Friday, February 27, 2009

Talk and book signing for Historic Photos of Broadway with Leonard Jacobs

Time: Thursday, March 5, 2009 6:30 p.m.
Location: The Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018
Title of Event: Talk and book signing for "Historic Photos of Broadway" with Leonard Jacobs

Hosted by Andy Propst, founder of AmericanTheaterWeb and freelance arts journalist, this special event will feature theater practitioner, critic & journalist Leonard Jacobs, discussing his fascinating new book that captures Broadway over the years.

With 240 photographs culled exclusively by Jacobs (who also wrote the text), Historic Photos of Broadway offers incomparable images of the great plays & players of the 19th & 20th Centuries. These priceless images, many published for the first time in this volume, capture the Booths, the Barrymores, the Lunts, Ethel Merman, Marlon Brando, Carol Channing & scores of theatres such as the Lyceum, the Winter Garden & the Music Box.

Join us for this discussion and signing of a truly special book!

Audience Rewards members may make reservations for the via email, please include your name and member number. If you are not an Audience Rewards member you may sign up for a FREE membership by clicking here. Non-members who would like to sign up for the waiting list may email the bookshop. Reservations are not necessary for the book signing which will begin at approximately 7:00pm

NOTE: we CANNOT take telephone reservations for this event.

If you are unable to attend and would like to order a signed copy, you may do so by calling 800 322-0595 (option 3).

Reservations and orders must be received at least 24 hours in advance of the event.

Enter to WIN 2 TICKETS to a Broadway show when you sign up for your free membership in Audience Rewards. Audience Rewards is the Official Loyalty Program of Broadway, providing fans of the performing arts with unique benefits, the ability to earn points for their ticket purchases and access to exclusive events at The Drama Book Shop! Sign up and win today!

Historic Photos of Broadway: New York Theater 1850-1970(Historic Photos.)
by Jacobs, Leonard
2008, Hardcover.$31.95

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Staff Favorite: Holy Headshot!: A Celebration of America's Undiscovered Talent

Holy Headshot!: A Celebration of America's Undiscovered Talent 2008, Paper. $18.95.

"No. Yes! Nooooo. YEEES.

Turning the pages of Holy Head Shot creates all the excitement and fear of careening through the night sky on some ride with rusty bolts at the fair in the mall parking lot. The reason for this giddy emotional turbulence is that this collection of actual actor's headshots can be enjoyed on two completely different planes simultaneously. One, its subjects are guilelessly, bafflingly hilarious; two they are slowly, cumulatively illuminate a path of what an actor should (not) do when self-promoting.

From the misguided , ultra-beefy tough guys to the scarily ambiguous femme fatales, the collection of voluntary subjects in this book is a lovable menagerie. Career coaches could endlessly analyze cringe-inducing photo montages and flotsam-loaded resumes while doing their best to keep a straight face.

On the surface, one might see Holy Headshot as a laughable cautionary tale. But the actors headshots contained therein are being passed around and regularly looked at. When that casting director finally points at one of them and they shoot to the top of the fame ladder, the last laugh, or course, will be theirs." -- Matt Love

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How to Begin an Acting Career in NYC with Career Coach Annie Chadwick

Time: Sunday, March 1, 2009 2:00 p.m.
Location: The Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018
Title of Event: How to Begin an Acting Career in NYC with Career Coach Annie Chadwick

Have you just finished an acting training program and are ready to begin seeking work but don't know where to start? Are you a new actor to NYC, and want to know the best, most effective ways to market your talent in the Big Apple? Are you returning to acting or just starting to perform after working in the business world?

In this 2 hour workshop, Actress and Career Coach Annie Chadwick will give you clear and current tools to begin building an acting career in NYC.

The Workshop will cover:

Marketing Tools and Strategies Are your marketing tools a current representation of your talent? This is one of the most important parts of building a career and introducing your talent to the industry. Learn the most current trends in effective Pictures, Resumes, Cover Letters and Postcard content, Website, Reels, Email Submissions, Industry Mailings and Personal Appearance. Get specific letter writing skills and tips to make your cover letters, postcards, follow-ups and submissions more targeted. Are emails, faxing, website promotion the way of the future?

Self-Promotion Learn the most effective ways to introduce yourself to the industry agents, personal managers, casting directors, showcases, seminars.

Film/TV and Theatre opportunities are greater than ever in NYC. Learn how a talented actor can get auditions without representation and start developing a legit career. Get information on how to self-submit and get your own Film/TV auditions from Online Casting Opportunities and Trade publications. Learn what TV/Film projects are shooting in NYC and who is doing the casting. For Theatre projects, you will get specific tips on how to find out 6 months in advance what's being produced before casting notices go out, the best ways to get auditions, target and identify the roles you are most right for, and how to see the latest NYC Off Broadway theatre for free.

Classes, Coaches, and Resources Training for artists never ends. Get recommendation of on-going classes and coaches that will help you get noticed in the very competitive NYC market. We'll also go on a tour of the Drama Book Shop with a list of resources that are essential to keeping-up with the latest projects and acting techniques.

The cost of this workshop is $50, payable on the day of the workshop. To make a reservation, call the book shop at 212.944.0595.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sachs Morgan Studio presents 11th edition of THEATRE BY DESIGN

Over the years, the Drama Book Shop has developed many valued relationship with people, organizations and companies in the theatre and film industries. Ann Sachs and Roger Morgan, of Sachs Morgan Studio: Theatre Design Specialists, have been tireless supporters of the Drama Book Shop (even providing the beautiful, much enjoyed theatre-seating on the main-level of the bookshop.) The new edition of their quarterly newsletter, which includes useful information about the business of building theatres, is now online.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Staff Favorite: Fight Choreography: The Art of Non-Verbal Dialog

Fight Choreography: The Art of Non-Verbal Dialog
By Kreng, John
2007, Paper. $34.99

"Fight Choreography is a great book on stage combat for cinema. There are chapters on the history of different styles, how to construct a scene and even chapter on professional wrestling. This is a must have for fans of action movies or someone who wishes to make their own ass kicking movie."--Freddy

Friday, February 20, 2009

POW! (Play Of The Week)

Truth and Reconciliation
by Etan Frankel
Ben Montgomery, 28, is a passionate young doctor in a volatile Central American country, using his medical training to help the sick and the poor. Beatriz is the beautiful young woman with whom he falls in love.

Etan Frankel's suspenseful, deeply disturbing play unfolds largely in flashback as we follow Ben and Beatriz from their initial meeting in Ben's makeshift office (it's located in the back of a church) to the moment Ben--who, unbeknownst to him, has made a number of shadowy enemies--mysteriously disappears.

As Frankel takes us back in time, we see how Ben--youthful, naive, and altogether unsuspecting--falls into the trap that ultimately claims his life...even as, in a gripping parallel storyline, his grieving parents testify angrily before a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" that has been convened to "investigate" the crime.

Cast: 4 M, 2 W

Scenes/Monologues: The anguished testimony of Ben's mother and father make for a pair of extraordinarily powerful speeches, and the scenes between Ben and Beatriz--rife with the promise of things to come, particularly toward the end of the play--are well worth looking at, too.

Recommended by: Stu

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Business of Show with Actors Connection

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 5:00 p.m
The Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018

This course teaches actors the importance of directing their own career and not leaving it up to a “big break,” or being “discovered” after spending years doing things that don’t lead to success.

Highlights include:
  • Discussion with actors being entrepreneurs and realizing having an acting career is exactly like running a small business.
  • Five main business hats actors should consider in addition to being an Artist.
  • Identifying your unique product.
  • Mind-set of being a self-starter.
  • The Show Business hierarchy.
  • The Seven habits of highly effective working actors.
  • Discovering the "why" behind your passion and how it can be used for the best outcome.
  • How to create a career and not just get the next job: Make a living acting
Cost: $25 at the door ($20 up to 48 hours in advance). Refunds may be given up to 48 hours in advance of the event.

Please call (212) 944-0595 (option 3) to make a reservation.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Actor Workshop with Jim Bonney

Friday, February 20, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.
Jim Bonney's Emotional Preparation and Imagination Workshop

Past participants are excited about how easy and fun it was to access their feelings and expand their emotional range in one session.

"A practical, effective means of getting in touch with and using both my feelings and imagination."

"Jim Bonney creates a safe and fun environment."

Jim Bonney is the creator of the best selling CD, Emotional Preparations for the Actor: How to Get Into the Emotional Life of a Scene (available at The Drama Book Shop: $18.95)

Come, meet and work with Jim Bonney in this two-hour workshop.

Limited to twenty actors. $15 per person

Call 212-944-0595 (option 3) for reservations

Staff Favorite: The Actor and the Target

The Actor and The Target

by Declan Donnellan
TCG, 2006.

"One of the BEST acting books I've ever read (and I've read almost 6 of them). It is a easy and simple read. Donnellan gets you to realize that the only thingin your way is you. You are the actor and you have a target to direct your energy. That's it. It is a valuable read because it gets you realize how much as an actor you get in your own way from a mental approach." — Matt A.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Staff Favorite: A Practical Handbook for the Actor

A Practical Handbook for the Actor
by Bruder, Melissa
1986, Paper. $11.00

"A great acting book for anyone who doesn't understand the question What's your action? or What's your character trying to get?" -- Adam

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Intermisson Talk: American Plan, Hedda Gabler and another Speed-the-Plow

by Tony Vellela

There can be a kind of show-offy self-indulgence in reviewing, and the practice often suffers from a multiplier effect when applied to revivals. The current production of Richard Greenberg's 1990 drama The American Plan has generated a good deal of that, cataloguing 'insightful' references to possible influences, with Henry James [his novel Washington Square, later dramatized and then filmed as The Heiress], and the William Inge gem Picnic the leading victims. If I were to indulge in this shameless exercise, I would lean to certain elements of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly, Last Summer, and Elizabeth Spencer's 1959 novella The Light in the Piazza, which was rather charmingly borrowed four seasons back by Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas, to create the similarly-titled musical. But I won't.

And attempts to contrast and compare this work with other Greenberg efforts can also prove hazardous, because they are themselves too thin in their demonstration of craft to warrant much notice.

The American Plan, now at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, by the considerable and recurring largesse of the Manhattan Theatre Club, should be appraised as a free-stander. And it owes its ability to remain upright at all to the talents of five accomplished actors, and the hand of director David Grindley, whose acumen was previously evident in the recent revivals of Pygmalion and Journey's End. His talents are more needed here.

Lily Rabe, Brenda Pressley, Kieran Campion and Mercedes Ruehl - photo by Carol Rosegg

This play is an unconvincing admixture of human nature melodrama and thriller sans actual corpse. Set in 1960 at a Catskills summer resort, winsome Sarah Lawrence co-ed Lili Adler [Lily Rabe], reposing on the dock of her mother's lake house, welcomes being surprised by a blond charmer who hoists himself up out of the water, and into her fantasy of being rescued from the clutches of said mother. That matriarch, a Holocaust survivor, did not lose her sharp tongue en route to the U.S. Like the other four principals, however, she speaks lines that sound like they have been written down, reworked and rehearsed before spoken to others, and even then, they have the lilt of fourth-wall busters, to be accompanied by a wink to the front row. Anyway - Lili spins fantastic tales of oppression and dominance, and the swimmer savior Nick [Kieran Campion, an Eric McCormack look-alike, but with actual range and depth] eagerly plays the role of Prince Charming. When the Wicked Witch-mama Eva arrives [Mercedes Ruehl], the mother-versus-daughter dance keeps changing tempos, but Lili seems to stay one step ahead of her mother's manipulations of the hero, including a seeming ability to convince him that she is not, in fact as mother says, mentally ill.

Will Lili actually inherit a fortune when she turns twenty-one? Is Nick really willing to 86 his current intended in favor of Lili, and for romantic reasons only? Did Eva really poison her husband after he invented some plastic thing that made them wildly rich? Did the boyishly handsome Gil, [the boyishly handsome Austin Lysy], who arrives and raises everyone's eyebrows, (for different reasons), show up quite by accident? How will these mid-century golden-age-in-America lives be affected by society's four decade-long culture clash that will kick in five years hence? While some of the answers will easily be guessed, and others are never answered, the real question is whether they are worth asking at all. Because what is missing here is a sufficient quotient of concern on our part to learn the answers. Gil claims to work at a small publishing house that is seeking 'the suburban novel that blows the lid off.' Well, he is not likely to find the makings of it in "The American Plan." An admirable amount of curiosity, and at times even fascination, is generated for these folks, but that is the product of skillful acting choices, and while it appears that the ladies account for the larger share of it, this is in part due to the rather less developed nature of how the two male roles have been written; they share a secret but not too much of a pulse. Ruehl rules most of her scenes, just because she knows better than most women actors how to quietly stalk prey. Eartha Kitt did it with music. And the talented Ms. Rabe possesses that certain quality that defies definition, also possessed by Lauren Ambrose and Drew Barrymore - a kind of watchability, something that draws your eye to their work, despite who they are portraying or what their character is saying or doing. It is not a 'style,' or a 'method,' but rather a kind of inherent sincerity. Any of them would juice the living daylights out of the role of Sebastian Venable's wayward cousin. [With a Mercedes Violet???]

Another revival ["August: Osage County" keeps looking better and better] attracting attention for many of the wrong reasons is the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler," with Mary-Louise Parker as the desperate housewife of long ago. In the past few years, Kate Burton and Cate Blanchett have also taken up residence along the Norwegian coast. Taken together, a sort of Goldilocks and the Three Bears picture emerges: Cate = too hot; Mary-Louise = too cold; Kate = just right.

Hedda, it is often overlooked, is not a creature of extremes all the time. She believes she is often driven to them. As the beautiful, coddled daughter of a military icon, she has inherited the colonel's collection of guns, and a keen ability to use them. They are her only recreational non-human refuge. Like other Ibsen women, Hedda has more of a personal fulfillment need than her society permits. Her solution is to seek out a man to replace her dad, and attach herself to his star, and the more she can help it rise, the better. This is the residue of being born the daughter of a star, a phenomenon familiar today to the readers of tabloids. [Could it be that Ms. Burton understood perfectly, if even unconsciously, how that works, and how one in real life liberates herself from it?] When an ill-conceived marriage to the provincial erstwhile professor Jorgen Tesman proves more suffocating than fulfilling, she tries to regain entry into the life of a past suitor, the now-heralded author Ejlert Lovborg, a rival for her husband's university chair appointment. Hedda and hubby return from a very lengthy honeymoon abroad, which also serves as a research trip for him to gather information on his specialty, the crafts of Belgium and Holland. They move into the grand mansion she told him she has always coveted. Like much of what she spouts, it is a lie born out of the frustration of the moment it is pitched.

Her obsession with making her own mark leads her to the only creative act she believes open to her - to destroy someone - and since she no longer sees her boring husband as worth even that much attention, she fixates on Eijert, and his newly-minted, heralded manuscript. Her plan gathers momentum when she learns that Thea, a former schoolmate, the object of merciless torment by Hedda the bratty teen, supplied the vital assistance and inspiration for Eijert's 'creation.' The unattainable licentious designs of the elderly Judge Brack, a contemporary of her father, provide the only hint of clever release for Hedda, in the form of banter. And although she is responsible for Eijert's demise, she cannot kill his work.. Her husband and her girlhood nemesis join forces to reconstitute Eijert's manuscript, after she has decided that burning it would give her the satisfaction she craves.

Good story, even more than a century after it was written. But this "too cold" Hedda, along with most of her comrades, drifts from scene to scene like zombies wading through loose aspic, drained of all emotion. And it's no good claiming that this is a society of restraint: these people are observed in private, not public spaces. Only Michael Cerveris as Jorgen, and Lois Markle, as the Tesmans' maid, rise about this airless pallor, and seem to fight against some [director Ian Rickson's? adaptor Christopher Shinn's?] vision of trying to present a provocative re-imagining of this classic. Ibsen's text shows Hedda as a young woman conflicted about parent-child relationships - Hedda's repulsion at being asked to address Tesman's beloved aunts, who raised him as surrogate mothers, in a personal way; her lack of interest in becoming a mother herself; her anthropomorphizing of Eijert's manuscript that she burns. She is a daughter in terror-driven flight from the shadow of her father. Not for no reason did Ibsen title this work "Hedda Gabler," and not "Hedda Tesman." Hedda lacks the courage of her father, the military man, and that is all the more painful to her when Eijert finds his muse Thea a woman of courage. Hedda can't rekindle his fascination with her, which rested upon flirtation and her unattainable status. Here, the two engage in a sadly vulgar exercise when they are left alone, she draped around his neck, he with his hand up the front of her dress, all within near earshot of others. As in other scenes, Parker leans her body forward at a ninety-degree angle. No clue why. When the production begins, we are subjected not only to jarring, out-of-period underscoring, but also to a Hedda reclining on a sofa, facing away, her bare buttocks exposed. What follows is equally unsubtle.

Subtle isn't an adjective usually applied to the work of David Mamet, and his "Speed-the-Plow" falls right in line with that characterization. When the revival at the Barrymore opened last October, featuring the ever-nuanced Elisabeth Moss and the bombastic Raul Esparza, the newly-anointed studio honcho was portrayed by Jeremy Piven, who has been inhabiting a nearly-identical character in HBO's "Entourage." When he left under mercury-laced clouds, the role was taken over first by Norbert Leo Butz, and now, William H. Macy. Attribute it to his early and continuing association with Mamet, or his own ability to find truth where it barely lives - Macy makes this gel.

Raul Esparza and William H. Macy in "Speed-the-Plow" photo by Robert Saferstein

The story of a macho opportunist and his sycophant bud, readying their first Big Picture Deal, while batting staccato obscenities off each other, can qualify as stretched sketch comedy material. When a temp secretary comes between them, a few sparks do fly, but they don't ignite much except the same unearned misogyny that took down "Oleanna." However - Macy does manage to mine humanity where Piven did not. And he does it without resorting to tactics that implore us to laugh at this truly conflicted man. Macy may in fact be supplying more real blood to his character than the stage blood he sheds. This is likely to be one of the most successful productions of this slight play.

On Book: If a back-to-basics examination of theatre is needed as an antidote to revival fever, pick up Peter Brook's invaluable "The Empty Space." Whether you agree or disagree with everything he says, this is a work from one of the most thoughtful minds ever to guide the direction of a play.

And if it's a good, solid drama that is called for, read "Hedda Gabler." Almost any translation, brought to life in your imagination, will be better than the mind-numbing version on the boards.

TONY VELLELA, the veteran theatre correspondent for "The Christian Science Monitor," writes and produces the PBS series about theatre, "Character Studies". His work has also appeared in "Parade," "Theatre Week,"" USA Today," "Dramatics," "Rolling Stone," and several other publications.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Staff Favorite: Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando

Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando
by Kanfer, Stefan
2008, Hardcover. $26.95

"The new Marlon Brando biography. Kanfer doesn't romanticize the stories of Brando. Unlike Brando's autobiography, Kanfer shows Brando at the fragile genius he truly was. Brando isn't painted as a fallen icon. Kanfer recounts the true motives that accounted for the wild stories that he helped shaped America's perception of him and the method."--Matt A.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Character Studies Talk with Carole Shelley

Tony Winner Carole Shelley Interview, Thursday,
Feb. 19, 2009

The 'Character Studies Talks With...'  Series Welcomes Broadway Star Carole Shelly as Tony Vellela's Guest on Thursday, February 19, 5:00 p.m., at The Drama Book Shop.
Ms. Shelley will be the featured Character Studies Talks With... guest on Thursday, February 19, starting at 5:00 p.m., at The Drama Book Shop's ( Arthur Seelen Theatre, 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018, (212) 944-0595. The interview will be followed by an audience question-and-answer session and a book signing. Ms. Shelly will sign books from a selection of the Broadway productions she has starred in. 
Ticket to the event are $15 and can be purchased by telephone at (212) 944-0595 or at the door. 
The new series, Character Studies Talks With..., provides a live audience with the opportunity to hear some of the theatre's greatest artists discuss their careers in conversation with Mr. Vellela.
Broadway veteran Carole Shelley is currently starring in Billy Elliot at the Imperial Theatre. Her acclaimed career includes a Tony Award winning performance in The Elephant Man and Tony Award-nominated roles in Stepping Out, and Absurd Person Singular.  Ms. Shelley's riotous performance as one of the Pigeon Sisters in the original cast of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, was the only one to be repeated in the film version.  Her other Broadway credits include Wicked, Cabaret, Show Boat, The Miser, The Norman Conquests, Hay Fever and Loot.  She has appeared in dozens of shows in London,  regional theatre productions, national tours and film/television productions.
The next event in the Character Studies Talks With... series, with guest to be announced, will be held at The Drama Book Shop on Tuesday, March 31.
Tony Vellela, the veteran theatre correspondent for "The Christian Science Monitor," writes and produces "Character Studies" (, the PBS series about theatre. His work has also appeared in "Parade," "Theatre Week," "USA Today," "Dramatics," "Rolling Stone,” and other publications.

The Drama Book Shop is located at 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018. Telephone: (212) 944-0595. Website: E-mail: Blog:, facebook:

Monday, February 09, 2009

POW! (Play of the week)

by Wendy Wasserstein

Liberals are closed-minded. Or that’s how the title character in Wasserstein’s last, and possibly most mature play, sees it. The play follows Professor Laurie Jameson as she is forced to deal with an acidic political environment, oncoming menopause, her personal relationships, and most of all the aforementioned Third, a wrestler at a very liberal college. Third not only turns Laurie's world upside down but becomes the lens with which we view all of the themes in the play.

How much do we accept people based on their perceived worth or judge them based on stereotypes that we choose to believe? Third makes us ask that same question, depicting liberals as closed-minded rather than reinforcing the conventional belief that conservatives hold the title for intolerance. He delivers a timely speech that gives a voice to disenfranchised young voters in today’s politically charged climate, addressing how liberals lost the vote during the Bush administration’s years in office.

Young people are often seen as liberal and active; in the past 8 years, the opposite was true. Though many don’t know why, “Third” takes a step toward explaining it.

Cast: 3 W, 2 M

Scenes/Monologues: Laurie has 4 speeches, 2 of which aggressively comment on the middle east conflict, morality, accountability, conservative vs. liberal, and old vs. new. Great scenes between all characters.

Recommended by: Abi

Friday, February 06, 2009

FREE EVENT: "Perform at Your Best" Acting Techniques for Business, Social and Personal Success

Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.

Celebrate the publication of the new, fun deck of information flash cards: Perform at Your Best: Acting Techniques for Business, Social, and Personal Success, which won the Gold Axiom Business Book Award.

On one side the cards show a difficult real-life situation with a witty illustration;. On the other side is an acting technique to help get through it with flying colors. The cards are based on Robbins’ Acting Techniques for Everyday Life, now in its fifth printing.

Perform at Your Best: Acting Techniques for Business, Personal & Social Success
by Jane Robbins, Jane Marla, and A. J. Garces.
2007, $19.95

Acting Techniques for Everyday Life: Look and Feel Self-Confident in Difficult, Real-Life Situations
by Jane Maria Robbins
Paperback: $14.95
Da Capo Press, 2002

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Staff Favorite: The Theatre and Its Double

The Theatre And Its Double
by Antonin Artaud. Translated by Mary C. Richards
1994. Paper: $13.00

"You should not be allowed to practice theatre if you haven't read this book." --Ben

Monday, February 02, 2009

Reading and Discussion with author Carol De Giere

Time: Thursday, February 5, 2009 6:00 p.m.
Location: The Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018
Title of Event: Defying Gravity: The Career of Stephen Schwartz

Reading and Discussion with author Carol De Giere and original cast members from Stephen Schwartz shows (T.B.A.)

The Drama Book Shop and Audience Rewards are pleased to invite you to attend an evening with Carol De Giere, author of Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked.

Audience Rewards members may make reservations for the via email, please include your name and member number. If you are not an Audience Rewards member you may sign up for a FREE membership by clicking here. Non-members who would like to sign up for the waiting list may email the bookshop. Reservations are not necessary for the book signing which will begin at approximately 7:00..

NOTE: we CANNOT take telephone reservations for this event.

If you are unable to attend and would like to order a signed copy, you may do so by calling 800 322-0595 (option 3).

Reservations and orders must be received at least 24 hours in advance of the event.

Enter to WIN 2 TICKETS, to a Broadway show when you sign up for your free membership in Audience Rewards. Audience Rewards is the Official Loyalty Program of Broadway, providing fans of the performing arts with unique benefits, the ability to earn points for their ticket purchases and access to exclusive events at The Drama Book Shop! Sign up and win today!

"Defying Gravity" discussion with author Carol de Giere and songs performed by cast members from Stephen Schwartz shows Author Carol de Giere will be joined by Peggy Gordon of the original Godspell cast to share anecdotes from the new book Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked. Also scheduled to appear are Carole Demas, who originated the title role in The Baker's Wife for the first part of the pre-Broadway tour, Dale Soules, who originated Cal in The Magic Show, and Kathleen Hennessey, who played Elphaba in a theme park version of Wicked at Universal Studios in Japan. The cast members will sing a piece from the shows they represent. Among the accompanists is Alex Lacamoire, who worked on both Godspell (2001 tour orchestrations) and Wicked (music arrangements), and recently shared a Tony-award win for Best Orchestrations for In The Heights.The evening includes a question-answer session, and book signing. _________________________________________________

Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked by De Giere, Carol
Paper, 2008. 24.95

Sunday, February 01, 2009

POW! (Play of the Week): Body of Water

Body of Water by Lee Blessing

Here lies he whose name was writ in water. --John Keats, his chosen epitaph

Lee Blessing's A Body of Water has a deceptively simple set-up: Moss and Avis, a handsome middle-aged couple, wake up in a beautiful house, surrounded by a lush lawn and a vast body of water. There's one big problem, though. The two of them have amnesia so perfect that they can't remember their own names. Their consequent pursuit of their identities yields no answers. Without memory, even the scrutiny of their naked bodies (one of the funniest moments in the play), is nudity to no purpose.

Moss and Avis are captives of their only visitor, Wren, a young woman who claims to know the truth. Wren torments them with conflicting accounts of their collective past. Are the elder pair a married couple who brutally killed their young child? Is Wren their weary lawyer, or a bitter daughter disfigured by her unmet need for love? Are Avis and Moss murderous, sick, psychotic, or dead? Compared to Wren's revelations, amnesia looks pretty good...

The only person to trust in A Body of Water is the playwright. And he's not telling. Blessing forces his characters, and us, into a terrifying vortex of doubt and dread unique to the loss of self. For what remains when thought and memory fail? Cruelty, isolation, yearning, powerlessness -- and the inability to love.

Moss and Avis lie down with Beckett and wake up with Sartre, each and every day. By turns poignant, hilarious, baffling and truly frightening, A Body of Water will scare you to death. Don't miss it.

Cast: 1 M, 1 W, both middle aged. 1 W, 20s.

Scenes/Monologues: Monologues for Wren; scenework for the more mature actors.

Recommended by: Helen.
Body of Water
by Lee Blessing
Paper, 2007. 8.95

Other works by Lee Blessing include:

(If you are interested in any of the above unlinked titles, please call the Drama Book Shop at 1+(800) 322-0595)