Cranford resident Alex Bernstein will talk about his recently published memoir, Plrknib. In Plrknib, Alex Bernstein takes the “I’m with the band” vibe from Almost Famous and flips it into “I’m with the comics.” The author of Miserable Holiday Stories brings you back to 1980 to tell a coming-of-age story set in the breakneck world of stand-up comedy. At 16, Bernstein became the youngest regular at Cincinnati’s premiere comedy club, d.w. eye. But as the pressure to keep up with the older comics grew, he looked for something – some edge – to help him compete. And then he found one: Plrknib – the perfect joke. But using the joke came with a terrible, terrible price. Set against the bohemian, downtown comedy boom of the early ’80s, Plrknib is a breezy, bittersweet, and utterly compelling memoir about love, friendship, and finding your own punchlines. Alex will have copies of his book available for purchase and for signing. The proceeds will benefit the Cranford Public Library. Admission is free and all are welcome. The program is sponsored by the Cranford Public Library.
The program format is simple. Just bring a few of your favorite books and tell the other members of the group what you like about them. The books can be new or old, fiction or non-fiction, classic or contemporary. Sessions are one hour long. There is no required reading, and you will have the opportunity to learn about books recommended by other group members. And refreshments will be served, courtesy of the Friends of the Cranford Public Library! Registration is not required. Just drop in. Following the June session, Literary Café will break for the summer.
Officer Victoria B. Smith of the Union County Sheriff’s Office will present a program on senior scams and how to avoid them. The program, which is approximately 45 minutes long, will include time for questions and answers. Admission is free and all are welcome. Registration is not required. The program is sponsored by the Cranford Public Library.
The indomitable Lilia Skala comes to life in her grand-daughter’s deeply personal celebration of a life in the theatre. Buoyed by a resolute faith, the Austrian stage actress flees the Third Reich and finds herself laboring in a New York zipper factory before working her way back to Broadway and the silver screen – eventually to collect Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe award nominations. Admission is free and all are welcome. The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Cranford Public Library. Libby Skala has charmed audiences internationally with her critically-acclaimed solo plays Lilia!, A Time to Dance, about her great aunt, Austrian modern dancer and award-winning dance therapy pioneer Elizabeth Polk, and Felicitas, about her great aunt Felicitas Sofer, a tough-love Austrian baby nurse. Her newest play, Irena Sendler: Rescuing the Rescuer, veers from the family tree to portray a Polish Catholic woman whose universal sense of family impels her to save thousands of Jewish lives. Libby performed Lilia! in a successful Off-Broadway run at the Arclight Theatre, at the Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles, and to sold out houses in London, Seattle, Toronto, and Winnipeg (where it was selected Best Show out of 118 shows at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival). Lilia! enjoyed a critically-acclaimed run at the Pacific Theatre in Vancouver, followed by performances in Tbilisi, the Republic of Georgia, and Berlin and Dresden, Germany. It was produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and also ran for three weeks in London, where it was sponsored by the Austrian Cultural Forum.
Frank Quadrino, Community Outreach Manager for the Veterans Administration (VA) New Jersey Health Care System, will present a program on veterans’ benefits. Mr. Quadrino will talk about: diagnostic, treatment, preventative, and other healthcare services available to eligible veterans enrolled for VA healthcare benefits; eligibility factors, including minimum duty requirements, theater of combat, and financial means; and local VA health centers and community-based outreach centers. Admission to the program is free and all are welcome. The program was arranged by the Friends of the Cranford Public Library.