Who was the very first rapper? Any fan of Russian literature can tell you it was literary bad boy and propagandist Vladimir Mayakovsky, who was known as a hero of the Russian Revolution for his fierce renditions of his iconoclastic poetry. Tonight, at Night Wraps the Sky: A Reading Dedicated to Vladimir Mayakovsky, see whether Ethan Hawke, Sam Shepard, poet Ron Padgett, novelist Francine du Plessix Gray, and others can do justice to Mayakovsky’s theatrical style. The reading, which coincides with the recent release of a new collection of Mayakovsky’s work titled Night Wraps the Sky  (which was edited by filmmaker Michael Almereyda, the director of Hawke’s version of Hamlet), also includes a screening of Mayakovsky’s one surviving film, The Young Lady and the Hooligan (1918), with live music performed by pianist Ben Model.

Tue., May 13, 6:30 p.m., 2008

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