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Agenda Newsletter - August 1, 2007

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Agenda Top Pick Funnyman unleashes his id
Tracy Morgan

Carolines; August 3–5; various times; $43.50;
Morgan interview; Tickets

“He’s not drunk, he’s just funny.” That’s a viewer gently rebuking whoever titled the YouTube clip of Morgan on a Texas morning show, shirtless, promising to impregnate a local that weekend. For those of you who haven’t seen Morgan giving Alec Baldwin a run for his Hollywood money playing Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock (shame!), that’s pretty much all you need to know: Drunk or sober, he’s the comedy world’s throbbing id—and for that reason, quite possibly its greatest star.


   
Populist Classic beach read terrifies
The Ruins
 
This is the kind of book that you eagerly read after hearing a summary of the plot (three Americans vacationing in Mexico stumble into some god-awful terror when they decide to take a day trip into the jungle), that you finish in about the amount of time it takes to get a sunburn, and that you bequeath to the small paperback library at your rented summer cottage. It is a beach read, in other words, and an instant classic of the genre.

Scott Smith
Vintage Books
$7.99
Buy it  »

     
Indieist Wacky lit journal spoofs old broadsheets
The New-York Ghost
 
Published by an anonymous someone, this “Weekly Newsletter You Print Out at Work” has taken the exploitation of office supplies to new cultural heights. It’s a wonder of both style and substance, laid out in columns like a newspaper and containing a hodgepodge of hilarious, surreal features such as one-line interviews, “daily negations,” and helpful hints on “ways to avoid being down whilst working on a novel.” (Sign up by e-mailing thenyghost@gmail.com.)

Read  » Subscribe  »

     
Square Paul Theroux–approved author starts strong
Lottery
 
Fear not: This novel about a mildly retarded man who wins the Washington State Lottery is no Forrest Gump retread—we much prefer this (admittedly folksy) narrator to Tom Hanks as a mentally challenged Zelig. Perry Crandall's sudden windfall draws out both the caretakers and the predators; the suspense lies in watching him negotiate a suddenly complicated life. Patricia Wood’s mentor, Paul Theroux, lent his literary wisdom to a book that manages to be heartfelt and totally not corny.

Patricia Wood
Putnam
$24.95
Out August 2
Buy it  »

     
Aesthete Performance transcends the hall
Breath
 
For their impressive follow-up to last year’s Enlightenment, a digitized visual symphony set to Mozart, Marc Downie and Paul Kaiser opted to pull a few more composers into the mix. Breath, their stunning, site-specific installation that will grace the façade of Avery Fisher Hall during the Mostly Mozart festival, syncs light boxes with symphonic works by the likes of Beethoven, Bach, and, of course, Mozart. It’s best seen between 8:45 p.m. and midnight.

OpenEnded Group
Mostly Mozart
Avery Fisher Hall
Through August 25
Slideshow  »
More info  »

     
Kids Have her try another kind of camp
The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T
 
In 1953, American families just weren’t ready for this movie’s whacked-out, high-camp vision, based on the Dr. Seuss Book—probably because it involves a Fascist named Dr. T employing a goon squad, an electric fence, and Siamese twins joined at the beard to keep 500 children enslaved at the world’s largest piano. Of course, we can’t wait for our daughter to see it! (This is Occidental night at Socrates’ international series: Serena Bass will make a Brit-influenced dinner, and the band Piñataland will play.)

Socrates Sculpture Park
7 p.m., film at sunset
Tickets  »

     
 
 

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Wednesday August 1, 2007

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