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Pencil This In: Lessons in Pencil Sharpening, Celebrating Shakespeare's Birthday and Queer Monday Experimentation

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David Rees reads from his new book tonight.
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There are a number of great readings happening around town tonight that probably cap of a book lovers' weekend at the Festival of Books. Authors on tap tonight are David Rees, Paul Cummins are Lauren Groff. Queer Mondays holds its Eastside edition tonight at Akbar, and a new theater troupe celebrates Shakespeare's birthday with a wine fundraiser. PENCIL SHARPENING*
Tonight at 7 pm, Book Soup welcomes author David Rees, who wins best title ever for a book. He presents and signs his new tome, How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants. It’s a guide to the “lost art of artisanal pencil sharpening.” Through the fully illustrated book, he shows how to hone the perfect point for the kind of work you need to craft with that #2 pencil in your hand.

QUEER MONDAY
Queer Monday, an LGBT experimental performance series, is hosted by Ian Mackinnon at Akbar tonight at 8 pm. New and developing works by Megan Emotions Benton, La Muff, Jason Jenn, Metahuman, Travis Wood, JEFF ZILLA, Martin von Sexy and artist Robert Patrick. If you can’t make it tonight, there’s a Westside edition on April 30. Tickets: $5

SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHDAY
The new theater production company, Little Candle Productions, holds a cocktail party tonight from 8-11 pm to celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday at the Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock. The party doubles as a fundraiser for the company, which is putting on a one-night only performance of The Winter's Tale at the Alex Theatre later this summer. Advanced tickets are $26 or $30 at the door. Price includes open bar with Shakespeare-themed cocktails.

THEATER
Tonight at 7 pm, the International City Theatre at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center present a staged reading of a new musicial, Innocence. With music by Jonathan Dove and the libretto by Alasdair Middleton, the play’s set against a background of the days surrounding the assassination and funeral of President John F. Kennedy. “This new musical that examines the hopes, expectations and emotional significance of that time through the eyes of several individuals who felt the loss deeply.” Free, but reservations required: (562) 436-4610 x 10 or ict@ictlongbeach.org.

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MUSIC
It’s a School Night returns to Bardot with another Monday night of live music and DJ sets. Performing live tonight are LP ( for their EP release), We are Augustines and Sweethearts ( featuring Priscilla Ahn) with DJ sets by Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene/Cookie Duster) and Tim 'Love' Lee. Free with RSVP for those 21+; $10 for 18+ with RSVP. Doors at 8 pm.

READING
Tonight the Beach=Culture series presents An Evening with Author Paul Cummins tonight at 6:30 pm at the the Annenberg Beach House. Local author and educator Paul Cummins reads excerpts from his poetry and prose, including his latest poetry collection, Under Cover. Cummins is known in education circles as primary founder and headmaster of Crossroads School and founder of P.S. Arts.

MORE READING
Tonight at 7 pm, Lauren Groff, bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton, discusses and signs her new book Arcadia at Vroman's. The work chronicles the rise and fall of the western New York commune that calls the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House its home. The commune’s only child Bit ages and changes with the community, and he must learn how to survive in a world he does not know.

Want more events? Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).