Planet Princeton weekend picks: Andy Borowitz at McCarter Theatre, Nassau Film Festival, Pennington Day

Why have American politics deteriorated intellectually over the last 50 years, how has mass media encouraged the election of ignorant leaders, and how can we change course? Comedian and New Yorker magazine satirist Andy Borowitz will discuss those issues and his best seller, “Profiles in Ignorance: How America’s Politicians Got Dumb and Dumber” in conversation with Anne-Marie Slaughter at 8 p.m. Friday night at McCarter Theatre.  Some tickets are still available for the show. If you buy your tickets online before the show and use the promo code IGNORANCE23, tickets are $35. Borowitz will take questions from the audience and sign copies of his book at Labyrinth Books after the show.

Borowitz grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Harvard College, where he was President of the Harvard Lampoon. In 1998, he began contributing humor to The New Yorker’s “Shouts & Murmurs” and “Talk of the Town” departments, and in 2001, he created “The Borowitz Report,” a satirical news column, which has millions of readers around the world. In 2012, The New Yorker began publishing “The Borowitz Report.” As a storyteller, Borowitz hosted “Stories at the Moth” from 1999 to 2009. As a comedian, he has sold-out at venues around the world, including during his national tour, “Make America Not Embarrassing Again,” from 2018 to 2020. His most recent book, “Profiles In Ignorance: How America’s Politicians Got Dumb and Dumber,” was an instant New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Indiebound bestseller, and was named one of the 7 Best Nonfiction Books of fall 2022 by Kirkus Reviews. He is the first-ever winner of the National Press Club’s humor award. He lives with his family in New Hampshire.

Borowitz argues that over the past fifty years, American politicians have grown increasingly allergic to knowledge, and mass media have encouraged the election of ignoramuses by elevating candidates who are better at performing than thinking. Starting with Ronald Reagan’s first campaign for governor of California and culminating with the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, Borowitz shows how voters have elected politicians who lack the most basic information.

“I want the president of the United States to be intellectually curious for a simple reason: I think the person running the country should be smarter than I am. We’ve just lived through the alternative, and it was only good for the liquor industry,” Borowitz writes. The book includes many quips like this, but it is also a well-researched and detailed summary of political developments in the United States over the past 50 years.

Friday, May 19

Hopewell Cruise Night – Live music, games, food, and shopping along East and West Broad Street in Hopewell Borough from 5 to 8 p.m.

Mara Levine and Gathering Time in concert at Princeton Folk Music Society – An evening of socially conscious folk song and lush harmony arrangements with singer-songwriter Mara Levine and folk-rock trio Gathering Time. The performance is a double bill, but when they come together, their frequent collaborations create a special magic. Gathering Time supports Mara on her sets, faithfully reproducing the intricate harmony arrangements of her recordings in stunning detail, and also presenting their own seamless vocal harmonies, inspired guitar playing, and precise percussion. 8 p.m. at Christ Congregation, 50 Walnut Lane, Princeton. Tickets $25.

Public Night, Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton – Observation begins about one hour after sunset (est. 9 p.m.). No telescopes or observing experience necessary. Team members will be there to assist with the observatory telescopes. Observatory, Washington Crossing State Park, Titusville.

Saturday, May 20

West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market – Fruits and veggies, prepared foods, baked goods, jams, pasta, pickles and more. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the southbound Vaughn Drive parking lot of the Princeton Junction train station off of Alexander Road within one mile of Route 1. If using a GPS, use 877 Alexander Rd.

AAPI 5K Run and Walk – Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, honor the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, learn about AAPI history and cultures, and amplify AAPI voices. Princeton Active Circle is partnering with the Institute of Financial Intelligence (IFI), Where Music Carries Us (WMCU), and the Museum of Chinese In America (MOCA) to host this 5K Run ‘n’ Walk in West Windsor. Race begins at 8:30 a.m. 502 Carnegie Center Drive. Register before the race the day of the event, in person, for $45.

NAMIWalks Mercer – Support “Mental Health for All” at this annual event. Registration is free. Every registered participant who personally raises $100 will earn our official NAMIWalks 2023 event T-shirt. 9 a.m. to noon. The Gazebo at West Lake Park in Robbinsville, Lake Drive East, Robbinsville.

The 8th Annual Nassau Film Festival – The film festival returns to the Princeton Garden Theatre ion Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on both days. Festival proceeds to benefit the Family Resource Network, which provides programming and care for NJ residents living with epilepsy, autism, developmental disabilities and chronic illness as well as support for their caregivers. For more information and a full schedule visit the Nassau Film Festival website.

Sustainable Lawrence Bike Rodeo – Bring your kids and their bike. A rodeo trail will be set up for those just learning how to ride. Free new bike helmets will be handed out and fitted properly. Lots of information about what the sustainable groups in Mercer are doing. The event will also feature an electric vehicle show. Bike Rodeo and trail maps will be available. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lawrence High School, 2525 Princeton Pike, Lawrenceville. Enter from Gainsboro Road. Free.

Pennington Day – Celebrate community and enjoy s lively street fair featuring local businesses, artisans, activities, music, food and non-profits in Pennington Borough and Hopewell Valley. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Downtown Pennington Borough, along South Main Street and East Curlis Avenue.

Princeton Canal Walkers – Meet at Turning Basin Park, Alexander Road, Princeton. Three-mile walk on the towpath, year-round weather permitting. 10 a.m. Free.

The Magic and History of Marquand Park tour is full.

The CMS Kids: Exploring Dvorák, Princeton University Concerts event is sold out.

Colors of Indian Music: Roohaniyat presents Navrang Roohaniyat presents Navrang, a diverse vocal and instrumental performance of Indian music. Presented as part of the WW Gives Back fundraising project to benefit West Windsor Arts.A special reception with the artists at 5 p.m. before the show will feature light snacks, tea, and soft drinks. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the West Windsor Arts Center, 952 Alexander Road. Tickets are $25.

Blues for an Alabama Sky, McCarter Theater – In a Depression-era Harlem apartment building, a close-knit group of friends has become a chosen family. New roommates Angel and Guy — a recently fired blues singer and a promising costume designer with Paris in his sights — live across the hall from Delia, a social worker who sparks a relationship with the hardworking doctor Sam. Their lives are upturned when a Southern newcomer Leland arrives and falls hard for Angel, who is torn between a stable life in New York City and an exhilarating overseas adventure with Guy. Angel chooses her path, but the decision leads to devastating consequences that shift the trajectory of everyone’s futures and long-held dreams. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Berlind Theater. Tickets $25 and up.

May 21

Montgomery Arts Council Arts & Crafts Spring Show – More than two dozen local crafters will be featured at this show. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1060 State Road next to the Princeton Airport.

The Awakening – Public Art Installation and Opening Celebration – Join the Hopewell Valley community for an art-filled celebration of J. Seward Johnson’s monumental 70-foot sculpture – The Awakening. The event will include dance, poetry, music, and storytelling. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. D&R Greenway St. Michaels Farm Preserve, Princeton Avenue, Hopewell. Limited parking at D&R property is reserved for handicapped access only. Park at Hopewell Elementary School and be prepared for a 10-minute trail walk.

Princeton Carillon Concert – Considered the largest musical instrument in the world, a carillon consists of a series of at least 23 tuned bells, played from a keyboard that allows expressiveness through variation in touch, and on which the player, or carillonneur, can play a broad range of music—from arrangements of popular and classical music to original compositions. Enjoy a free 1 p.m. concert at Princeton University’s Cleveland Tower at the Graduate College at 88 College Road West.

Princeton Battlefield Tour, Princeton Battlefield Society – Spend a Sunday afternoon at the Princeton Battlefield State Park and learn more about the Battle of Princeton, a battle that ended the “ten crucial days” of 1776-1777. Walk in the footprints of Washington’s troops and listen to exciting narratives of soldier and civilian experiences. Following the one-hour tour, visit the historic Thomas Clarke House, the home of a Quaker farming family and the only remaining structure from the January 3, 1777 Battle of Princeton. Tours start promptly at 1 pm on Sundays. 500 Mercer Street, Princeton. Pre-registration is required.

A Tiny Museum of Mammoth Technologies, a Senior Exhibition by Wendi Yan – Princeton University senior Wendi Yan presents a short animation film, paintings and sculptures exploring chronologies slightly alien from our own, using the museum format as a personal practice of history-making. Traversing between fiction and facts, the work stares into historicity and questions the linearity of technologies. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Lewis Center for the Arts, Wallace Dance and Theater. Free.

To have your events considered for our weekend picks, please add them to our community calendar. It’s free and easy to add an event.