Agenda Newsletter - August 23, 2007

See a timely—and funny!—update of the Greeks
Iphigenia 2.0

Playwright Charles Mee is an old hand at reworking Greek classics, but this reimagined story of the girl sacrificed by Agamemnon so the Greeks might beat the Trojans will surprise you. Mee draws a parallel between the overextended Greek empire and that of George W. Bush while referencing Keith Richards and suicide bombings. Even without Tony winner Victoria Clark playing Clytemnaestra (she was replaced at the last minute), this’ll be the season’s most polarizing Greek revival since Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice (which, incidentally, closes this week).
    Nerds fight epic battle
King of Kong: Fist Full of Quarters
  David Edelstein, a former Donkey Kong addict, sympathizes with the obsessive gamers who populate this documentary—but you’ll like it, too, we swear! As villain Billy Mitchell competes desperately with Steve Wiebe to keep his high-score Kong record, calling foul at every turn, you can’t help but take sides. Especially when the “dark, bearded glowerer” Mitchell has acolytes break into Wiebe’s console “like shifty Republican operatives decrying voter fraud while fiddling with Diebold machines. You want to drop barrels on them.” New Line Cinema
Review  » More info  »     Arcade Fire / LCD Soundsystem
at Randall’s Island
Yes, your eyes are working. We’re giving away a pair of tickets to see the orchestral rock giants in concert with the electro-punk party-starters this fall. Enter now!

Untitled Document

Signature Theater; Through September 30; $20;    

Hayley betters Avril
Misery Business   Paramore’s dreamy front woman Hayley Williams has stolen Avril’s boyfriend-stealing business—and written a much better song around it. This revenge anthem levels us with damn-girl-can-sing pop choruses and guitar licks so sticky we almost sing along to them, too. In fact, we’re currently pogo-ing around the office, fake microphone in hand, shouting “Whoaaaaaaaaa … I never meant to brag! But I got him where I want him now!” Paramore
Download  »      

Play Peeping Tom
New York Interiors by Taschen   In this special-edition hardcover book, Taschen peers into the residences of over 40 New Yorkers, laying its sights primarily on the rich, famous, and unapologetically weird. The beauty’s in the extremes, from the disco-ballified bathroom of nightlife empress Susanne Bartsch to the Laura Ashley–
died–in–here estate of Brooke Astor to the coffin that Hell’s Angel Steve Bonge sleeps next to every night. Taschen
Buy it  »      

Book about ventriloquists actually good!
Wesley Stace
  Wesley Stace’s second novel sounded several alarms when we saw it: It’s a book about ventriloquists written by the musician known as John Wesley Harding—and at first, the narrator is a ventriloquist’s dummy. Shockingly, the story’s completely engaging. The sections about the human character, George, a boy from a family of theater performers who’s sent off to an awful boarding school, are filled with small surprises and subtle humor. And it’s blessedly free of bawdy wisecracks about wooden dummies and splinters—though we can’t guarantee you won’t hear one at tonight’s reading. Barnes & Noble
4 Astor Place
7 p.m.
More info  »      

Teach them well–and about gum
Chew on This!
  Children and chewing gum have a moth-flame (or is it gum-hair?) relationship. The treat gets its proper due tomorrow afternoon: Your offspring will learn gum history and make crafts with (unchewed) Wrigley’s sticks, pipe cleaners, etc. And the Seaport is a proper setting: The city’s first chewing-gum factory, Adams Sons & Co., was located there, founded by a man who befriended a gum-wise Alamo conqueror—Mexicans chewed gummy goop for generations before us. You learned something already! South Street Seaport Museum
August 25
1 p.m.
More info  »        

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August 23, 2007

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Agenda Newsletter - August 23, 2007