The “Final” Season of Happy Ending

By Neal Comment

astern.jpgAfter five years of curating a twice-monthly combination of performances from authors and acoustic musicians at the Chinatown bar Happy Ending, Amanda Stern is getting ready for one last season—but this isn’t the end of her role as a literary event organizer. In January 2009, Stern will move the Happy Ending series a mile uptown to Joe’s Pub, where it will continue as a monthly show.

As the series had grown, the original bar—which was never really intended to host live music—was no longer able to meet the show’s growing technical needs. “Joe’s Pub can offer us the highest quality sound, a spectacular stage, comfortable seats and…food!” Stern emailed when queried about the move. “While I’m deeply sad to be leaving Happy Ending and all the friends I’ve made there, I’m doing what’s best for the show and I’m thrilled and honored to be part of the team at Joe’s Pub. I planned originally to keep one show at the bar and the other at Joe’s, but that seemed too confusing.” Another concern was that the new venue increased the amount of pre-production work that would go into each show… and then there’s Stern’s understandable desire to find some more time to complete her own second novel, as it’s been five years since the publication of The Long Haul.

The final season of Happy Ending at Happy Ending begins Sept. 10 with Andrew Sean Greer, Hannah Tinti, Darin Strauss, and special musical guest Moby. Although it would not be at all surprising if Strauss brought his guitar along, too.