The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) will kick off the spring PUBLIC FORUM season next week with two Public Forum Duets, focusing on music and the way it shapes our lives. Single tickets, priced at $35, are on sale now.
On Tuesday, February 26 at 8 p.m., David Byrne (author, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, co-founder of Talking Heads) and Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson (drummer, DJ, culinary entrepreneur, member of The Roots) come together for a one-on-one conversation. They will discuss what we're taught - and how we learn - about music, and the way that our ideas shape the songs we create and consume. ?uestlove is teaching a course on classic albums at NYU this spring. This exciting Public Forum event, co-presented by NYU Skirball Center, will take place at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place).
On Thursday, February 28 at 9 p.m., Wynton Marsalis (Pulitzer and Grammy-winning composer, musician, author, and Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center) and Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, Porgy and Bess, Master Writer Chair of The Public Theater) will discuss music and American identity - the way that the songs we sing have been part of our nation and our character. This intimate evening will take place at Joe's Pub at The Public.
Now in its third year, PUBLIC FORUM presents the theater of ideas. Curated by Jeremy McCarter, this series of lectures, conversations, and performances features leading voices in politics, media, and the arts. Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, Cynthia Nixon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Sam Waterston, and former NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman have hosted its programs, which have featured the insights of Kurt Andersen, Carl Bernstein, David Brooks, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Nathan Englander, Hendrik Hertzberg, Arianna Huffington, Bill Irwin, Tony Kushner, Jay McInerney, Suzan-Lori Parks, Francine Prose, Reihan Salam, David Simon, Anna Deveare Smith, Ben Smith, Stephen Sondheim, Emma Straub, Sam Tanenhaus, Marc Tracy, Damian Woetzel, the culture writers of New York Magazine, and young veterans of the war in Afghanistan - plus performances by Anne Hathaway, Michael Friedman, Gabriel Kahane, and Michael Cerveris, among others.
Each PUBLIC FORUM DUET brings together an artist who has been vital to The Public Theater and a leading voice from the worlds of politics, media, or the arts. Last fall, to mark the presidential election, the Forum's Duet series focused on politics: Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock," "Here's the Thing," Macbeth at The Public) talked about the theater of politics and the presidential race with David Brooks (The New York Times, Bobos in Paradise); David Simon ("The Wire") and Anna Deavere Smith (Fires in the Mirror; Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992) traded views on hurricanes and city life; and Tony Kushner (Intelligent Homosexual's Guide.., Angels in America, Lincoln) and Rachel Maddow (MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show") discussed the state of the American left, the joys of needlepoint, and more.