Tonight, expect someone at A Celebration of Maurice Sendak to attempt a joke as to why Spike Jonze’s $80 million adaptation of Sendak’s children’s book Where the Wild Things Are has been interminably delayed, recently disappearing altogether from the Warner Bros. schedule. Jonze, who went back to the drawing board after a test screening of the film last December allegedly caused children to flee the theater in tears, will be on hand to help honor the Brooklyn-born author’s 80th birthday with the film’s co-writer, Dave Eggers, and the film’s stars, Catherine Keener and James Gandolfini. Hosted by playwright Tony Kushner, the evening features performances and readings from Sendak’s many works (he wrote more than 90 books and collaborated on operas and ballets). Others lending their talents include Meryl Streep, Linda Emond, and Stephen Greenblatt.

Mon., Sept. 15, 8 p.m., 2008