Thursday, September 02, 2010

Hot Off The Press

Passion Play
by Sarah Ruhl
Paper. $15.95

Named one of the "Ten Best Plays of 2008" by The New Yorker

“Sarah Ruhl’s bold, inventive, and ironic triptych [is] a meditation on devotion and its appropriation by the state. . . . Ruhl is an original; a storyteller with a fine mind evolving her own theatrical idiom.”--John Lahr, The New Yorker

“It’s a different kind of morality play . . . an often wondrous work . . . with [Ruhl’s] own special lyrical blend of poetry, humor and grace.”--Frank Rizzo, Variety

Passion Play is Sarah Ruhl’s “biggest, most ambitious effort yet” (The New York Times), a three-and-a-half hour intimate epic, plunging the depths of the timely intersection of politics and religion. Ruhl dramatizes a community of players rehearsing their annual staging of the Easter Passion in three different eras: 1575 northern England, just before Queen Elizabeth outlaws the ritual; 1934 Oberammergua, Bavaria, as Hitler is rising to power; and Spearfish, South Dakota, from the time of Vietnam through Reagan’s presidency. In each period, the players grapple in different ways with the transformative nature of art, and politics are never far in the background, as Queen Elizabeth, Hitler, and Reagan each appear, played by a single commanding actor.

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Eurydice, and The Clean House, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has been widely produced both throughout the country and internationally, and she is the recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

About the Author

Sarah Ruhl received the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2004 for her play "The Clean House," which has been produced at Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia, South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Her play Eurydice has been produced at Madison Repertory Theatre and Berkeley Repertory

by Rachel Axler

"For signs of intelligent life in the theatrical universe, I hereby refer you to Smudge, Rachel Axler's pitch-black comedy."--Marilyn Stasio, Variety

"Creepy and funny. Precise and imaginative. Parenthood never looked weirder or more terrifying than it does in Smudge"--Rachel Saltz, The New York Times

"The mysterious newborn in Rachel Axler’s smart, piquant Smudge is not lovable-looking... In some sense, Axler’s dark comedy is a horror story: a parent’s nightmare rendered with sometimes lyrical surrealism.... A meditation on ambiguity and ambivalence, Smudge also illustrates ambition: a parent’s, thwarted, and a playwright’s, achieved."--Adam Feldman, Time Out New York

"Smudge is filled with laughs, due to Rachel Axler's tart way with quips, director Pam MacKinnon's brisk, unsentimental touch, and the ability of both Greg Keller and Cassie Beck to make their characters real and complex."- Jennifer Farrar, Associated Press "An ambitious play, one that ponders such big questions as how to communicate and what it means to be alive. A play that sticks with you, both for its laughs and for its message."--Julia Furay, CurtainUp

"It’s a testament to Rachel Axler’s excellent writing and a marvellous cast that this dark sci-fi comedy actually works. In its weird way, the play gets to the heart of the matter: most of us, when we’re young, look forward to happy, normal lives—2.5 kids, a picket fence, all the flotsam and jetsam of the American dream—but end up with much more difficult realities."--The New Yorker

A dark comedy about the changing face of the American family and the limits of love and cheesecake, as a hopeful young couple gives birth to a smudge, written by two-time Emmy Award winner Rachel Axler.

Character Descriptions:
COLBY – Late twenties. Female. Married to Nick.
NICHOLAS – Late twenties. Male. Married to Colby.
PETE – Mid-thirties. Male. Nick’s older brother.

Dark Comedy. Interior. 2 m, 1 f. Acting Edition. $9.95.

Mirror, Mirror
by Sarah Treem

“Roy, is this a dream?

A dream, a story, high school, insanity. It’s hard to tell sometimes, isn’t it?”

A high school Homecoming dance in the south. In the bathroom Gretchen Black, the most popular girl in school, lights a cigarette and asks the mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all. The mirror shows her a horrible witch instead of her own reflection. Gretchen puts the cigarette out in her armpit and the witch disappears. Moments later a mysterious new girl named Rose White arrives at Homecoming. She has no hips or chest to speak of, but her skin shines white as snow and her lips are as red as the rose. She’s after Gretchen’s boyfriend, Badger Biers. In this dark comedy, based on Snow White, ten teenagers love, lose, betray and revenge each other over one autumnal weekend in a kingdom far, far away. It is a precarious landscape where magic lurks behind make-up, mirrors and memories.

Character Descriptions:
GRETCHEN BLACK — 17, Most popular girl in school.
BADGER BIERS — 17, Gretchen’s boyfriend. Most popular boy in school.Captain of the football team.
COSTEN LYONS — 18, Badger’s best friend. Richest boy in school.
LIBBY SUNDAY — 17, Gretchen’s new best friend. Hoyt’s ex-girlfriend.
Valedictorian. On scholarship.
HOYT MONROE — 18, Tortured teenage artist. Libby’s ex-boyfriend.
LAUREL BUCHANAN — 16, Hoyt’s best friend. President of the drama club. Costen’s second cousin.
HONEY — 15, Stage manager in the drama club. Nerd.
DONNIE — 17, Actor in the drama club. Ronnie’s best friend.
RONNIE — 17 Actor in the drama club. Donnie’s best friend.
ROSE WHITE — 16, New girl. This is a boy’s part.
Dramatic Comedy. 5m, 5f. Acting Edition. $9.95

Happy Days - A New Musical
Book by Garry Marshall, Music and Lyrics by Paul Williams

"If you like Grease you will love Happy Days. A power house, rock and roll trip down memory lane, HAPPY DAYS IS NOT TO BE MISSED!"--NY Daily News

"A family show...and it brings back a cast of characters loved by millions of fans."

Goodbye gray skies, hello blue! Happy days are here again with Richie, Potsie, Ralph Malph and the unforgettable “king of cool” Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli. Based on the hit Paramount Pictures television series, Happy Days, A New Musical reintroduces one of America’s best loved families, the Cunninghams -- yes, Howard, Marion and Joanie are here too -- to a whole new generation of kids and parents. The famed drive-in malt shop and number one hangout, Arnold’s, is in danger of demolition. So the gang teams up to save it with a dance contest and a TV-worthy wrestling match. Even Pinky Tuscadero, Fonzie’s childhood sweetheart, returns to help and -- lo and behold! -- they rekindle their old flame.

Happy Days, A New Musical, with amazing music from Oscar-winner Paul Williams and a book by the TV series original creator Garry Marshall, is perfect for regional theatres to perform. High schools can also perform the show with any number of cast members they wish. This show is so versatile it can be done with a full orchestra, just a piano, or even instrumental tracks. Return to the days of 1959 Milwaukee complete with varsity sweaters, hula hoops and jukebox sock-hoppin’ fun. This perfectly family friendly musical will have you rockin’ and rollin’ all week long!

Musical. 10m, 7f, Cast can be expanded for large groups. Acting Edition. $9.95.

Palestine, New Mexico
by Richard Montoya

”... Lunatic Irreverence… a rich premise and another sign of Culture Clash’s ambition to plumb new multicultural depths of meaning by broadening its Chicano worldview.”--Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times

Outrageous imagery and serious subtext … a gallery of pungent and often moving character portraits...”--Bob Verini, Variety

”Richard Montoya [is] up to some of [his] old tricks… mixing satire, farce, plain silliness, pathos and tragedy...”--Jay Reiner, The Hollywood Reporter

Rumors, Secrets, Sand and Blood. U.S. Army Captain Catherine Siler journeys to the New Mexico reservation home of Private First Class Raymond Birdsong on a search for answers. The questionable circumstances surrounding Ray’s death in Afghanistan create a crisis of conscience for the captain giving her no choice but to re-examine her own life along the way.

Richard Montoya and Culture Clash, L.A.’s premiere Chicano performance group, return with a play about America’s constantly shifting political landscape exploring loss, identity and the notion of occupied homelands. Palestine, New Mexico promises to be an inherently theatrical work that mixes humor and cold fact to unforgettable and galvanizing effect.

Drama. 7m, 6f. Acting Edition. $9.95

The Secret Garden, Spring Version
Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman, Music by Lucy Simon Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The long-awaited new 70-minute version of the beloved musical is as beautiful and spirited as the original in just half the time. Adapted by Marsha Norman from her Tony-award winning book, it tells the story of Mary Lennox, orphaned in India, who returns to Yorkshire to live with an embittered, reclusive uncle and his invalid son. On the estate, she discovers a locked garden filled with magic, a boy who talks to birds, and a cousin she brings back to health by putting him to work in the garden. The original chorus of ghosts has been replaced with a chorus of Readers, who sit onstage and watch the musical unfold before their eyes, singing in most scenes, and even participating as desired in the storm scene at the end of the first act, and the frolic in the Night Garden. Lucy Simon’s music, some of the most beautiful ever written for Broadway, has made this tale of regeneration a favorite for almost 20 years. This new "Spring Version" promises to be a treasure for children and adults.

8m, 7f, 1f child, 1m child, Readers (chorus) as many as you want. Unit Set. Acting Edition. $9.95.

Deadly Murder
by David Foley

“A nerve shredding, intricately plotted thriller, full of twists, turns and double crosses… [a] refreshingly modern thriller.”--Worthing Herald

Camille Dargus has fought her way up from humble beginnings to a glittering Manhattan lifestyle. She has beauty, brains, wealth, and a successful career as a jewelry designer for the leading lights of New York society. She also has a penchant for attractive young men. One night at a society gala she meets Billy, a handsome young waiter, and brings him back to her Soho apartment. But there's more to Billy than meets the eye, and Camille finds herself held hostage at gunpoint by a man who seems frighteningly familiar with the past Camille has struggled to forget. Over the course of one explosive night, Camille must use all her wits and cunning to save her life--and to prevent the dark secrets of her past from destroying everything she's worked for.

Full of twists and turns, bluffs and double bluffs, this brilliantly intricate thriller will be one step ahead of you all the way! Nominated for a 2008 Edgar Award

Murder Mystery/Thriller. Interior. 2m, 1f. Acting Edition. $9.95


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