Monday, April 20, 2009

Hot off the Press! Available now
at the Drama Book Shop

Fall
by Bridget Carpenter

 “…[the play] serves up some gentle truths about life, love and what your family is really worth. Seasoned with the music of the ‘40s and spiced with a little romance, it’s a tasty morsel, if not a full meal.”--CultureVulture.net

Fall brings us to a three-week getaway "Swing Camp," where middle-aged married couples like Jill and Dog practice their steps, mingle with other dance enthusiasts, and rekindle the flame. Their teenage daughter Lydia, however, is decidedly not an enthusiast in any sense, preferring scuba classes and sarcasm to the magic of the Shim Sham, shags and Lindy Hops that have dancers – and their accompanying passions – swirling all around her. Lydia's self-imposed isolation gives way when Mr. Gonzales, her mother’s quiet colleague, begins to pay attention to her. She learns to dance; she allows herself to fall in love. When Lydia’s dance teacher Gopal reveals Lydia’s secret, her family is unexpectedly tested. Ultimately, Lydia and Jill come to realize that leading and following are skills crucial not only to swing dancers, but to mothers and daughters as well.

Comedy. 3m, 2f and 2 dancers. Acting Edition, $10.95.


Sunset Park
by Marley Sims and Elliot Shoenman

“Vet TV scripters Marley Sims and Elliot Shoenman have fashioned a deeply moving, often comical excursion into the life of an aging Brooklyn widow who must overcome the ghosts of her past before she can deal with the self-serving agendas of her two combative middle-aged children...The Sims/Shoenman thematic throughline provides a poignant, deeply personal glimpse into the dilemma the elderly and their adult children.”--Variety

Sunset Park is a contemporary comedy/drama that takes place in Brooklyn, New York. The main character is Evelyn Horowitz, a widow in her seventies who lives by herself and is a part-time teacher. Her apartment building is going co-op, but she can’t afford to buy in and cannot, by law, be asked to leave. When, her middle-aged children, Carol and Roger, hear about it, they realize that there’s money to be made in the long run: a long-term tenant has to be offered the apartment at a below market-value price and, eventually, the place can be “flipped” for a sizable profit. And that’s when the problems start – when money enters the picture, conflicts arise and old secrets come out.

Character Descriptions:
EVELYN – mid-70’s, widowed, acerbic, reasonably healthy

ROSE – mid-70’s, widowed, down-to-earth, in failing health

CAROL – 50-ish, a single mother, high strung and neurotic ROGER – late 40’s, married, children, ambitious yet practical

YOUNG EVELYN – mid-20’s, pregnant

BENNY – mid-20’s, blue collar, full of dreams

ABE – late 70’s, broken down, grumpy and demanding

 Dramatic Comedy 3m, 4f. Acting Edition, $10.95.


Abe
Book and Lyrics by Lee Goldsmith
Music by Roger Anderson

Abe is a new musical about the early life of Abraham Lincoln. The show explores his youth as a flatboat pilot on the Mississippi, his early love for Ann Rutledge, his troubled marriage to the difficult and mentally fragile Mary Todd, and his attempt to be a good father to his sons. The story follows Abe from his earliest attempts at self-improvement through the 1860 election which made him the 16th president of an already fracturing United States.

The score is fully orchestrated and uses bold, melodic and traditional musical theatre styles that embrace the story's period and Americana roots. It can be produced fully staged or as a concert performance. The musical features a large cast and requires strong singers: baritone, soprano, mezzo-soprano, 3 adult male singing roles, 3 male children singing roles, male/female chorus with many speaking roles

Musical. 16m, 9f. Acting Edition, $10.95.


Men of Tortuga
by Jason Wells

“Jason Wells isn’t giving everything away in his captivating new play Men of Tortuga. In addressing some serious contemporary issues, he creates a scenario where the audience has only a rough idea of what’s going on. And that’s just about the way it should be. In a crackling world premiere at the Asolo Repertory Theater, Wells tells a story of corporate greed, power, surveillance and the secrecy that increasingly pervades our daily lives. Wells and the Asolo cast grab the audience from the start…The play pulses with energy…”--Variety

“Calling all corporate conspiracy theorists: Jason Wells has written a play confirming everything you’ve ever wanted to believe about what goes on behind the frosted windows and code-locked doors of America’s executive suites…ripping, blacker-than-black satire…Wells’ work, though almost blank in details, carefully exposes the barbarism encoded in corporate bureaucracy. With a grand sense of humor about misinterpreted metaphors and think-tank buzz language – ‘he eats our bread’ refers to someone you can trust – Tortuga gives us absurd savages in suits, drinking good bourbon and plotting destruction… Eat their bread.”--Time Out Chicago

“Consider an interlude in Jason Wells’ Men of Tortuga, a tale of global politics, male power games and moral ambiguity that is in many ways the [Steppenwolf First Look] festival’s most dazzling and provocative play…When, [the actors] put the final beat on a particularly brilliant scene, there was no stopping the burst of applause. Not only did this crackling exchange work on a slew of levels at once – with matters of ethics, careermaking, legacymaking, ego-massaging, cutthroat cross-generation competition and hints of father-son tensions all being juggled, but the actors attacked the material as if they were playing virtuoso dueling violins. The rhythms, the emotional shadings, the teasing tones, the mix of respect and defensiveness were all so superbly calibrated that they generated a sensation of sheer giddiness….Wells’ play happens to be a shrewd piece of gamesmanship that blends a bit of Mamet and his corrosive comedy with a touch of Kafka and Joseph Conrad, plus a splash of high entertainment. It’s tailor-made for the age of terrorism, assassination, and corrupt global organizations…with writing and acting this smart and this sharp, it never fails to hit its target.…hard-driving, blackly comic, relentlessly macho… [A] 100-minute head game filled with vacuum-packed scenes…Wells has crafted a taut, cleverly orchestrated piece about power, personal psychosis, game-playing, morality and the terror of failure…a sharp parable for our time.”--Chicago Sun-Times

Four men conspire to defeat a despised opponent by a ruthless act of violence: they will fire a missile into a crowded conference room on the day of an important meeting. Maxwell, a hero of the old guard, volunteers to sacrifice himself for the plan. Then Maxwell meets Fletcher, an idealist with a "Compromise Proposal" designed to resolve all conflicts. Maxwell regards the Compromise as hopeless, but he develops a liking for Fletcher - a distressing fact when Maxwell learns that, if the conspiracy proceeds, young Fletcher will be among the dead.

As the scheme spins wildly into complication, the plotters descend into suspicion, bloodlust and raucous infighting, while Fletcher is drawn, inexorably, into the lion’s den.

Character Descriptions:
TOM AVERY, 50s or 60s. Subscribes to a benign, somewhat detached managerial style; but may have hidden reserves of ferocity.

TAGGART, 40s. Self-taught military scholar. His self-confidence and sense of authority are convincing for a while, but may not withstand scrutiny.

JEFF KLING, 45-55. Aggressive and excitable, sure, but it's worked for him so far.

KIT MAXWELL, 70s. A stern, old-fashioned aristocrat. A long, cynical life has made him sullen and insular.

ALLAN FLETCHER, 25-35. Smart, dedicated, and very polite. But then, he's selling something.

Drama. 5m. Acting Edition, $10.95.


China: The Whole Enchilada
by Mark Brown
Musical Arrangements by Paul Mirkovich

"China walks a fine line between sheer, ridiculous inanity and some serious truths about that big country over there, the one just past Japan. It's a tricky balancing act -- and a fascinating one."--Orlando Sentinel

"In this musical version of the history of China, Brown has collaborated with song writer and composer Paul Mirkovich to create two of the funniest hours I have spent in a theatre in a couple of years”.--EntertainingU.com.

A hilarious new musical, China - The Whole Enchilada is three men singing, dancing, and irreverently marching their way through four thousand years of Chinese history- in less than two hours with an intermission. The show dares to tackle racism, human rights, genocide, and the birth of the fortune cookie.

Selected participant of the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival.

Musical Comedy. 3m. Acting Edition, $10.95.


Back Back Back
by Itamar Moses

Before headlines blazed, before the Mitchell Report and ESPN lit up millions of television screens with the scandals, before congressional jaws dropped, comes the story of three guys making their way in the world of professional baseball – a world too competitive to rely solely on raw talent. This explosive play from the acclaimed writer of The Four of Us and Bach at Leipzig takes you behind the headlines into the locker room to witness an even more gripping confrontation you didn’t see on TV, as these teammates face each other and do battle – for their careers, their legacies, and the future of America’s favorite pastime.

Edgerton Foundation 2008 New American Plays Award Drama.

3m. Acting Edition, $10.95.

PLEASE NOTE: There are many (if not most) items in the store that you won't find on our website. If you don't find what you're looking for, please call the Drama Book Shop at 212-944-0595 (option 3) to order.

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