The Eight-Day Week: July 27-August 3

Regress this week with pottery downtown and tiny dancers in rural Long Island.

Sunday, July 31

Lord Styron

Though in life William Styron was known to prefer the relative isolation of Martha’s Vineyard (we said, “relative”!), his work remains the perfect beach read for the Hamptons as well: nothing’s quite so bracing a corrective to an afternoon of sitting by the pool and an evening of parties as reading something grim and knowing like Lie Down in Darkness. Anyway, Georgica Beach at midday can be crushingly depressing. Styron had a difficult time negotiating literary fame, though his daughter seems perhaps less conflicted: Alexandra Styron mined her childhood for intriguing and enlightening anecdotes and insights, which she crafted into the memoir Reading My Father. Tonight she’s reading at the Quogue Public Library. (And boy, does she know how to do a summer reading schedule—she was in Vineyard Haven a few weeks ago and East Hampton last night.) There’s no choice in the matter—we’re going to check it out.

Quogue Public Library, 90 Quogue Street (Quogue), 5pm

Monday, August 1

Flack Attack

Were you wondering what’s going on with Roberta Flack? Question answered: per her website, she’s currently at work on an album of Beatles covers. If you’d like to see her in the flesh and maybe try to get her to sing a few bars of “Killing Me Softly With His Song” (or perhaps “Octopus’s Garden”), drop in on the enthusiastically named Bright Lights! Shining Stars! gala, an event in support of the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation and its college scholarships. Ms. Flack is to accept the Ambassador for the Arts Award, a fitting prize for someone bringing new attention to little-known British pop music. The guests include wee Tade Biesinger—a preteen NYC Dance alum who’s now known for Billy Elliot, and Tony-winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, who’ll be reunited with his In the Heights writer Lin-Manuel Miranda, one of the guests of honor. All these months later, we can finally feel good about supporting youth dance without fearing we’re sending youths into a future of Black Swan psychosis!

Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, cocktails at 6pm, awards and performances at 7:30pm with dessert and Champagne to follow, call (855) 692-5678 or visit nycdance.com for tickets.

Tuesday, August 2

Today’s Special

Some causes—like youth dance or the career rehabilitation of Roberta Flack—are simply unimpeachable. That may help explain why the host committee for tonight’s fund-raiser to benefit the Special Olympics, the Special Olympics Junior Committee Summer Social, is so gloriously lengthy: 28 do-gooders, as well as 47 on the junior committee. The host committee includes well-connected model Lauren Bush, her sister Ashley Bush, someone else’s sister Dabney Mercer, and roman á cleffer Anisha Lakhani. The evening of drinks goes down on the Hudson Terrace, on the far West Side—we’ll see you there, along with all of our nearest and dearest social friends!

Hudson Terrace, 621 West 46th Street, 7:30pm, visit http://summersocial.kintera.org/ for tickets and more information.

Wednesday, August 3

Kids Stay in the Picture

Remember how we could bring ourselves to support youth dance only  grudgingly? (Those Black Swan emotional scars, embedded with feathers, run deep.) Well, we’re yet more willing to support the artistic endeavours of youth when it comes to the performing-arts camp that produced Natalie Portman (her characters may be crazy, but boy, does she seem sane!) and Mariah Carey (well, Ms. Portman’s sane enough for both). The Oscar winner and the rainbow enthusiast both attended day camp at Long Island’s Usdan Center, which buses in artsy kids from the city. Tonight it holds a fund-raising gala. Current campers take the stage to perform with the Met soprano Monica Yunus—boy, are we jealous! Back when we were kids, all we did was make sloppy pottery and watch The Goonies. In fact, that’s all we’ve done this week!

185 Colonial Springs Road (Wheatley Heights), dinner at 5pm and concert at 7pm, for tickets write to gala@usdan.com or call (631) 643-7900.

ddaddario@observer.com :: @DPD_