Join legendary author, journalist, and social watcher Fran Lebowitz for a live, conversational event, including an interview with MIAC’s Artistic Director, Dr. Brett D. Johnson, followed by a Q&A with the public and a signing session on Thursday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst University.
In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, Fran Lebowitz stands out as one of our most insightful social commentators.
His essays and interviews give him scathing insights into current affairs and the media – as well as pet peeves, including tourists, baggage claim areas, aftershave, adults rollerblading. , children who speak French or anyone who is unduly tanned. The New York Times Book Review calls Lebowitz “an important humorist in the classical tradition.” A purveyor of urban cool, Lebowitz is a cultural satirist who many call the heir to Dorothy Parker.
Lebowitz did odd jobs, such as driving taxis, peddling belts, and cleaning apartments (“with a small specialty in Venetian blinds”), before being hired by Andy Warhol as a columnist for Interview. This was followed by a stint at Mademoiselle. His first book, a collection of essays entitled “Metropolitan Life”, was a bestseller, as was a second collection, “Social Studies”. By turns tongue-in-cheek, facetious, tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek, ironic, and wacky, Lebowitz’s prose is wickedly entertaining. His two books are collected in “The Fran Lebowitz Reader”, with a new foreword by the author. “The Fran Lebowitz Reader” has been published in nine languages including French, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. In 2021 it was first published in the UK and became a bestseller. Lebowitz is also the author of the children’s book “Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas.
Between 2001 and 2007, Lebowitz had a recurring role as Judge Janice Goldberg on the television drama “Law & Order.” She also had a role in the Martin Scorsese-directed film, “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013). A storyteller if ever there was one, Lebowitz has long been a regular on various talk shows, including those hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien and Bill Maher. In an interview with the Paris Review, Lebowitz said, “I’m not a nervous person. I’m not afraid to be on TV. I’m only scared when I write. When I’m at my desk, I feel like most people would feel if they were on TV.
She can also be seen in various documentary films, including the American Experience series about New York, as well as ‘Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures’ (2016), ‘Regarding Susan Sontag’ (2014) and ‘Superstar: The Life and L’ Andy Warhol era” (1990), among others. In 2010, Martin Scorsese made a documentary about Lebowitz for HBO titled “Public Speaking”. A limited documentary series, “Pretend It’s a City”, also directed by Martin Scorsese, premiered on Netflix in 2021 and was nominated for the 2021 Emmys in the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series category. In 2021, she received the Forte dei Marmi Festival della Satira Lifetime Achievement Award and was the 2021 Foreign Press Honorary Laureate – an award given by the Foreign Press Correspondents Association & Club USA.
Lebowitz was named to the Hall of Fame on Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed list in 2008. She remains a style icon. Lebowitz lives in New York, as she doesn’t believe she would be allowed to live anywhere else.
Tickets for “An Evening with Fran Lebowitz,” priced at $20 to $45, can be purchased online at MIAC’s box office website, by phone at 814-824-3000, or in person at the Mary’s Box Office. D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (Tuesday-Thursday, 12 p.m.-5 p.m.). Each order is subject to a processing fee of $3 per ticket, regardless of method of purchase or payment.
This performance is made possible thanks to the generosity of Michael Tkach & William Lechner and the Erie Reader. The 2022-23 MIAC Live season is sponsored by Scott Enterprises, Dr. & Mrs. Robert Guelcher, Aetna, Cumulus Media, and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority.
PHOTO: Fran Lebowitz by Brigitte Lacombe