Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Arts
On April 7, Fran Lebowitz will share her forthright, yet amusing perspectives of social observations and cultural experiences for a memorable night of comedic storytelling at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, Lebowitz stands out for her exceptionally insightful social commentary. Combining insight with her ironic, facetious, deadpan, and sarcastic prose, Lebowitz’s performances are recognized for being unapologetically opinionated and wickedly entertaining.
Her essays and interviews offer her acerbic views on current events and the media — as well as pet peeves, including tourists, baggage-claim areas, after-shave lotion, adults who roller skate, children who speak French, or anyone who is unduly tan.
“Fran Lebowitz is an icon and captures the attention of millennials to baby boomers with her quick wit, fierce opinions, personal style and dry humor,” says Abbey Messmer, programming director at the center. “We are eager to have her back and hear her observations on what’s going on in the world right now.”
Not only has Lebowitz achieved success as a social commentator, but she is also revered for her work as an author and journalist.
Celebrated around the globe, in 2021, Lebowitz was given the Forte dei Marmi Festival della Satira Lifetime Achievement Award. That same year, she became a Foreign Press Honorary Awardee — an award given by The Association and Club of Foreign Press Correspondents in America.
In addition to her journalistic acclaim, Lebowitz has long been a regular on various talk shows, including those hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, and Bill Maher. However, true to her duality, her presence also spans multiple documentary films, including the “American Experience” series on New York City, “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures” (2016), “Regarding Susan Sontag” (2014) and “Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol” (1990), among others.
In 2010, Martin Scorsese directed an HBO documentary about Lebowitz titled “Public Speaking.” A limited documentary series, also directed by Scorsese, “Pretend It’s a City,” premiered on Netflix in 2021 and was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series category.
But before her success as an author, journalist, and social commentator, Lebowitz worked odd jobs, such as taxi driving, belt peddling, and apartment cleaning — with a small specialty in Venetian blinds — before being hired by Andy Warhol as a columnist for Interview. Shortly after, she explored a stint at Mademoiselle.
Earning great renown as an author after publishing her first book, a collection of essays titled “Metropolitan Life” that became a bestseller, she published a second collection called “Social Studies.” It, too, was a bestseller.
Her two books are collected in “The Fran Lebowitz Reader,” with a new preface by the author. “The Fran Lebowitz Reader” has been published in nine languages, including French, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. In 2021, it was published for the first time in the United Kingdom — quickly becoming yet another bestseller.
Lebowitz has even made a name for herself as a style icon, being placed in Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 2008.
The performance will be held April 7 at 8 p.m. in the Virginia G. Piper Theater at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. 2nd St. Tickets are $35 to $65. For more information, visit scottsdaleperformingarts.org/events.