Did Kurt Cobain fake his death and move to Ohio?
Having successfully chronicled the career one of indie rock’s most beloved bands in Guided by Voices: A Brief History: Twenty-One Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock ‘n’ Roll, author and former Spin editor James Greer now takes a fictionalized approach to one of rock’s most tragic icons. In Artificial Light, Kurt Cobain fakes his own death and hides out in Dayton, Ohio, in a house once owned by Orville Wright. The story centers on the contents of 21 notebooks—writings by a close friend of Cobain’s who donates them to a university library before disappearing herself. Are her journal entries true, or does the public just want them to be? Tonight, Greer reads from his book and discusses our celebrity-obsessed society. At 7, McNally Robinson, 50 Prince Street, 212-274-1160, free KEN SWITZER
The Moth does readings on the roof
What do Ethan Hawke, a voodoo priestess, and a Cuban owl expert have in common? They’ve all told stories at the Moth. Since its inception nine years ago, the Moth, a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to storytelling, has turned its engaging reading series into an event so popular that every show since 1997 has sold out. Tonight, from the JCC’s rooftop, humorist Andy Borowitz hosts a special edition titled Stories Under the Stars. The evening features a mix of professional writers and ordinary folk telling 10-minute tales about summertime. Storytellers include James Braly, author of I Should Be Committed: Life in a Marital Institution; Michaela Murphy, author and solo performer of Something Blue; Steve Osborne, a retired New York City police officer; Sherman Powell, a Moth favorite whose story “Pickpocket School” was included on the CD The Moth Audience Favorites Vol. 3; and Isaac Zablocki, a JCC director making his Moth debut. After the show, audience members should be inspired to swap tales of their own at the open wine bar. At 8, JCC, 334 Amsterdam Avenue, 646-505-5708, $25–$30 ANGELA ASHMAN
Shakespeare gets punk’d
Expect a bloody, gory, earsplitting scene when Titus X, a punk-rock musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s most gruesome play, Titus Andronicus, returns to Collective Unconscious for a five-show run. The story follows the victorious Roman general Titus Andronicus, who, after losing most of his sons in battle, sacrifices the son of Tamora, Queen of the Goths, igniting a vicious battle that, needless to say, ends badly: Titus kills Tamora’s remaining sons and bakes them in a pie for her to eat (the song “Death Pie!” accompanies the scene). Making a punk musical was an easy choice for playwright and punk musician Shawn Northrip, but writing it was another matter. “An early challenge was making all the songs sound different,” he said. “Honestly, how many different three-chord punk progressions could I come up with?” A live three-piece band pounds out the songs while a six-member cast, donning studded belts, black clothes, and mohawks, acts out the violent drama. Earplugs are provided at the door. At 10, Collective Unconscious, 279 Church Street, 212-868-4444, $10 ANGELA ASHMAN
You’ve got to party for your right to fight
Most people have been taught never to resort to fighting, but let’s face it, every once
in a while even the most peace-loving among us would pay to see some obnoxious lout get floored. Better to keep all that violence inside a ring, right? New York’s Church Street Gym and Hudson River Park present Rumble on the River, an outdoor tournament of fisticuffs now in its second year. The event grew out of the gym’s popular Friday Night Fights NYC series and features amateur boxers from all walks of life in varying weight classes, going toe-to-toe until finally only one of the bloodied combatants has his arm raised in victory. We can’t swear it’ll be a knockout—but it’ll certainly be one hit after another. At 7, Pier 54, 14th Street and the Hudson River, free ANDREW ABER
Philip Glass creates a monster score.
For some inexplicable reason there are some things that are better enjoyed outdoors. Certain foods taste tastier, music sounds livelier, and horror flicks definitely seem spookier. There’s just something about watching a frightening film in the open air surrounded by the jolted yelps of your fellow moviegoers, while scary sounds emanating from the nearby woods add extra fear to your fright night. Tonight, as the moon looms over the Brooklyn sky, the Prospect Park Bandshell will be transformed into a giant movie screen, and the sounds of a live orchestra will fill in the blanks of the nearly silent 1931 Tod Browning classic Dracula. Musical accompaniment is an incredible addition to the film proper. And when all this is written and performed by the brilliant Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet, well, you could do no better. Minimalist beauty abounds: “Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.” With a live opening set by Slavic Soul Party. At 7:30, Celebrate Brooklyn, Prospect Park, 9th Street and Prospect Park West, 718- 855-7882, celebratebrooklyn.org, $3 donation ANDREW ABER