec Wilkinson: Radical Bluegrass, 10/5, 10pm at Gramercy Theatre
This New York-based, Grammy-nominated band was formed by singer and (exceptional) mandolinist Chris Thile. They released their first album in 2008 titled Punch, and recently released their third recording, Who’s Feeling Young Now?, in February. They build their music around traditional bluegrass instrumentation, solely relying on banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and upright bass to create a surprisingly indie sound. This is a great chance to hear one of the newer and more inspiring bands out there today.
Ben Stiller talks with Tad Friend: Meet the Focker, 10/6, 7pm at Directors Guild Theatre
The New Yorker’s Tad Friend’s one-on-one with actor Ben Stiller seems worth the effort to attend, especially for the mere possibility of catching Stiller out of an overtly comedic setting — he’s curiously known for being rather low-key, soft-spoken, and quite serious about acting and directing outside of his celebrity persona.
Sarah Silverman talks with Andy Borowitz: Pushing the Envelop, 10/6, 10pm at Directors Guild Theatre
Whether you love or hate her (which seems to be the only two real possibilities with Silverman), a discussion with Andy Borowitz offers the chance to catch the dirty-joke slinging lass in a more…educational setting.
Beirut talks with John Seabrook: Gypsy Redux, 10/6, 7pm at Gramercy Theatre
Another nessesary listen: any chance to hear, witness, or in any way interact with the talents of Beirut is a chance you will not want to pass up, especially when paired with the literary journalist John Seabrook.
The U.S. Premiere of Cloud Atlas, 10/6, 7pm at MasterCard Stage at SVA Theater 1
Epic seems to be an understatement when describing Cloud Atlas, the film adapation of David Mitchell's best-selling novel. The film stars Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, and it’d be highly recommended to not pass up the first ever U.S. screening of it this October. Especially now that there will be a talk with writer/directors Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer) and Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, V For Vendetta). Spanning centuries, characters, and genres it’s set to be one of those films you need to see before the gossip spreads and you hear too much from those acquaintances hell-bent on spoiling it.
Portlandia Live!, 10/7, 4pm at Acura at SIR Stage 37
Out of all The New Yorker Fests incredible discussions and events, watching comedians Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein perform songs and sketches from their hit IFC show Portlandia is sure to be one of the highlights. As the wrap-up to the festival, Armisen and Brownstein are set to also have some curious surprises for all attendees, plus a discussion with The New Yorker’s Margaret Talbot, which, if Armisen’s stint on Letterman is any indication, is sure to be anything but mundane.
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