Tuesday 5.13




Kanye West and friends nerd out

On the exceedingly goofy poster for Kanye West’s Glow in the Dark Tour, the artist poses, C-3PO style, against a black background framed in a Star Wars–evoking flourish and fonts. Only Kanye could possibly conceive of his latest tour in support of last year’s Graduation as a battle against interstellar evil, but there he is, nonetheless, with the names of his allies written out below: Rihanna, N.E.R.D, and Lupe Fiasco. Perhaps in no other room in the nation will so much self-hagiography collide: Fiasco, apparently having done what he came to do in his three short years in rap, is already threatening to retire, while N.E.R.D appears to continue for the sole purpose of allowing Pharrell Williams to stage-dive (as well as to issue seemingly straight-faced video casting calls for “fun girls who are free with their bodies”). At MSG, expect some to show up, along with a guest rapper or three. At 7:30, Madison Square Garden, Seventh Avenue and West 32nd Street, 212-465-6741, $50–$155 ZACH BARON



Sam Shepard and Ethan Hawke celebrate a Russian icon

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. At 6:30, MOMA, the Roy and Niuta Titus Theater, 11 West 53rd Street,, $5–$10 ANGELA ASHMAN