She'd done the comedy thing, appearing on The Late, Late Show, at Montreal's Just for Laughs comedy festival and on the roster of Variety's annual “Ten Comics to Watch” roundup. Also the acting thing, landing parts on Curb Your Enthusiasm, in Coyote Ugly and even as “Frozen Yogurt Girl” in Casino (growing up in Las Vegas can come with certain advantages). What else could be left but cranking out a couple of kids, harnessing the subsequent bewilderment into a positive creative channel and writing a book about rearing 'em right? Enter Raising the Perfect Child Through Guilt and Manipulation , part how-to guide, part memoir and part comedy collection. As author Elizabeth Beckwith puts it, “It's madness! My house is crazy! But they're so fun and they're so cute, and you're trying to juggle everything. I mean, people have done it before. Here I am acting like I'm the only person who's ever tried: 'No, listen! I'm trying to have a career AND I have kids! It's just CRAZY!' Um, a lot of people have done that and done it well. 'Oh, ok.'” Sounds like her release-date reading and signing — a.k.a. first night out of the house in a week — won't come a moment too soon.

Tue., Oct. 6, 8 p.m., 2009

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