New York state of mind

So what, exactly, is the New York state of mind? I’m afraid I’m close to clueless, having lived in Colorado and states to its west all my life. But a woman rumored to exude all that is New York is headed our way, and she’s not shy about sharing. It’s Fran Lebowitz, who hits the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Thurs, March 1, for an evening sure to up your NYC quotient.

Lebowitz, a writer, recently starred in an HBO Films documentary titled “Public Speaking,” which is directed by Martin Scorsese. I’m still toying with the chicken or egg dilemma of whether to watch the film first or head straight to her writings.

Today I was happy to simply read pieces about Lebowitz published by “The New York Times” and “The Paris Review.” And explore the Facebook page managed by her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf/Vintage Books.

It offers this description of the woman and her work: Fran Lebowitz first hit the New York literary scene in the early 70’s when Andy Warhol hired her to write a column for Interview. Almost immediately, she became a mainstay in the magazine world. As a regular contributor to both Interview and Mademoiselle, she soon became a name associated with irreverent humor and urban wit.

Julie Sperber posted this lovely comment on the Fran Lebowitz wall after learning of her upcoming Arizona gig: “Where’s Scottsdale.. can you take the subway?” Goodness no. But we’ve got Ollie the Trolley, bike lanes and light rail within driving distance. Those of you desperately seeking subways can check with ASU Gammage to see whether the last few slots in their “Broadway Adventure” 2012 trip have filled up yet.

The June 7-10 trip includes a three nights stay in the Millennium Hotel “in the heart of the Broadway district,” three Broadway shows “of your choice,” expert-led walking and coach tours, seating in the red carpet section of Times Square so you can watch the simulcast and live Times Square activities of the Tony Awards celebration, and more. Call Mollie Trivers at 602-373-3377 if you might be game.

Ballet Arizona’s artistic director Ib Andersen and the cast of “Play” will be traveling later this month for their New York City debut at The Joyce Theater. “Play” is a collection of seven ballets, directed by Andersen, set to music by Mozart, Schubert, Britten and Stravinsky.

Folks who can’t travel to NYC for one of six Feb. 22-26 performances of “Play” can enjoy excerpts of the work Fri, Feb. 17 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Okay, so we don’t have subways or pizza joints that build pies topped with rigatoni. But every now and then, we get a glimpse into that rarity called the New York state of mind.

— Lynn

Note: Images depict detail of “The Many Faces of New York” by artist Hope Gangloff, which is painted on the wall of a Starbucks located at Beekman St. & Park Row in Lower Manhattan. The mural was produced by CITYarts and created in collaboration with youth from Murry Bergtraum High School.

Coming up: Actor Ed Asner — arts, animal and autism advocate

Photos: Lynn Trimble

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