Thursday, April 30, 2009

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

Closure
by Ron Blicq

“How closure is finally achieved makes this a gripping drama of four generations – and how the youngest can bring out the best in the oldest.”--The Visitor, Guernsey, UK

Donald Barlow, who lives in Nottingham, England, decides to search for his father who, he has discovered, was a visiting Canadian serviceman during World War II. Following his mother’s death, Donald engages a search agency to find his father (Gordon Devereaux) and establish contact. But when the agency does find Devereaux, the elderly man vehemently denies his involvement with Donald’s mother and categorically refuses to meet the man who claims to be his son.

Donald’s journalist daughter Claire refuses to give up and, using her married name, flies to Canada to meet and interview Devereaux. She takes her nine-year-old son with her (who actually is Devereaux’s great-grandson) and a unique and unexpected friendship develops between the crusty old man and the boy. Although Claire had not intended to reveal the connection between them, she now privately telephones her father and suggests he fly to Canada. Yet her secret plan is shattered when the boy tells Devereaux things about his family, from which the old man deduces the connection and recognizes he has been duped. This sets in motion a vicious and seemingly irreversible conflict between Claire and Devereaux.

The two men do eventually face each other, but both are angry and unforgiving.

Winner of the 2008 Samuel French Canadian Playwrights Competition

Character Descriptions:
DONALD BARLOW- Donald is 54 and is manager of a major bank in Nottingham, England. He is very competent, very knowledgeable, and very good at his work. He is happily married to Daphne, and they have two children: Claire and Kevin; we meet only Claire. They also have one grandchild: Gordie, who is Claire’s son, and a major character in the play. Although a competent decision-maker at work, he prefers to defer to Daphne when decisions are needed at home. He is an easygoing man who seems to have everything going for him, but nevertheless feels there is a ‘hole’ in his life; that something is missing. He has never known his father, other than being told his father’s first name. His mother (Wendy Barlow) died 12 months before the play opens. Donald was born as the result of a love affair she had with a Canadian flyer, but who disappeared from her life immediately after the war and without knowing she was pregnant. She never married, and worked two jobs to ensure her son received a good education. She was 18 in 1945. Donald was born in February 1946.

DAPHNE BARLOW - Daphne is 51 and is rather conscious of her and Donald’s social position (he isn’t concerned, but phlegmatically let’s her be that way). She loves her husband in a somewhat abstracted but protective way. Her children grew to resent her over-protectiveness, so moved out earlier than they might have done. She trained to be an accountant (she and Donald met at the bank), but on marriage chose to remain at home and bring up her children. Since they left, she has joined a church community group, which she now runs because she is a good organizer and other members let her do it. Her tendency to be outspoken, and to correct speakers if they make a language error, sometimes disturbs people.

CLAIRE SUMMERS - Claire is 28. She has graduated with a degree in journalism and is now a research writer for The Source, a middle-road magazine that prints high-quality human-interest stories. She is very good at her work and is well respected in the journalism field. She is strong-willed, sometimes rash. She loves her father, but only ‘likes’ her mother (she resents how her mother controls her father and has controlled her and her brother). When engaged on a project, she is strongly dedicated, self-driven and objective-seeking (a trait her son has inherited from her). This sometimes causes her to be rather brusque when dealing with people – a trait she recognizes and so takes care to “work” her interviews and the people she is interviewing. She adores her son and is not in any way using him to make a connection with Gordon Devereaux. She talks to him as if he’s an adult (she has never used baby language with him) and encourages him in his endeavours, even pushing him beyond his age. She is married to Malcom, a laid-back individual who is seldom home (during the time period of the play he is in Africa). She recognizes now that the marriage was a mistake and will sue for divorce when he is next in the UK.

GORDIE SUMMERS - Gordie is an active, well-spoken nine-year-old; articulate, very friendly, likeable, and approachable. Some people might think he is precocious, but his forwardness is a natural interest rather than being pushy. He speaks and thinks beyond his years. He knows nothing about his great-grandfather and the connection his grandfather is trying to make. Gordie admires his grandfather (Donald), likes to talk sports with him—they occasionally go to a soccer match together—but doesn’t do other things with him. His grandmother (Daphne) tends to relate more to him and caters to his exploratory mind. When something interests him, he is unshakably goal-oriented.

GORDON DEVEREAUX - Gordon is the most complex character in the play. He is now 75, having joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at age 18 (1942). He trained as a pilot and flew deHavilland Mosquito aircraft, first as a low-level intruder and later as a Bomber Command Pathfinder, dropping flares over target areas to guide the bombers flying far above. In late 1944 he led a special raid on a castle near Bruges, to release special prisoners. During the war he saw the devastation, pain and death caused by German bombing in Britain, and then experienced real concern over the damage and death he was causing to the people in German towns. After the war he “closed the book” on his wartime flying and never discussed it with anyone, not even his wife and their two daughters. After the war he attended the University of British Columbia and obtained a degree in Forestry. He then entered the family lumber and forestry farming business, and eventually became Owner and Director. He ran the business well, and has a natural ability to manage a company and see the direction in which it should be going. He is also accustomed to having his own way and tends to be irascible when challenged or his efforts are thwarted. He is highly respected in the Vancouver social community, and is Commodore of the distinguished Horseshoe Bay Yacht Club. He and his wife Helen have a comfortable home in North Vancouver. They have two daughters who now live in the US, and two granddaughters, also in the US.

HELEN DEVEREAUX - Now 71, Helen once was a beautiful woman and still carries her age well. She came from a well-to-do family and was the eldest daughter. She has inherited her family’s feeling for stability and prominence in the community. She and Gordon have had a successful marriage and enjoy a now-distant but good relationship with their two daughters. Helen has a hobby—she runs a successful fashion boutique in West Vancouver, but is seldom seen in the shop, preferring to do the buying and be a “silent partner.” She also is active with Oxfam. She is a good decision-maker, with good reason: she thinks through a problem thoroughly and makes a decision before taking action or speaking her thoughts.

PAUL HOOGSTRA - Although 47-year-old Paul Hoogstra is essentially a businessperson, he does not have the strong, objective drive of the true entrepreneur. He likes people, likes helping them, and likes what he has to do. He does not, however, enjoy making the contacts with the fathers in Canada, whom he finds to be brutally against what he is trying to achieve.

Drama. 4m, 3f. Unit Set. Acting Edition. $10.95.


Up
by Bridget Carpenter

“A brilliant play…original, poignant, moving, sad and funny. I have rarely sat in a theater audience that laughed so hard at one moment and, at the next, sat so still you'd swear you could hear the actors' hearts beating together on stage.”--Eugene Register-Guard

“The incredible and beautiful conclusion leaves the audience thinking, philosophizing and talking in the car all the way home…a perfect mix of comedy and drama.”--Grants Pass Daily Courier

“Not only has the playwright nailed the ultra-cool cadence of the next generation, but she also has captured an essential truth about the lure of the impossible dream, its freedom and its danger.”--Mercury News

Up invites us into the life of Walter Griffin, a failed inventor obsessed with Philippe Petit’s famed 1974 wire-walk between the twin World Trade Center towers. Walter’s greatest moment of glory – a flight on a lawn chair festooned with helium balloons – is now long behind him, though Walter dreams of inventing something wonderful once more. His wife, Helen, has become disillusioned and frustrated at being the family’s only breadwinner. Their teenage son, Mikey, harbors dreams of his own: after befriending Maria, a pregnant girl in his class, Mikey becomes involved in her family’s phone sales business, with surprising results. When Walter finally takes a job, Mike keeps his a secret, and Helen allows herself to dream of a more secure life. But when Helen discovers the truth about Walter’s employment, it becomes clear to this family that life itself is lived on a wire not unlike Petit's, this one strung between happiness and sadness.

Up is part of the upcoming 2008-2009 Steppenwolf Theatre Company season directed by Anna D. Shapiro, Tony-award winning director of Steppenwolf’s critically acclaimed production of August: Osage County, currently playing on Broadway.

Character descriptions:
Walter Griffin, 44
Helen Griffin, 38
Mikey Griffin, 15
Maria, 16
Aunt Chris, 35-55
Philippe Petit, 35-50
Student, 16
Firefighter, 20-30
Helen’s Mother, 50
Student, UPS Man, and Firefighter are played by the actor who plays Philippe Petit.
Helen’s Mother is played by the actor who plays Aunt Chris.

Dramatic Comedy. 3m, 3f. Unit Set. Acting Edition. $10.95.


Flamingo Court
Luigi Creatore

“Laughs galore! Without question, the funniest play in New York today! A ‘must-see’ theatrical event for audiences of all ages. Powerhouse performances from Anita Gillette and Jamie Farr.”--UPI

This three part “slice of life” takes place in three different condos and has audiences laughing at the truth they see in what might be their own neighbors - only zanier. Flamingo Court has ten characters. In the New York production, five actors played all the roles. Producers may want to follow the above pattern, or cast up to ten actors. In any case, audiences respond to this trilogy with uproarious laughter and leave feeling they have experienced great entertainment.

ANGELINA, in 104, is a Neil-Simonesque three character piece that starts with smiles and grows into a hilarious, audience-howling ending.

CLARA, in 204, is the shortest (ten to twelve minutes) piece. It deals with two characters in a poignant look at the problems of aging and separation. Powerful theater!

HARRY, in 304, a five character play - and the wackiest - deals with an eighty-nine year-old gentleman who is battling his greedy daughter at the same time that he gets involved with an aging hooker. When the daughter and the hooker meet “the audience laughs up a Florida-worthy hurricane!” (John Simon, Bloomberg News)

Comedy. 3m, 2f, with doubling (Character ages range from 60s to 89. 5 to 10 actors may be used depending on doubling or tripling roles.) Acting Edition. $10.95.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Harriet Walter, Currently Staring on Broadway in MARY STUART, to appear at the Drama Book Shop

As part of The Drama Book Shop's free Playwrights & Performers series, Harriet Walter, co-star of the new Broadway production of MARY STUART, will read from, and talk about, her new book OTHER PEOPLE'S SHOES, and will discuss the new translation of Schiller's Mary Stuart. The talk will be followed by a book signing.

This exceptional presentation will take place at the Drama Book Shop's Arthur Seelen Theatre, 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY, 10018, on Monday, May 4, 2009, at 6:00 p.m. The event is free and open. Space is limited and seating for the talk is first-come, first seated. The book signing is open to all. In addition to OTHER PEOPLE'S SHOES, copies of the new Broadway version of MARY STUART will also be on sale. If you are unable to attend the event and would like a signed copy, please contact the bookshop at 212 944-0595.

"...one of our greatest classical actresses" --Telegraph, UK

"...royalty of the British Theater....equally and regally at home in Shakespeare, Ibsen and Yasmina Reza....exceptionally well equipped not only to command an audience's attention, but also to make the case that, historically, she who would be queen has always of necessity been a great actress." --Ben Brantly, The New York Times

HARRIET WALTER (Elizabeth I). New York credits: All's Well That Ends Well (RSC, Broadway 1983), Three Birds Alighting on a Field (MTC, 1994). UK theatre roles include Cleopatra, Lady Macbeth, Hedda Gabler, the Duchess of Malfi; leading roles in Dinner, Yasmina Reza's Life (x) 3, Stoppard's Arcadia, Kaufman/Ferber's The Royal Family. Films include The Young Victoria (upcoming), Atonement, Babel, Sense and Sensibility, Milou en Mai and Bright Young Things. TV: best known for "Lord Peter Wimsey," "Law & Order: UK" (2009). Books: Other People's Shoes (available at the Drama Book Shop). Awards: Olivier Award (three roles, RSC), Evening Standard Award(Mary Stuart/Donmar).

The DRAMA BOOK SHOP, Inc.
250 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018

www.dramabookshop.com

Telephone: (212) 944-0595
Toll Free: (800) 322-0595
Email: info@dramabookshop.com

Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursdays, until 8:00 p.m.

The Drama Book Shop's Playwrights & Performers is sponsored by TheaterMania.com: For Theater Everywhere.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Bilingual Acting Workshop is Moving into Residency at the Living Theatre!

We at the bookshop thought you, our readers, might be interested in a new opportunity for bilingual actors: Amy Werba's Bilingual Acting Workshop (BAW), founded in 1995 in Paris under the belief that "every person – no matter what their background – speaks the same language, the language of the heart," is now offering classes in New York City. Enrollment is now open for the Spring program. The Theater and Film classes are taught in English but participants are encouraged to also perform in their native languages.

BAW is not only an acting school, but also a production company and a networking environment that fosters collaborations among its participants and the artistic community. It is launching an initiative called "New Voices, New Projects" in a multicultural and multilingual environment, simultaneously in Paris and in New York, with the purpose of providing a platform for artists to exhibit, network, and create new projects.

As of next week, BAW begins there official residency at Judith Malina's renowned Living Theatre (www.livingtheatre.org). Founded in 1947 as an imaginative alternative to the commercial theater by Judith Malina, the German-born student of Erwin Piscator, and Julian Beck, The Living Theatre has staged nearly a hundred productions performed in eight languages in 28 countries on five continents - a unique body of work that has influenced theater the world over.

You can find more information on the Bilingual Acting Workshop's classes and workshops, and enroll by visiting their newly redesigned web site at www.bilingualacting.com. To join their mailing list and get notified about their future public events and workshops click here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mr. Broadway 2009 Beauty Pageant

Drama Book Shop friend, Michael Portantiere, new article on afterelton.com: Mr. Broadway 2009 Beauty Pageant

Here's Anthony Hollock, this year's winner of the "Mr. Broadway" title, flanked by Marty Thomas ("Mr. Broadway 2007") and Frankie James Grande ("Mr. Broadway 2008")

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lynn Nottage Winner of 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama has been Awarded to Ruined, by Lynn Nottage, a searing drama set in chaotic Congo that compels audiences to face the horror of wartime rape and brutality while still finding affirmation of life and hope amid hopelessness.

Ruined is due to be published by TCG in November of 2009. Titles by Lynn Nottage available now include

Crumbs from the Table of Joy and Other Plays
TCG, 2003. Paper: $17.95

Intimate Apparel/Fabulation
TCG, 2009. Paper: $14.95

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Film from the Drama Book Shop/Simon Studio Film and Theatre Series Selected for Newport Beach Film Festival

"JIMMY'S CAFE" - a new short film produced at Alex's Restaurant in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. by THE SIMON STUDIO - has been selected for this year's prestigious Newport Beach Film Festival in Newport Beach, Ca. The festival runs from April 23 - 30, 2009 with "JIMMY'S CAFE" scheduled for a special screening Monday, April 27 at 4:15 pm. The film was directed by Daniel Simon and written by Jude Albert. It was produced by Roger and Daniel Hendricks Simon for THE SIMON STUDIO - currently in its 30th. award winning year as a production and training center in NYC and Poughkeepsie. JIMMY'S CAFE" is the poignant story of middle aged small towners and their bittersweet struggle for romance. The cast features Roger Hendricks Simon, Lora Lee Ecobelli, Joseph Capone and Kathleen Crampton. Original musical score by Don Brewer and Stefani Rose. Others in the cast include Marie Albert, Frank Pallaia, Gloria and Ron Robbins, Linda Roper and Doug Nobiletti. The film was recently selected for screenings at the DRAMA BOOK SHOP'S Arthur Seelen Theatre in N.Y.C. and for Poughkeepsie's Alexander Hamilton Exhibit. At the Newport Beach Film Festival it will be featured as part of the 6th. annual YALE IN CINEMA program, as both Roger H. Simon and Mr. Capone are Yale School of Drama graduates. For further information: www.newportbeachfilmfest.com and/or call THE SIMON STUDIO at 917-776-9209 or 845-485-9829. www.simonstudio.com.

video

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.

Our NEW (old) HOURS ARE:

Monday through Saturday:
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Late Night Thursdays:
Open until 8:00 p.m.
(Please join us for wine and cheese between 6 and 8)

Friday, April 17, 2009

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

Stain
by Tony Glazer

"Hilariously revolting…snappily written…Glazer’s play’s will continue to be worth watching."--Variety

Stain follows 15-year-old Thomas through his quickly-crumbling life and the secrets his family tries to keep at bay. In this darkly comic piece about the complexities of family, Thomas is confronted with a choice that will either save or mark him forever.

Character Descriptions:
THOMAS - 15 years old.
ARTHUR - 40’s, Father of Thomas.
JULIA - 30’s, Mother of Thomas.
THERESA - 50’s Mother of Julia.
GEORGE - 15 years old, friend of Thomas.
CARLA - 32 years old, lawyer of Puerto Rican descent.

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


Hats! The Musical
by Marcia Milgrom Dodge & Anthony Dodge

Additional Material by Rob Bartlett, Lynne Taylor-Corbett & Sharon Vaughn

Songs by Doug Besterman, Susan Birkenhead, Michele Brourman, Pat Bunch, Gretchen Cryer, Anthony Dodge, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Beth Falcone, David Friedman, Kathie Lee Gifford, David Goldsmith, Carol Hall, Henry Krieger, Stephen Lawrence, Melissa Manchester,Amanda McBroom, Pam Tillis & Sharon Vaughn

“A classy music-and-comedy celebration! It will make a lot of people feel empowered. It does so with integrity, craft, and heart!”--Chicago Tribune

Exploding with fun, Hats! is a new musical about a 49.999 year-old woman who reluctantly faces the inevitable BIG 5-0…until she meets several remarkable women who show her about fun, friendship and forgetting about things that simply don’t matter anymore. HATS! features original music by a team of Grammy®, Golden Globe® and Tony® winning songwriters. It is a joyous, provocative, and hilarious evening for everyone who is 50, knows anyone who is 50 or plans to be 50.

Hats! is inspired by the experiences, philosophies, and mission of the Red Hat Society.

Character Descriptions:
LADY
- Mid-to-late 70s.

MARYANNE’s mother. Widow & loving grandmother.

BARONESS - Age 52. Divorcee. Corporate success. Affluent. From Texas.

CONTESSA - Late 50s. Hispanic. Packed with attitude with a tendency to exaggerate. Married.

DAME - Mid-50s. An empty-nester. Wife & mother of 3.

DUCHESS - 65. African-American. Big-boned with sass and ego. Great marriage.

PRINCESS: Late 50s-to-early 60s. Breast cancer survivor. Divorcee. Absentminded and forever optimistic.

MARYANNE: 49.999. Teacher. Married. Struggling with her impending 50th birthday.

Comedy. 7f. Acting Edition, $10.95


Crooked
by Catherine Trieschmann

“The work of a big accomplished writer’s voice…a gem of a discovery.”--The New York Times

“Gorgeous almost beyond belief.”--The London Times

“This is a wonderfully neat play, at once simple and complex, grappling with big issues - matters of faith, fantasy and the flesh - while keeping its sneakers firmly planted on the suburban topsoil of adolescent angst and domestic frictions.”--The Daily Telegraph

Fourteen year old Laney arrives in Oxford, Mississippi with a twisted back, a mother in crisis and a burning desire to be writer. When she befriends Maribel Purdy, a fervent believer in the power of Jesus Christ to save her from the humiliations of high school, Laney embarks on a hilarious spiritual and sexual journey that challenges her mother’s secular worldview and threatens to tear their fragile relationship apart.

CHARACTERS
Laney Waters - 14, has dystonia, which causes one of her shoulders to draw up, as though she has a slightly hunched back.

Elise Waters - 40s, Laney’s mother

Maribel Purdy - 16, Laney’s friend, chubby and radiant

Dramatic Comedy. 3f. Acting Edition, $10.95


Beachwood Drive
by Steven Leigh Morris

“...intelligent...[a] theatrical presentation of human connection in the digital age...mines the strange dynamics of unexpected pairings...Lena Starostina is just the right mix of beautiful and faded - her stillness sets her apart: at times it reads like fierce self possession, at others like a consuming loneliness...compelling and mysterious...”--The New York Times

“...there’s a sobering authenticity here, much of it provided by the first-class cast directed by Alan Mandell. [Lena] Starostina’s Nadya is the center of this reality, with a conviction that never falters. [Peter] Brouwer’s detective provides theatrical flavoring to the harshness, while [Brenda] Thomas’ Hansonia is even able to inject a little charm into these grim events”--Back Stage

“Equally tender and vulgar scenes with a love-struck john, play-sessions between Nadya’s daughter and a well-meaning neighbor, and a confrontation with an LAPD detective, expose the darkness of everyday exploitation. Based on a true police case, the audience is forced to consider desperation and life in modern-age slavery.”--Flavorpill.com

Based on police case-files, Beachwood Drive is a smart, character-driven drama that tells the story of Nadya, a Ukrainian prostitute and single mother smuggled into Los Angeles. Nadya attempts to free herself from the snares of both the Russian Mafia and the Los Angeles Police Department after she’s arrested in a sting operation. The mystery of Nadya’s disappearance unfolds Rashomon-style, as the story is retold from four different perspectives: first, that of Hansonia, Nadya’s African-American novelist neighbor who baby sits Nadya’s 10 year-old daughter; the story gets re-imagined through the eyes of Rocky, Nadya’s Native-American client, a meat-packer and family man from El Monte, grappling with an identity crisis; Crowell, a crusty vice detective with literary aspirations has his take; and finally, there’s the angle of Vera, the Russian woman running the prostitution ring who is both protector and monster. Before its New York premiere, Beachwood Drive was invited to perform in the Lublin International Theatre Festival, it was also developed in Los Angeles by Playwrights Arena and Theatre of NOTE, with the assistance of the LAPD and the U.S. Department of Justice. It’s an unflinching, erudite and dramatic look at slavery in its many forms. In New York, it triggered vigorous discussions from organizations opposing human trafficking and rights abuses.

Character Descriptions:
HANSONIA
- 40s, African-American female novelist and arts writer for a Los Angeles-based alternative newspaper.

NADYA - 30s, female immigrant from Odessa, Ukraine, now a prostitute in Los Angeles

ROCKY - Mid 30s male, Latino meat packer from El Monte, California; descended from Tongva branch of the Gabrielino Indians, the indigenous tribe that dominated the Los Angeles area prior to the incursions of the Spanish in the mid 1700s.

VERA - 40s, female immigrant from Moscow, runs an escort service in Los Angeles

WILLIAM CROMWELL - 70s, a fatigued Caucasian homicide investigator for the Los Angeles Police Department; has tried in vain numerous times to retire

KATERINA - Nadya’s 10 year-old daughter

Drama. 2m, 4f. Acting Edition, $10.95


Scream Queens - The Musical
Book, Music & Lyrics by Scott Martin

"A sassy musical revue; an affectionate funny tribute…with something for everyone."--Los Angeles Times

"Campy and full of shtick, affection and great fun!"--The Hollywood Reporter

"SCREAM QUEENS may leave you cheering. An infectiously high-spirited homage."--Los Angeles Daily News

"With an almost Rocky Horror Show-like presentation, complete with out-of-this world musical numbers and crazy costumes, Scream Queens keeps the audience laughing…cheering and clapping."--UCLA Daily Bruin

"They sing -- they dance -- they die!"

A hotel ballroom, 1998, and six voluptuous B-movie "Scream Queens" revive their fading acting careers by presenting a musical revue for their fans at a science fiction and horror film convention. From young newbie to seasoned grand dame, the Queens strut their stuff in song and dance to prove "I Got All of the Talent I Need." For 90 minutes of hilarious musical mayhem, they take the audience into the world of no-budget movies with awful scripts, fake monsters and gooey "Special FX." They even involve the audience in a screaming contest and zombie talent search.

As each Queen reveals her personal story, we share their hopes and dreams, from Tonya's love of her idol "Fay Wray" to Alexis' advice that "Everybody Starts at the Bottom" to DeeDee's secrets of Scream Queen longevity: "Don't Open That Door." British screen veteran Nadine savors her joy of being "Still In Demand" while Bianca celebrates the lifetime achievements of "Roger Corman" and Richelle laments her own elusive "Happy Endings." They also screen original clips from their direct-to-video "scary movie" spoofs such as "Revenge of the Psycho Bimbos" and "Malibu Vampire Vixens," all hoping to attract the attention of a popular young horror film director lurking in the audience.

The Scream Queens will have you convulsed with laughter and begging for the inevitable sequel.

Character Descriptions:
ALEXIS - The smart one; early 40s; alto; compassionate, sisterly, levelheaded. She has a college degree, invests carefully and acts as the politician, often refereeing amongst the other Queens. She also has the good business sense to produce her own videos.

BIANCA - The loveable one; late 30s; mezzo; very buxom, good-natured with practical mid-western earthiness. She’s happily married with children but never lets the spotlight intrude on her private life. Her occasional clumsiness is due to the size of her breasts and her refusal to wear her eyeglasses in public.

DEEDEE - The trashy one; mid-30s; mezzo; intense, edgy, tough on the outside but lonely and desperate within. She wears extreme make-up, hair and clothes to hide her natural beauty, and will do anything to, for and with anybody (including a popular porno video series) to get ahead and be noticed like her idol Traci Lords.

NADINE - The British one; mid-50s; alto; sensual yet aloof. She’s the senior “Scream Queen” who has seen and done it all, having played everything from a corpse to a vampire princess to a prehistoric tribal maiden to a Playboy centerfold – almost. She’s a semi-recovered alcoholic and sneaks a quick drink from a small flask whenever she thinks no one is looking.

RICHELLE - The cute one; mid-30s; alto; perky, a girl-next-door smile with a girl-on-the-corner body. She was the most popular “Scream Queen” of the late 20th century and is very anxious to revive her career. She has appeared at many dozens of these conventions and originated the idea for tonight’s show.

TONYA - The sincere one; late 20s; mezzo; sweet, charismatic, still somewhat naïve. A former Tri-State cheerleading champion, she is the most serious actress of the group and really believes that her B-movie career will lay a foundation for respectable stardom.

Musical Comedy. 6f (ages 28 - 50+). Acting Edition, $10.95


Keep Your Pantheon
by David Mamet

In Keep Your Pantheon, an impoverished acting company on the edge of eviction is offered a lucrative engagement. But through a series of riotous mishaps, the troupe finds its problems have actually multiplied, and that they are about to learn a new meaning for the term "dying on stage."

Comedy . 11m. Acting Edition, $10.95.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beowulf...but cool. An epic poem as reconceived by Nanana Bag & Bodice by Matt Love

Article by Drama Book Shop Manager, Matt Love's on newyork.decider.com: Beowulf...but cool. An epic poem as reconceived by Nanana Bag & Bodice.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

POW! (Play Of The Week)

Red Light Winter
by Adam Rapp

Matt is a down and out playwright who hasn't fully recovered from the loss of his girlfriend, which made him into an insomniac with both health and confidence problems. Davis, a fast rising book editor, is the guy who Matt's ex left him for. In comes Christina, a beautiful but mysterious "window shopper" from the Red Light District that Davis brings back to the hostel for Matt to....partake in while Davis goes out for some "space cakes."

Adam Rapp’s Red Light Winter is the story of two former college buddies who decide to fulfill the American fantasy of a vacation in Amsterdam, filled with all of the obvious vices one would be arrested for doing here in the U.S. Although comedic at times, Red Light Winter is not a comedy. It is an examination of the strong affect friends and strangers can have on one another.

The first act is the night the characters meet in the hostel back in Amsterdam. The second act takes place back in New York City a year later at Matt's loft where Christina randomly shows up. As the play grows, so do Matt and Christina. We begin to see damaged people looking to be loved rather than cardboard characters with simple wants. This is a credit to the diligence and care of Rapp, who skillfully weaves these characters’ needs and dependencies into the fabric of the play. A good selection for any actor’s library.

Characters: 2 M (late 20's to early 30's), 1 W (mid to late 20's)

Monologues/Scenes: Great scene work for all characters with challenging monologues for Matt. A great work that demands full selflessness of the actor. Not easy, but rewarding.

Recommended by: Matty A.

Our NEW (old) HOURS ARE:
Monday through Saturday:
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Late Night Thursdays:
Open until 8:00 p.m.
(Please join us for wine and cheese between 6 and 8)

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.

Monday, April 13, 2009

DBS Event: An Evening with playwright Stephen Guirgis, Maggie Flanigan and LAByrinth Theater

Time: Friday, April 17, 2009 6:00 p.m.
Location: The Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018
Title of Event: An Evening with playwright Stephen Guirgis, Maggie Flanigan and LAByrinth Theater

Actor/playwright Stephen Guirgis will be in the shop along with fellow LAByrinth company members and LAB acting coach Maggie Flanigan in support of the publication of Guirgis' latest play, The Little Flower of East Orange.

Mr. Guirgis and other LAB members will read from Little Flower before speaking to their collaboration with Ms. Flanigan and taking questions from the audience. Copies of Little Flower as well as Mr. Guirgis' other works will be available for purchase and to be signed afterward.

STEPHEN ADLY GUIRGIS (Playwright) has been a LAByrinth Company Member since 1994. His plays have been produced on five continents and throughout the United States. His most recent play, The Litttle Flower of East Orange, starring Ellen Burstyn and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, just completed an extended run at The Public Theater. Other plays include Our Lady of 121st Street (10 best plays of 2003; Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Best Play Nominations),Jesus Hopped the A Train(Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award, Laurence Olivier Nomination for London's Best New Play), In Arabia, We All Be Kings (2007 LA Drama Critics Best Play, Best Writing Award), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (10 best Time Magazine & Entertainment Weekly), produced by LAByrinth in collaboration with The Public Theater in 2005.

Maggie Flanigan has been teaching professional acting classes in New York City for almost 30 years and is the Artistic Director and Master Teacher of the Maggie Flanigan Studio. Maggie trained as an actor and teacher of the Meisner work with William Esper and taught at his studio for 20 years. She also served, with particular distinction, on the faculty of the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Professional Actor Training Program (Rutgers University) for 18 years. She established the Maggie Flanigan Studio to offer smaller classes and give individual attention to serious actors in a conservatory-based program. Maggie shares top honors for Best Acting Teacher in New York City 2006 and 2008 and Best Acting Coach 2008 (Backstage Readership Poll). Maggie is known and loved for her gift of clarity, her eye for truth and her ability to inspire actors and demand excellence from them. She is currently working on a manual based on her writings and teaching experience.

The Little Flower
of East Orange

$14.00
The Last Days of
Judas Iscariot

$13.00
Our Lady of 121st
Street (CD)

$25.95

Jesus Hopped The
A Train

$8.95

Our Lady of 121st Street: Jesus Hopped the a Train and in Arabia, We'd All Be Kings
$15.00
In Arabia, We'd All
Be Kings

$8.95

Thursday, April 09, 2009

DBS Events-Bardisms with Barry Edelstein

Time: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 6:00 p.m.
Location: The Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018
Title of Event: Bardisms with Barry Edelstein

With BARDISMS: Shakespeare for All Occasions, Barry Edelstein, a noted scholar and director of Shakespeare, gathers together Shakespearean gems for life's momentous events as well as the more personal, trying, or intimate moments. Organized by occasion and presented with lively and accessible background material, BARDISMS shows how to weave the Bard's musings into any simple and elegant speech.

In addition to waxing about the bard, Edelstein will talk about his work with the Public Theater and how a director is a combination of literary figure and practitioner.

Barry Edelstein is a theater director noted for his productions of the plays of William Shakespeare. In addition to staging many contemporary and classical plays, he has directed over half of the Bard's works at theaters around New York City and the U.S. including As You Like It, starring Gwyneth Paltrow; Julius Caesar starring Jeffrey Wright for New York's Shakespeare in the Park. He has taught Shakespeare at the Juilliard School, the Graduate Acting Program at NYU, the Public Theater's Shakespeare Lab, and in lectures and master classes around the U.S. and abroad. He lives in Williamsburg with his wife, Hilit.


Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions
by Edelstein, Barry
2009,Hardcover. $19.99

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.

Our NEW (old) HOURS ARE:

Monday through Saturday:
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Late Night Thursdays:
Open until 8:00 p.m.
(Please join us for wine and cheese between 6 and 8)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Blogging Broadway: Legends in Drag!

Drama Book Shop friend, Michael Portantiere, new article on afterelton.com: "Blogging Broadway: Legends in Drag!"
Epperson as Joan Crawford

Monday, April 06, 2009

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

The Drunken City
by Adam Bock

"A playful and hopeful comedy. Like the best episodes of 'Sex and the City,' a little heartache always goes well with hilarity. The cast is appealing, adorable, and top-shelf. There's only one response to something as pleasing as The Drunken City - another round!"--Daily News

"A lot of fun! Adam Bock's scalpel-sharp insight has made him a potent force on today's theater scene. Trip Cullman pitches the performances at just the right level of wooziness. Tart, smart and intoxicating."--The New York Sun

Off on the bar crawl to end all crawls, three twenty-something brides-to-be find their lives going topsy-turvy when one of them begins to question her future after a chance encounter with a recently jilted handsome stranger. The Drunken City is a wildly theatrical take on the mystique of marriage and the ever-shifting nature of love and identity in a city that never sleeps

Comedy. 3m., 3f. Acting Edition, $8.95


The Four of Us
by Itamar Moses

"An extremely clever and enjoyable study of friendship...funny, touching, and wickedly smart."--Time Out New York

"A clever comic drama with a nifty twist...a touching, appealing play."--New York Times

What if all your dreams came true...for your best friend? The Four of Us follows Ben, whose first novel vaults him into literary stardom, and his friend David, a struggling playwright, who is thrilled by Ben's success...and crushed by it. From the dreams of aspiring youth to the realities of adulthood, this poignant two-man comedy explores friendship and memory, the gap between our hopes and our lives, and the struggles between our egos and our capacity to love.

Outstanding New Play at 2008 San Diego Critics Circle Awards

Character descriptions:
DAVID, friends with Benjamin.
BENJAMIN, friends with David.
They appear between the ages of seventeen and twenty-seven, though not in that order.

Dramatic Comedy. 2m. Acting Edition, $10.95


The Piano Teacher
by Julia Cho

"Deftly wrought…a cozy, effective little chiller…you will probably feel speechless with sadness."--NY Times.

"Well-written…triumphs in dramatizing the unknown."--The New Yorker.

"Cunningly-crafted with aching weight and mystery…a piece that fully captures the imagination."--NY Sun.

"Cho is fast establishing herself as a chronicler of small tragedies…she is not a sleight-of-hand artist but a craftsman."--BackStage.

Mrs. K is an elderly widow who lives by herself in a small suburban town. She whiles away her time reminiscing about her late husband and the children she taught long ago as a piano instructor. One day, she finds herself compelled to call her old students, but is it out of loneliness or some other, darker need? As Mrs. K discovers, it may not be what we cannot know that troubles us the most; it may be what we cannot bear to know.

Full Length Drama. 1 man, 2 women: 3 total. Interior. Acting Edition, $8.95.


100 Saints You Should Know
by Kate Fodor

"One of the ten best plays of 2007."--Entertainment Weekly.

"Fodor's play glows with the sense that the keenest evidence of the search for God is in the homiest details."--NY Times.

"Riveting...Poignant."—Bloomberg. "Kate Fodor's achingly truthful drama discerned the faint outlines of hope in a universe of lost connections."--Time Out.

Theresa is estranged from her family and working as a cleaning woman when she finds herself surprised by the unexpected desire to learn how to pray. Matthew, the priest whose rectory she cleans, is stunned and heartbroken by the realization that he no longer knows how to talk to God. When he disappears one day, Theresa feels compelled to track him down, and her search changes both of their lives.

Full Length Drama. 2 men, 3 women: 5 total. Flexible Set. Acting Edition, $8.95

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.

Our NEW (old) HOURS ARE:

Monday through Saturday:
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Late Night Thursdays:
Open until 8:00 p.m.
(Please join us for wine and cheese between 6 and 8)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Drama Book Shop Event-ABCs of Soaps with Gwyn Gilliss

Time: Friday, April 10, 2009 5:00 p.m.
Location: The Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018
Title of Event: ABCs of Soaps with Gwyn Gilliss

Celebrate the publication of the 3rd edition of ABCs of Soaps with Gwyn Gilliss.

The book includes how to interview, audition, and book work as an actor, contract player, writer, and director- all with potentially high six-figure incomes on one or more of the many network daytime TV Dramas. Recognized in the TV industry as The Manual on the subject of Daytime TV. Many colleges and universities are now including...The ABCs of Soaps: All You Need for a Career in Daytime TV as required text for the BFA/MFA Theatre Degree curriculum.

Gwyn Gilliss, a classically trained theatre actress (Carnegie Mellon and Syracuse Universities) has appeared in over 18 contract and recurring roles on ABC's daytime series, including: All My Children, One Life to Live, Loving and Ryan's Hope, NBC's As the World Turns, and most recently as Edwina Forrester on CBS's Guiding Light. Ms. Gilliss' career spans over two decades during which time she has worked both on and off-Broadway (Circle in the Square, Cherry Lane Theatres), in American Repertory Theatres (from Shakespeare to Shaw, Moliere to Miller, Tennesee Williams to Noel Coward), TV pilots, Primetime TV series and films. As the Executive Director of the marketing and consulting firm, The Actor's Market, she is in demand by colleges and universities throughout the U.S. to lecture on subjects relating to the Performing Arts and Television Industries.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

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

The Trials And Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife
by Del Shores, Joe Patrick Ward(Composer)

“A feat of breathtaking audacity.”--Critics Choice, Los Angeles Times

“Shores manages to fully explore Willadean’s horrific plight while infusing the work with such hilarity the audience is often reduced to tears and laughter within the same breath.”--Daily Variety

Willi is the trailer trash housewife of the title, not necessarily of her own volition. Her abusive husband won’t let her get a job, one of her children is dead, and the other is verboten by her husband because he’s gay. Her best and only friend, a large black woman who lives next door, worries about her constantly, always concerned that Willi’s husband will end up killing her. A new woman comes to live in the trailer park and ends up having an affair with Willi’s husband. When she finds out, Willi decides to get a job at the local Wal-Mart (a first step on the way to liberating herself from him). Her husband will have none of it, and quoting the bible about how a wife is supposed to obey her husband, threatens all three women with a gun, and then beats Willi to within an inch of her life. She recovers enough to finally shoot him, releasing her from the torment that she’d been living in for years. A blues singer weaves songs into the action, commenting upon Willi’s predicament and urging her toward decisive action.

In 2003, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife was the winner of more than 14 Los Angeles Theatre Awards, including Best Production, Best Lead Performance – Beth Grant, and Best World Premiere from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle; Best Lead Actress – Beth Grant from the Ovation Awards; Best Production and Best Playwright from the NAACP Theatre Awards; Best Production, Best Playwright, Best Direction, Best Lead Performance – Beth Grant, and Best Supporting Performance – Dale Dickey, from the Back Stage West Garland Awards; and Best Playwright, Best Supporting Actor – David Steen, Best Ensemble – Beth Grant, Dale Dickey, Debby Holiday, Octavia Spencer, David Steen, from the L.A. Weekly Awards.

Character Descriptions:
BLUES SINGER – 30s, African-American. Sexy and beautiful with a powerful voice.
J.D. WINKLER – around 50. Once the handsome quarterback, now the failed, angry, abusive, adulterous, alcoholic husband.
WILLADEAN WINKLER – mid- to late 40s. The trapped, weathered and abused housewife who has a beautiful heart and soul.
RAYLEEN HOBBS – late 30s. The much-married waitress with the great body, the hard, lived-in face who desperately needs acceptance.
LA SONIA ROBINSON – late 30s, African-American. Willadean’s fleshy neighbor and best friend who speaks her mind and has little fear.

Dramatic Comedy. 1m, 3f. Acting Edition, $10.95.


Dead Man's Cell Phone
by Sarah Ruhl

"Satire is her oxygen. . . . In her new oddball comedy, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Sarah Ruhl is forever vital in her lyrical and biting takes on how we behave." --The Washington Post

"Ruhl's zany probe of the razor-thin line between life and death delivers a fresh and humorous look at the times we live in.”--Variety

"[Ruhl] tackles big ideas with a voice that entertains”--NPR

“…beguiling new comedy…Ms. Ruhl’s work blends the mundane and the metaphysical, the blunt and the obscure, the patently bizarre and the bizarrely moving.”--New York Times

An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man—with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative new comedy by MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Sarah Ruhl, author of The Clean House and Eurydice. A work about how we memorialize the dead—and how that remembering changes us—it is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.

Dramatic Comedy. 2m, 4f. Acting Edition.


Body Awareness
by Annie Baker

" An engaging new comedy by a young playwright with a probing, understated voice. [...] Its quiet rewards steal up on you."--The New York Times

“Sexuality’s endless capacity to make us miserable is the keynote of Annie Baker’s gentle satire, which takes just four actors and 90 minutes to spin an astonishingly complex web of emotions and ideas...Body Awareness is a smart, modest work about ordinary, flawed people, grasping for connection, but none of it feels small, thanks to Baker’s sharp ear for the deeply painful—and funny—longings squirming under her characters’ dialogue. What a beautiful start to a young playwright’s theatrical body of work.”--David Cote, Time Out New York

“An impressive and occasionally beautiful meditation on the mysteries of being moved.” --The New Yorker

It's "Body Awareness" week on a Vermont college campus and Phyllis, the organizer, and her partner, Joyce, are hosting one of the guest artists in their home, Frank, a painter famous for his female nude portraits. Both his presence in the home and his chosen subject instigate tension from the start. Phyllis is furious at his depictions, but Joyce is actually rather intrigued by the whole thing, even going so far as to contemplate posing for him. As Joyce and Phyllis bicker, Joyce's adult son, who may or may not have Asperger's Syndrome, struggles to express himself physically with heartbreaking results.

Character descriptions:
JOYCE - 55
JARED - 21, her son
PHYLLIS - 45, her girlfriend
FRANK BONITATIBUS – 59

Dramatic Comedy. 2m, 2f. Acting Edition, $10.95.


KickAss Plays For Women
by Jane Shepard

Award-winning new playwright Jane Shepard comes to print with four powerful short plays for women. Edgy, original, and with a darkly funny humanity, here are four pieces that give new muscle to actresses, providing roles of exceptional range. All successfully produced on the New York stage, each play features two-woman casts, with age-open roles, in work that explores our tender, brave, and sometimes brutal search for meaning. Includes both comedy and drama, with a variety of settings and running times. An excellent introduction to the playwright, KickAss Plays For Women is a vital text for actresses of any age, or anyone hungry for compelling new plays. Nine (2f) Two women held in a life-threatening situation and the mind games they play to keep one another alive. Held in a cell and chained apart, their only currency is words, and balance of power is everything when a single word becomes the hanging point between life and death.

Commencing (2f) The beautiful Kelli can’t wait for the blind date her friends have set her up on. Until it turns out to be one very disappointed lesbian named Arlin. Mutually appalled, yet appallingly intrigued, they proceed to pull the screws loose on both straight and gay women’s culture, to find the common ground beneath in the search for love & self.

Friend of the Deceased (2f) An embittered widow lies in wait at her husband’s grave for the appearance his mistress, and encounters a soulful teen. Unable to extract a confession from the girl, the widow offers to buy one, and finds that she has purchased a deeper truth.

The Last Nickel (2f and 2 puppeteers) Theatrical, funny & touching, It’s another long night for Jamie, with an obnoxious sister & a trio of sardonic puppets to keep her awake. Tinged with fun & sisterly nostalgia, the merriment comes inevitably to focus on the cause of Jamie’s self destruction, and the loss that has brought her to the edge.

Drama. 2f per play. 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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Monday through Saturday:
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Late Night Thursdays:
Open until 8:00 p.m.
(Please join us for wine and cheese between 6 and 8)