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Hollywood celebrates David Foster Wallace's 'The Pale King'

April 22, 2011 |  9:08 am


On April 28, Hollywood actors will take the stage to celebrate David Foster Wallace's novel "The Pale King" at the Saban Theater, benefiting PEN Center USA. "The Pale King" was left behind, in fragments, when Wallace died in 2008; since he can't tour to support his posthumous work, there have been readings across the country by other authors. In L.A., we get to see performers bring Wallace's work to life.

Stars on the bill for "The Pale King" event include: Megan Mullally ("Will and Grace"), Josh Radnor ("How I Met Your Mother"), Rene Auberjonois ("Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"), Ron Livingston ("Office Space"), Adam Scott ("Party Down"), Nick Offerman ("Parks and Recreation"), Rosemarie DeWitt ("United States of Tara"), Casey Wilson ("Happy Endings"), Brian Elerding ("Mad Men"), Michelle Azar ("Monk") and comedian Rob Delaney. And also punker-spoken-word-artist-turned-KCRW radio host Henry Rollins.

Wallace's longtime agent Bonnie Nadell and L.A. Times book critic David L. Ulin are also on the bill.

The event kicks off with a cocktail reception in the Saban Theater's lovely rotunda. Tickets are $65, which includes a copy of "The Pale King," or $25 if you already purchased a copy.

Some people probably have; the unfinished novel, which focuses on a number of people working in the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Ill., was officially released April 15, tax day.

For those David Foster Wallace completists, I should point out that KCRW's Michael Silverblatt hosted a show about "The Pale King" with writer and friend Rick Moody and writer David Lipsky, whose chronicle of his road trip with Wallace was published in Rolling Stone and expanded to the book "Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself." Silverblatt engaged with Wallace's work over several years; his archived interviews with the author about his various works are still online: "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again," "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men" "Consider the Lobster," and, of course, "Infinite Jest."

Those books and others from Wallace's backlist will be for sale at the event. Tickets are available from the Saban Theater box office and Ticketmaster.


Book review: "The Pale King" by David Foster Wallace

Time says "The Pale King" represents David Foster Wallace's "finest work"

David Foster Wallace's Kenyon commencement speech

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: David Foster Wallace in 2002. Credit: Keith Bedford / Getty Images