Sean Thomas /

  Stephen Belber’s new play, The Dizzy Little Dance of Russell DiFinaldi, will be part of New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater’s Reading Festival this weekend.

A sprawling modern American epic about Russell DiFinaldi and his brother Jerry, two men trying to figure out what it means to do good in the world. David Cromer directs the reading and it stars Finn Wittrock.

Wittrock co-starred on American Horror Story: Freak Show and on HBO’s The Normal Heart. He was also in the most recent Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.

  Norman Lear is a legendary broadcast pioneer, known for creating some of the most acclaimed and top-rated television series of all time. They include: All in the Family, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Maude, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, One Day at a Time, and Sanford & Son. He has just written a memoir called, Even This I Get To Experience.

For more than twenty years, Bill Maher has set the boundaries of where funny, political talk can go on American television. First on Politically Incorrect (Comedy Central, ABC, 1993-2002), and for the last twelve years on HBO’s Real Time, Maher’s combination of unflinching honesty and big laughs have garnered him 32 Emmy nominations. In addition to his television program, Maher has written five bestsellers.

He will perform at UPAC in Kingston, NY on June 6th.

  Ever since Johnny Carson first popularized the late-night talk show in 1962 with The Tonight Show, the eleven p.m. to two a.m. comedy time slot on network television has remained an indelible part of our national culture. More than six popular late-night shows air every night of the week, and with recent major shake-ups in the industry, late-night television has never been more relevant to our public consciousness than it is today.

Jon Macks, a veteran writer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, takes us behind the scenes of this world for a look at what really makes these hosts the arbiters of public opinion.

  Actor Mark Pellegrino is likely best known for his work on Dexter as Paul Bennett, Lost as Jacob, Supernatural as Lucifer , and on Being Human as Bishop. He also played “Blond Treehorn Thug” in the 1998 Coen Brothers cult hit, The Big Lebowski.

He is currently co-starring on the A&E series, The Returned - which reunites him with Lost’s Carlton Cuse. The season finale of The Returned airs on Monday, May 11th.

  Best known as Ari Gold, the agent you love to hate on HBO's Entourage, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jeremy Piven has one of Hollywood's coolest and most diverse resumes.

Piven surprised audiences by taking on the title role in the British series, Mr. Selfridge which is about the real-life department store's mogul which airs on Masterpiece on PBS and has its 3rd season premiere this Sunday, March 29th.

  On June 29, 1978, Bob Crane, known to Hogan's Heroes fans as Colonel Hogan, was discovered brutally murdered in his Scottsdale, Arizona apartment. His eldest son, Robert Crane, was called to the crime scene. In his new memoir, Crane discusses that terrible day and how he has lived with the unsolved murder of his father.

But this storyline is just one thread in his tale of growing up in Los Angeles, his struggles to reconcile the good and sordid sides of his celebrity father, and his own fascinating life.

As a result of a raucous encounter with the cast of Canada's SCTV, he found himself shelving his notepad and tape recorder to enter the employ of John Candy -- first as an on-again, off-again publicist; then as a full-time assistant, confidant, screenwriter, and producer; and finally as one of Candy's pallbearers.

His new book is: Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father's Unsolved Murder.

  From her debut recital at Carnegie Recital Hall to the Broadway pits of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, oboist Blair Tindall has played with some of the biggest names in classical music for twenty-five years. She was the principal oboe in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, based in Poughkeepsie, for 13 years.

In her memoir, Mozart in the Jungle, Tindall exposes the scandalous rock and roll lifestyles of the musicians, conductors, and administrators who inhabit the insular world of classical music.

The 2005 book shook things up and the book became an Amazon Instant Video series about love, ambition and jealousy backstage at the symphony.

  Does acting matter?

David Thomson, one of our most respected and insightful writers on movies and theater, answers this question in his essay, Why Acting Matters.

Thomson tackles this most elusive of subjects, examining the allure of the performing arts for both the artist and the audience member while addressing the paradoxes inherent in acting itself. He reflects on the casting process, on stage versus film acting, and on the cult of celebrity.

  In his new memoir, I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend ,Martin Short tells the tale of how a showbiz-obsessed kid from Canada transformed himself into one of Hollywood’s favorite funnymen, known to his famous peers as the “comedian’s comedian.”

Martin Short talks about his early years in Toronto as a member of the improvisational troupe Second City to the all-American comic big time of Saturday Night Live and memorable roles in movies such as ¡Three Amigos! and Father of the Bride.