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TOWN HALL 2017

The Town Hall Announces Spring 2017 Season with Concerts February 9 through May 5;

Historic Venue's Most Wide-Ranging and Adventurous Season Features Literature, Journalism, Humor, Music and Film Events;

New Series Debuts with Gods and Savages, Improvisations, and Shoots and Scores;

Partnerships with Tribeca, Strand Book Store, Le Poisson Rouge, Pomegranate Arts,

Barrow Street Productions, NPR and WBGO-FM

[January 12, 2017] Smart, provocative and entertaining, The Town Hall's 2017 presenting season is an expansive, ambitious offering of literature, journalism, humor, music and film - all taking place in one of New York's most storied performance spaces.

The Town Hall's Spring 2017 season highlights include a multi-media tribute to gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, the long-awaited reunion of South Africa's legendary Jazz Epistles featuring Abdullah Ibrahim and Ekaya and Hugh Masekela, and a rare performance of the Philip Glass musical score to Jean Cocteau's film La Belle et la Bête . Other programs include an experimental collaboration featuring Laurie Anderson and Christian McBride with special guest Rubin Khodeli; Yo La Tengo with an eclectic 9-piece ensemble; events with award-winning authorNeil Gaiman, comedian and improv masterDavid Pasquesi, Indian sitaristAnoushka Shankar, Egyptian TV host and political satiristBassem Youssef, a staging ofHunter S. Thompson'sThe Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved; and a live score forBuster Keaton's silent film masterpiece, The Cameraman, by VinceGiordano and the Nighthawks with special guest Bill Irwin.

The Town Hall's newest season is the most extensive in its presenting history, as well as its most far-reaching and challenging. The season's programming upholds the long, rich tradition of a venue founded nearly a century ago as a meeting space to explore, educate, debate and inspire.

"We're launching an especially eclectic and fun series of shows this year," says M.A. Papper, the new Artistic Director for the Town Hall. "We're excited to launch a new series called Improvisations, most of which are first-time collaborations. These are all special shows with bold and adventurous artists and I couldn't be more thrilled with the talent that's taking part."

The season also celebrates a series of new partnerships between the Town Hall and other New York cultural organizations, joining forces with Strand Book Store, Tribeca, Pomegranate Arts, Le Poisson Rouge and Barrow Street Productions, NPR's Jazz Night in America and WBGO-FM's The Checkout.

The Town Hall's Spring 2017 series will include:

GODS AND SAVAGES: A LITERARY SERIES:

presented in partnership with Strand Book Store

The Town Hall in association with WW Norton present

NEIL GAIMAN: NORSE MYTHOLOGY

Reading and Conversation/Q&A

Tuesday, February 9, 2017 • 7:00pm

WORLD PREMIERE

Bestselling author Neil Gaiman, who has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his award-winning fiction, will be reading stories from his newest book, Norse Mythology (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.). In it, Gaiman goes back to the source, breathing new life into the great Norse myths. The reading will be followed by a conversation with Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR & WNYC'sAsk Me Another, and an audience Q&A and book signing.

Tickets: $45 (all ticket purchases include signed hardcover copy of the book)

http://thetownhall.org/event/neilgaiman

BASSEM YOUSSEF : REVOLUTION FOR DUMMIES: LAUGHING THROUGH THE ARAB SPRING

Talk and Presentation plus Q&A (program in English)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 • 8:00pm

WORLD PREMIERE

Bassem Youssef, dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, is a former cardiac surgeon turned satirist. He was the host of the incendiary satire news program, Al-Bernameg (The Program), the first of its kind in the Middle East. The show folded in 2014 in response to overwhelming political pressures on the show and the airing channel. Youssef will be improvising from his new book Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring (Harper Collins) on the first day of its publication and discussing the role of propaganda and satire in the making of the modern Middle East. Youssef was awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2013. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

Tickets: $45/50/55/65 (all ticket purchases include a hardcover copy of the book)

http://thetownhall.org/event/bassemyoussef

"THE KENTUCKY DERBY IS DECADENT AND DEPRAVED"

A staging of Hunter S. Thompson's groundbreaking story

Produced by Hal Willner / Directed by Chloe Webb

Music Composed by Bill Frisell

Original Artwork by Ralph Steadman

Friday, May 5 • 8:00pm

NEW YORK PREMIERE

Three days before the running of the Kentucky Derby in May 1970, the inimitable Hunter S. Thompson pitched the editor of Scanlan's Monthly, a short-lived but feisty political magazine, a story on the race. Thompson, a Louisville native, got the assignment and was paired not with a photographer but with an English illustrator, Ralph Steadman, marking the beginning of what became an extraordinary partnership. The hilarious, scathing portrayal of the event, and the society that created it, was titled The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved. It became Thompson's first "gonzo journalism" piece. The Kentucky Derby … will be brought to life in all its hallucinatory glory at the Town Hall, by a remarkable production team comprising renowned producer Hal Willner, composer Bill Frisell and director Chloe Webb. This raucous performance, featuring a live cast, Steadman's original artwork and a band performing Frisell's original score, debuts on the eve of the 2017 Kentucky Derby.

Tickets: $50/60/65/75

http://thetownhall.org/event/the-kentucky-derby-is-decadent-and-depraved

IMPROVISATIONS SERIES:

LAURIE ANDERSON & CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE with Special Guest Rubin Khodeli

Thursday, February 23, 2017 • 8:00pm

Maverick artist, composer, vocalist and instrumentalist Laurie Anderson and bass virtuoso Christian McBride collaborate for the first time in the opening concert of Town Hall's new series, Improvisations. The event brings together Anderson, one of the seminal artists of our time, whose multidisciplinary work encompasses performance, film, music, installation, writing, photography, and sculpture; and four-time Grammy®-winning jazz bassist, composer and educator Christian McBride, one of the most respected figures in the music world today. For this program they are joined by special guest cellist Rubin Khodeli.

Tickets: $40/50/60/75

http://thetownhall.org/event/laurieanderson-christianmcbride

TJ & DAVE - featuring TJ JAGODOWSKI & DAVID PASQUESI

Presented by Barrow Street Productions

Friday, March 10, 2017 • 8:00pm

Improv masters from Chicago's Second City, TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi offer an evening of comedic tightrope without a net, stepping on stage without characters, dialogue or plot and creating a stunningly complex and hilarious universe on the spot. As The New York Times put it, they "miraculously improvise a one-hour play at every performance. This is an impressive feat of mental athletics, but the results are also observant, complex and frequently enormously funny."

TICKETS: $22/25/29.50

http://thetownhall.org/event/tjanddave

The Town Hall and Le Poisson Rouge present

AND THEN YO LA TENGO TURNED ITSELF INSIDE-OUT

YO LA TENGO

& Ensemble

WORLD PREMIERE

Thursday March 23 • 8:00pm

Yo La Tengo - Ira Kapan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew - are one of the most beloved and respected bands in America. Their uninterrupted 30-year-and-counting career is unparalleled in its creative breadth and includes collaborations with everyone from Homer Simpson to Ray Davies, from Chris Elliott to Yoko Ono. Their work has included portraying the Velvet Underground in I Shot Andy Warhol and composing scores for Adventureland and the films of Jean Painlevé. In this program they join forces with an ensemble featuring Chad Taylor (drums), Amy Garapic (drums), Zeena Parkins (harp), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Terry Adams (keyboards), Vincent Chancey (french horn), Roswell Rudd (saxophone), Daniel Carter (saxophone) and Taylor Ho Bynum (trumpet).

TICKETS: $45/55

http://thetownhall.org/event/yolatengo

SHOOTS & SCORES : FILMS IN CONCERT

Family Day: VINCE GIORDANO & THE NIGHTHAWKS: THE CAMERAMAN

plus Laurel & Hardy shorts

Special guest: BILL IRWIN

Saturday, March 18, 2017 • 3:00pm

The Cameraman , a silent classic and one of Buster Keaton's richest and funniest pictures, gets a live music score of songs from the 1920s by multi-instrumentalist Vince Giordano and his 11-piece band The Nighthawks. A hard-working independent filmmaker, Keanton had been a star, before and behind the camera, since 1919, and a vaudeville star well before that. The brilliant The Cameraman, his 1928 debut effort for MGM, is one of his masterpieces, featuring sight gags, action, suspense and romance. Giordano, a passionate champion of music from the 1920's and 30's, has not only amassed a collection of over 60,000 band arrangements, as well as 1920's and 30's films, 78RPM recordings and jazz-age memorabilia, but also studied with important musicians from the period. Actor and comedian Bill Irwin is special guest for the program. This is the Town Hall's family film in concert, celebrating a peerless comedian and the free-spirited music of his era.

TICKETS: $25/30/35

http://thetownhall.org/event/vincegiordano

The Town Hall and Tribeca in association with Pomegranate Arts present

LE BELLE ET LA BÊTE

A Film by Jean Cocteau

Music by Philip Glass

Performed by Members of

THE PHILIP GLASS ENSEMBLE

Conducted by Michael Riesman

Introduced by

PHILIP GLASS & ERROL MORRIS, in conversation

Live Film Score in French with English Subtitles

Thursday, April 20, 2017 • 8:00pm

One of the most celebrated and distinctive works in Philip Glass's career is his live interpretation of Jean Cocteau's masterpiece La Belle et la Bête. Originally conceived as part of a trilogy of stage productions celebrating the work of Jean Cocteau, La Belle et la Bête is Glass's most challenging experiment in synchronizing music with film. For this production, Glass removed the film's original dialogue track and score and replaced with his own musical score played live by members of the Philip Glass Ensemble. The dialogue is sung by four live vocalists synchronized with actors in the film. Not staged in New York City in over two decades, this special production is presented by The Town Hall and Tribeca in association with Pomegranate Arts, and features Philip Glass and acclaimed documentary filmmaker Errol Morris in conversation prior to the film.

TICKETS: $55/65/75/85

http://thetownhall.org/event/philip-glass-ensemble

ANOUSHKA SHANKAR

Wednesday April 5, 2017 • 8:00pm

Six-time Grammy®-nominated sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar is a remarkable artist who boldly embraces both tradition and experimentation. She has been recognized as the youngest and first female recipient of a British House of Commons Shield and named an "Asian Hero" by Time magazine. In this appearance Anoushka, the daughter of the great sitar master Ravi Shankar and one of his most dedicated students, will perform music from her 2015 CD release, Home, a pure Indian classical album which showcases the meditative and virtuosic qualities of the Indian raga. In this program she will perform two ragas, including one composed by her father, in a uniquely personal and meditative concert featuring musicians on shehnai, tanpura, flute and tabla.

TICKETS: $40/45/55/65

http://thetownhall.org/event/anoushkashankar

The Town Hall & Le Poisson Rouge Present

THE JAZZ EPISTLES

featuring ABDULLAH IBRAHIM & EKAYA and HUGH MASEKELA

South African Freedom Day

Thursday April 27, 2017 • 8pm

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

Legends of South African music reunite for a historic concert to tell the story of The Jazz Epistles, arguably the most important jazz album ever recorded in its country's history. Abdullah Ibrahim welcomes special guest musicians from his youth, and from the original Jazz Epistles band - superstar trumpeter Hugh Masekela, and the original trombonist from that session, Jonas Gwangwa - to reimagine music for his Ekaya Chamber Ensemble. This music was almost lost forever - only 500 copies of the LP were made in 1959, buried, and rediscovered decades later after the tyranny of apartheid. These giants of South African jazz tell their story at this extremely rare performance on South African Freedom Day, which will be captured for Jazz Night In America on NPR and The Checkout, produced by WBGO-FM.

TICKETS: $35/55/65/75/125 VIP includes meet-and-greet reception with the artists

https://thetownhall.org/event/thejazzepistles

THE TOWN HALL SPRING 2017 CONCERTS -- CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING

February 9 Neil Gaiman: Norse Mythology

February 23 Laurie Anderson & Christian McBride with special guest Rubin Khodeli

March 10 TJ & Dave (TJ Jagadowski & David Pasquesi)

March 18 The Cameraman by Buster Keaton + Laurel & Hardy, live musical score by Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks, and special guest Bill Irwin

March 21 Bassem Youssef: Revolution for Dummies: Laughing through the Arab Spring

March 23 And Then Yo La Tengo Turned Itself Inside-Out: Yo La Tengo & Ensemble

April 5 Anoushka Shankar

April 20 La Belle et la Bête: A Film by Jean Cocteau, Music by Philip Glass,

performed by Members of the Philip Glass Ensemble conducted by Michael Riesman,

introduced by Philip Glass and Errol Morris, in conversation

April 27 The Jazz Epistles featuring Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya and Hugh Masekela

May 5 The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved, a Staging of Hunter S. Thompson's Groundbreaking Gonzo Journalism Story

ABOUT THE TOWN HALL:

Inaugurated on January 12, 1921, The Town Hall has celebrated the diversity of New York with programs for all audiences through its own eclectic programming and by opening its doors to an unparalleled roster of independent producers. The 1,500 seat hall, with its grand feel and impeccable acoustics, has been a showcase for music from around the world and new artistic collaborations as well as a stage for public affairs and education, social progress and political discourse. Some of the figures that have appeared at Town Hall include Paul Robeson, Sergei Rachmaninov, Pablo Casals, Andres Segovia, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Nina Simone, Langston Hughes, Thelonious Monk, Igor Stravinsky and Bob Dylan. For more information please visit the Town Hall history page.

THE TOWN HALL

123 West 43rd Street (between 6th Avenue and Broadway)

New York, NY 10036

Box Office: 212-997-6661 boxoffice@thetownhall.org

Website: www.thetownhall.org

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