Disclaimer: Everything in this post is not some bogus attempt at making an April Fools’ joke, that’s not how we roll. We don’t mess around when it comes to social activities. Spend this evening with real comedians including Janeane Garofalo at Union Hall, and Colin Quinn at Housing Works Bookstore, in SoHo. Also, it’s National Poetry Month (!), so celebrate this week with the sixth annual City University of New York (CUNY) Chapbook Festival. We’re off to a good start, people!
Tuesday, April 1
[Comedy] Housing Works Bookstore is hosting Comedy Notebook for April Fools’, because, of course! Check out established comedians trying out new material. Catch sets by Colin Quinn, yes, the Colin Quinn, “TV’s Frank” Conniff (Mystery Science Theater 3000) and musical guest Nancy Brown. Hosted by comedian Rob Paravonian. At 7 p.m., Housing Works Bookstore, SoHo, free.
[Art/Talk] The NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium welcomes filmmaker Ernie Gehr who will present and discuss a selection of his films emphasizing the animation of the moving image. Gehr began his film-making career in 1967, transitioned into digital media in 1999, and has created about 70 works, ranging in duration from 3 to 74 minutes. At 7, Parsons The New School for Design, Union Square, free.
[Comedy] Tonight’s Geeking Out comedy night features Janeane Garofalo, (again, this is not an April Fools’ joke, she will really be there, omg!), Adam Wade (18-time StorySLAM winner and 2-time GrandSLAM champion), Nisse Greenberg, Steve Heisler (Rolling Stone, The AV Club, New York Magazine), Kerri Doherty, and Josh Gondelman. Catch them tonight as they geek out over their favorite bands, celebs, video games, and other nerdy things we’d rather not mention. At 8 p.m., Union Hall, Brooklyn, $5 adv / $8 day of show.
[Comedy] Are you the office goofball? Think you’re the life of the party? Show off your comedic charm at tonight’s open mic special, April Fools’ Edition: Perform at Your Own Risk! Come on, you have nothing to lose. Even if you do suck, it’ll be sort of, awkwardly funny. At 11 p.m., UCBeast, East Village, free.
Wednesday, April 2
[Lit] Now in its sixth year, the Chapbook Festival celebrates the chapbook as a work of art and as a medium for alternative and emerging writers and publishers. Located at venues throughout the city, the festival features a book fair with more than 60 publishers from around the country, and includes exhibitions, workshops, installations, demonstrations, chapbook releases, and readings by prize-winning Chapbook Fellows. The festival begins on Tuesday through Thursday, The CUNY Graduate Center, free.
[Art] Nailya Alexander Gallery welcomes the opening reception for Irina Nakhova and her show titled “Moscow Diary.” This exhibition features a version of the installation “Without a Title,” exhibited at last year’s Kandinsky Prize, and shown for the first time in the United Sates. This installation uses manipulated photographs in a variety of media from Nakhova’s personal and family archive that dates from the 1920’s to the present. Nakhova is installation artist and academically trained painter. She is based in Moscow and New Jersey. At 6 p.m., Nailya Alexander Gallery, Suite 704, East Midtown, free.
Thursday, April 3
[Art] The work of artist New York-based artist Michael Kagan should truly be experienced in person. His exhibition, “Thunder in the Distance,” which opens tonight, presents new large-scale works, as well as several smaller paintings of the same medium, oil on canvas. Kagen’s painting method is called an impasto technique, and uses “thick, deliberate, almost aggressive brush strokes, up close seem to fall apart.” The Smithsonian recently commissioned three large canvases from Kagan, giving the artist access to their vast air and space-related archives. He also has current collaborations with artist Pharrell Williams, and provided imagery for the album cover artwork to the band White Lies on their LP release Big TV, which garnered him Best Art Vinyl 2013. At 6 p.m., Joshua Liner Gallery, Chelsea, free.
[Art] We’ve all seen the iconic black and white image of John Lennon wearing a jean jacket and the New York City t-shirt taken by photographer Bob Gruen. Tonight, see more of Gruen’s photographs at the opening of his exhibition “Rock Seen.” Many of the images displayed in this show have not been widely circulated including a photograph of Keith Richards, Tina Turner and David Bowie partying it up, and another colorful photograph of Keith Haring and Madonna. At 7 p.m., Pop International Galleries, SoHo, free.
[Art/Talk] This public panel brings together experts who will discuss the notion of voice, from technical concerns to political potential to affective possibilities. This is the beginning of a full season of exploration of VOICE, ranging from the relationships between vocal performers and engaged audiences to voice as agency in political work. Panelists include Gregg Bordowitz, Steve Cosson, Mara Mills, and Johanna Burton, Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement and is moderated by Jeanine Oleson. At 7 p.m., New Museum of Contemporary Art, East Village, $8.
[Film] Setting aside all the “women are people too!” thinking that might make us a touch more enlightened than our forebears, I have to ask: Is it possible that the old-world or frontier brothel could ever be as warm and brilliant a place as the movies posit it? In films like McCabe & Mrs. Miller or Woody Allen’s copy-and-paste Kafka curio Shadows and Fog, as in dozens of last-century bildungsromans, the house of pleasure doubles as the seat of civilization itself, a perfumed respite from the barbarism abroad each night. Writer-director Aaron Schimberg’s Go Down Death, a captivating excursion into surrealist Americana, shares that fascination — like some lacy moth, it flings itself toward the lamp light of a bordello at the end of all things. But the enjoyably unsteady film, haunted by visions and shot in beautiful 16mm black-and-white, never succumbs to horny nostalgia. –Alan Scherstuhl At 7:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, Spectacle Theater, Williamsburg, free.