Tuesday, April 14, 2009

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

La Gringa (English)
by Carmen Rivera

“90 minutes of laughter...Carmen Rivera has captured the spirit of the Puerto Rican experience.”--D.J.R. Bruckner, The New York Times

“Carmen Rivera’s deft playwriting delivers Maria from her personality crisis with spiritual transcendence.”--Ed Morales, The Village Voice

“Carmen Rivera has succeeded in giving voice to the cultural search of Puerto Ricans raised in the Tower of Babel.”--Juan Mendez, El Diario - La Presa

La Gringa is about a young woman’s search for her identity. María Elena García goes to visit her family in Puerto Rico during the Christmas holidays and arrives with plans to connect with her homeland. Although this is her first trip to Puerto Rico, she has had an intense love for the island and even majored in Puerto Rican Studies in college. Once María is in Puerto Rico, she realizes that Puerto Rico does not welcome her with open arms. The majority of the Puerto Ricans on the island consider her an American – a gringa -- and María considers this a betrayal. If she’s a Puerto Rican in the United States and an American in Puerto Rico – María concludes that she is nobody everywhere. Her uncle, Manolo, spiritually teaches her that identity isn’t based on superficial and external definitions, but rather is an essence that she has had all along in her heart.

Character Descriptions:
María Elena García – 22 year-old Puerto Rican-American woman, born and raised in New York City. She’s considered a "Nuyorican.” María is young and naïve.

Manoloanolo Cofresresí – Early 60s. Her uncle. Manolo had dreams of pursuing acting when he was young. Although he is very ill and near death, he possesses a lively spirit and a great sense of humor.

Iris Burgos – María’s cousin. 24 years old. She is very extroverted and a bit jealous of her cousin María.

Norma Burgos – María’s aunt; Iris’ mother and Manolo’s sister. Late 50s. She never pursued her dream of being a singer and lives with much bitterness and resentment in her spirit.

Victor Burgos – Norma’s husband. Early 60s. He possesses a great deal of positive energy and has a huge capacity for love.

Ramon “Monchi” Reyes – A neighbor. 24 years old. He has an entrepreneurial spirit – he started his own farm and falls in love with María.

Comedy. 3m, 3f. Areas. Acting Edition, $10.95

Also available in Spanish.
La Gringa( Spanish)


The Cat's Meow
by Steven Peros

“Hearst Yacht Mystery is The Cat’s Meow…A stylish and sardonically funny expose of corrupt Tinseltown values.”--Los Angeles Times

“Recommended – Hands Down! Will have you on the edge of your seat.”--CBS Radio

“Steven Peros’ intriguing fictionalized speculation imagines the worst as everyone cavorts through an oceanic orgy of intrigue, seduction, infidelity, blackmail, booze, drugs, and murder.”--Daily Variety

Based on the true story of a mysterious Hollywood death, The Cat's Meow offers a fascinating cross section of Jazz Era characters who intersect for one notorious weekend on board William Randolph Hearst’s yacht in 1924. The play was adapted for film in 2002, with a screenplay by the author, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, and starring Kirsten Dunst, Eddie Izzard, and Edward Herrmann.

Weekend guests include: Charlie Chaplin, who has been carrying on with movie star Marion Davies, a secret known to Davies’ paramour, the married – and much older -- Hearst; and movie mogul Thomas Ince, who is hoping to revive his flagging fortunes by forming a partnership with Hearst. Playing with fire, Ince tries to convince Hearst that he can handle both Marion’s movie career… and her private life as well.

During its 1997 Los Angeles premiere, audiences and critics were both entertained and moved by this darkly comic morality play, laced with clandestine romance, Hollywood excess, and steadily heating tensions, which erupt in a shocking act of violence.

Character descriptions:
ELINOR GLYN - 60, British romance novelist, screenwriter, and social dictator.

THOMAS INCE - 40s, a silent film pioneer and studio mogul.

MARGARET LIVINGSTON - 20s, an actress and mistress to Ince.

GEORGE THOMAS - Ince’s business manager.

MARION DAVIES - 27 (but passing for 23), a movie star and Hearst’s public mistress.

CHARLIE CHAPLIN - 35, British, an internationally known movie star.

LOUELLA PARSONS - 40s, a Hearst movie reviewer from the East Coast.

WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST - 62, Newspaper and silver mining magnate. A large, wealthy, powerful, married man.

JOSEPH WILLICOMBE - Hearst’s loyal and discreet personal secretary.

DR. DANIEL GOODMAN - 40s, former physician, now a Hearst movie studio executive.

MRS. GOODMAN - 30s, Dr. Goodman’s conservative wife.

CELIA MOORE - 20s, a flapper/actress.

DIDI DAWSON - 20s, also a flapper actress.

MRS. INCE (VOICE ON PHONE) - 40s, Ince’s recently awoken wife, who remained at home.
(NOTE: For “Mrs. Ince”, some productions have had an actress appear on stage, with a phone in her hand. If this method is utilized, doubling is possible with “Mrs. Goodman”)

Dramatic Comedy. 6 m, 8 f, Doubling is possible. Acting Edition, $10.95.


A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody
by Ron Bernas

“A delightful surprise . . . an evening of fun just on the proper side of slapstick.”-- Lansing State Journal

“Comedy packs laughs . . . a delightful play . . . a medley of laughs . . . the play has charm, and is really funny.”--News-Herald, Southgate, MI

It’s New Year’s Eve at the Perry mansion, and Julia and Matthew Perry seem to have it all. But Matthew wants something more -- to be rid of his wife Julia so he can have some real fun! He resolves to murder Julia by the new year’s end, and tells her so. She vows to stay alive, and tells him so. And so the game begins -- a hilarious year-long match of wits and the witless. While Julia cleverly dodges Matthew’s devious murder attempts, the Perry friends and staff are dying off mysteriously. It seems Matthew is successful in murdering everyone but Julia.

As the bodies are falling, dim-witted daughter Bunny contemplates calling off her wedding to unwitting Donald since all the intended gift-bearing guests are dying. Enter Detective Plotnik -- a Sam Spade reincarnation who suspects everyone, but hasn’t a clue. That is, not until Donald stumbles upon Julia and gentlemanly butler Buttram in what Donald mistakenly perceives as a compromising situation. Donald jumps to the conclusion that Julia is the murderer -- trying to murder Matthew!

A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody is an homage to the screwball comedies of the 30’s and 40’s.

Character Descriptions
MATTHEW PERRY - Mid-50’s, a man who from birth has had more dollars than sense. He is facing a minor mid-life crisis.

BUTTRAM - 40’s-50’s, the family butler for many years, though convinced he is above being a butler -- at least for this family. He is given to crying jags, and harbors a terrible secret.

JULIA PERRY - Mid-50’s, Matthew’s wife. A classy, intelligent woman who loves her husband despite his many faults -- and is always a step ahead of him.

BUNNY PERRY - Mid 20’s, Matthew and Julia’s sweet, but dim-witted and deeply shallow daughter.

DONALD - Mid-20’s, Bunny’s fiancé. He is very earnest, and very much in love with Bunny, despite her lack of savvy.

PLOTNIK - 30’s-50’s, a witless detective. He was born 40 years too late, and read too many Dashiell Hammett novels. (Yes, he can read, sort of.) He fancies himself a cynical gumshoe, but lacks the savvy to locate, let alone solve, a crime.

Comedy/Murder Mystery. 4m, 2f. Unit Set. Acting Edition. $10.95


Bulrusher
by Eisa Davis

“[Davis] tickles the ears of her listeners…moving scenes on the banks of the pebble-strewn river…feel utterly true.”--The New York Times

“Davis explores her themes in unexpected and evocative ways ….The still waters of Bulrusher turn out to run pretty deep.”--The San Francisco Chronicle

“Mixing together issues of family, heritage, race and love, Eisa Davis' Bulrusher delivers a powerful impact with a poetic, deeply realized script and story. In the hands of director Marion McClinton…the work becomes transcendent.”--TalkingBroadway.org

“Davis has powers as a writer to find beauty in almost everything, and her play pulses with compassion and life. Bulrusher has the kind of satisfying, uplifting ending you can only find in live theater — vibrant, poetic, immediate and thrilling.”--Bay Area News Group

In 1955, in the redwood country north of San Francisco, a multiracial girl grows up in a predominantly white town whose residents pepper their speech with the historical dialect of Boontling. Found floating in a basket on the river as an infant, Bulrusher is an orphan with a gift for clairvoyance that makes her feel like a stranger even amongst the strange: the taciturn schoolteacher who adopted her, the madam who runs her brothel with a fierce discipline, the logger with a zest for horses and women, and the guitar-slinging boy who is after Bulrusher’s heart. Just when she thought her world might close in on her, she discovers an entirely new sense of self when a black girl from Alabama comes to town. Passionate, lyrical, and chock full of down-home humor, this play is an unforgettable experience by a new, thrilling voice.

Finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Drama

Drama. 3m, 3f . Acting Edition, $10.95.

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