“Honestly, I just wanted a festival and to throw a big party,” says Coree Spencer of her forthcoming Cinder Block Comedy Festival. As lighthearted as that seems, Spencer organized the festival on her terms in order to challenge the ongoing status quo in the comedy world.
Pete’s Candy Shop
Four Readings: This Month’s Prose Bowl, Sarah Anderson’s Webcomics Come to Print, and a Road Trip Gone Wrong
The Prose Bowl XII
July 19, 6:30pm at Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer Street at Richardson Street, Williamsburg.
The Prose Bowl (billed as “one part literature, one part bloodsport, one part American Idol”) is a sort-of nerdy battle royale for writers to win fame, glory, recognition… or just a free drink. On the third Tuesday of each month, four writers compete to see who has the best short story. Since it’s an open-mic affair, the writers’s names are randomly picked from a hat beforehand and are then subjected to the scrutiny of a panel and the audience. Each story is about five minutes long, and can include poetry or prose. Then there’s the lightning round, where the panel picks two of the competing writers, who then have to come up with quick stories, after which a winner is selected. It’s rowdy, it’s fun, it’s often hilarious, and it’s during happy hour, if you need any other incentives.
The Confidence Game
Tuesday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m. at The Strand, 828 Broadway
New Yorker columnist Maria Konnikova is in her element with a deep dive into the psychology behind the art of the scam. From literature to Bernie Madoff, she examines how charming tricksters manage to so easily weasel through our best defenses and earn our trust — and more importantly, why we almost always fall for their cons. Might come in handy next time you’re trying to figure out if that Tinder date is for real.