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8

TUESDAY

Psst! Don’t turn around. Stay cool. Act naturally. You’re part of a performance—right now. But you’re not on Candid Camera—rather, you’re starring in what author Neil Gabler awkwardly calls a “lifie.” Or you could be, were you to join the firmament of true stories we’ve dazzled ourselves with lately. Upping Andy Warhol’s ante to threescore and ten (though with most of us still just star-struck extras), Gabler argues that life has become art—or, rather, entertainment—in his new book Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality. Shakespeare wrote that “all the world’s a stage” but it took the 20th century to make his words flesh and, by the gradual application of theatrical techniques and values to every aspect of our daily lives, to make everything just another branch of show business. And it’s going to take a shrewd student of our culture like Gabler to help us figure out what’s going…Cut! OK, print it! Gabler discusses and signs copies of his book at 6 p.m. at the National Museum of American History, Presidential Suite, 14th & Constitution Ave. NW. $13. (202) 357-3030. (Daniel Searing)