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GOTHAM GIRL

Here’s one book tour performer it’s OK for Lena Dunham not to pay: Tonight, “life partner” Jack Antonoff will play with his band Bleachers at her reading. But that’s not all — friend, Girls co-star, and kick-ass chick prototype Jemima Kirke will join in for a Q&A sesh hosted by — and here’s the real kicker — literary heavyweight Zadie Smith. Take a step back; now breathe. It’s no secret that our local girl Lena has been associated with some questionable (read: dickish) management choices when it comes to this very tour, but that doesn’t take away from her status as a feminist mover and shaker, or the supreme relatability of the essay topics she covers in Not That Kind of Girl, from keeping an obsessive food log to guys who secretly rip off the condom mid-sex and hide it in your potted plant. She hits the same high mark of comedy and compassion that she dances around during the best moments of Girls, and reading this, you can just feel the future plotlines unfold.

Tue., Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m., 2014

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ANCHORS AWEIGH

Hop aboard a British man-of-war and set sail for 1797 at BAM, where Benjamin Britten’s opera Billy Budd, based on Herman Melville’s novella, is having a revival in honor of the composer’s centenary. The acclaimed production from Glyndebourne Festival Opera, which features a libretto by E.M. Forster and Eric Crozier, tells the story of a pure-hearted young sailor wrongly accused of being a mutineer and the court-martial that decides his fate. Tony winner Michael Grandage directs.

Mondays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: Feb. 7. Continues through Feb. 13, 2014

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Mary Halvorson Quintet

An ever-changing palimpsest of inside and outside moves that sound equally remarkable in either mode, the complex music produced by this guitarist’s hard-listening group suggests what a Jimi Hendrix jazz project might have sounded like if he’d ever taken the approach seriously. With Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Jon Irabagon (alto saxophone), John Hébert (bass), and Ches Smith (drums).

Sat., Jan. 4, 9 p.m., 2014

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TODAY’S SPECIAL

Alas, we’ll never know how close Denis Johnson’s spare, evocative Train Dreams came to winning the Pulitzer for fiction this year. But that doesn’t mean the National Book Award–winning author of Tree of Smoke and the masterful story collection Jesus’ Son doesn’t deserve a grand toast at tonight’s Eat, Drink, and Be Literary event at BAM. Pull up a chair for a buffet dinner, wine, and live music in the BAMcafé after which Johnson will perform a scene with actor Will Patton from his forthcoming book of plays Soul of a Whore and Purvis: Two Plays in Verse. Deborah Treisman, the fiction editor of The New Yorker, will moderate the discussion about his creative process (and, perhaps, that indecisive Pulitzer committee).

Thu., June 21, 6:30 p.m., 2012

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TOUGH LOVE

Almost as shocking today as it was in 1633, John Ford’s tragedy ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore is his best-known work for its racy plot of a brother and sister from a noble family who fall desperately in love with each other. On March 20, acclaimed theater company Cheek by Jowl opens the incestuous drama at BAM. But before that, catch today’s “Artist Talk” with Cheek by Jowl’s director and co-founder Declan Donnellan, which should provide some useful context on the work known as one of the most controversial plays in the English theatrical canon. Donnellan will be chatting with James Shapiro, Columbia professor and author of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?

Sun., March 18, 6 p.m., 2012

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‘Steve Reich in Conversation with John Schaefer’

Tonight, as part of the BAM 150 series, composer Steve Reich johns WNYC’s John Schaefer for a conversation looking back on a lifetime of avant-garde music making.

Tue., March 6, 7 p.m., 2012

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TECH VS. HUMAN

Who would have thought when Stanley Kubrick released his iconic film 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 that the prescient director wasn’t merely releasing a sci-fi thriller but also an alarming look into the future and the dangers of technology? Adapted from Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel,” the film received accolades for its pioneering special effects, soundtrack, and set design. Now you can see it on the big screen today and Friday as a part of BAM’s Sci-fi Thanksgiving series, which also includes Andrey Tarkovskiy’s Solaris (1972) on Saturday and Sunday.

Thu., Nov. 24, 3, 6 & 9 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 25, 3, 6 & 9 p.m., 2011