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Pencil This In: Neil Labute's 'The Mercy Seat,' Renee Montagne at Book Soup, Art Panel Discussion at LACE

Jason Dechert and Deborah Puette star in Tennessee Williams' Eccentricities of a Nightingale' at A Noise Within (Photo: Craig Schwartz)
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Vs. Theatre Company presents the LA premiere of Neil Labute’s The Mercy Seat at [Inside] the Ford with a pay-what-you-can preview performance tonight and tomorrow at 8 pm. In this Labute play, we meet Ben and Abby on Sept. 12, 2001. He was supposed to be working in the World Trade Center that day, but was playing hooky with Abby—his mistress and his boss. Does he start a new future or let his family know he’s alive? The Mercy Seat officially opens on Saturday and runs through April 24.

The Hammer Museum welcomes violinist Hahn-Bin (with pianist John Blacklow)
for the program The Five Poisons tonight at 8 pm. The musician blends classical music with pop performance art and draws on styles as varied as John Cage, Chopin, Debussy, and Ravel. Tonight’s program is divided into three chapters of compositions: Ignorance; Anger + Pride; Desire + Jealousy. Free. Tickets available one hour prior to start time. Limit one ticket per person on a first come, first served basis. Parking is available under the museum for $3 after 6 pm.

NPR superstar Renee Montangne presents and signs the book This is NPR: The First Forty Years tonight at Book Soup, 7 pm. We imagine she has a lot to talk about these days.