Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tues, Jan 31@ 6:00 p.m: J. T. Rogers: performance from and signing of Blood and Gifts (FREE) at The Drama Book Shop

The cast of Lincoln Center Theater’s celebrated production of Blood and Gifts perform excerpts from the play, followed by a Q&A with and book signing by playwright J. T. Rogers.

“My God, Russian soldiers being shot by Chinese bullets. Sometimes the world is so beautiful.”

1981. The Soviet army burns its way through Afghanistan, CIA operative Jim Warnock is sent to try and halt its bloody progress, and a secret spy war behind the official Soviet-Afghan war begins. The ground constantly shifts for Jim and his counterparts in the KGB and British and Pakistani secret service as the men wrestle with their shifting personal and political loyalties, and their friendships with—and betrayals of—each other. As the outcome of the entire Cold War comes into play, Jim and a larger-than-life Afghan warlord find the only person they can trust is each other. Spanning a decade and playing out in Washington DC, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Blood and Gifts is a sweeping, often shockingly funny, epic set against one of the greatest historical events of recent history.

Blood and Gifts: Top Ten Play of the Year from The New York Times, Time Out NY, Bloomberg News

“Superb! Engrossing and illuminating. A first-rate production with the taut grip of a spy novel. J.T. Rogers's knowledge of the hearts and minds of his characters is as deep as his grasp of the geopolitical games being played.”-- New York Times

“A gripping, sensational spy tale!” -- Time Out New York

“A smart, stimulating and just-plain entertaining spy thriller!”-- Entertainment Weekly

“An espionage thriller and dark comedy with fascinating characters.”-- New York Post

“J.T. Rogers asserts a unique voice in this gripping and absorbing drama.”-- Backstage

J. T. Rogers’s plays include Blood and Gifts (National Theater, London; Lincoln Center Theater), The Overwhelming (National Theatre, followed by UK tour with Out of Joint and BBC Radio; Roundabout Theatre); Madagascar (Theatre 503, London; Melbourne Theatre Company) and White People (Off Broadway with Starry Night Productions). As one of the original playwrights for the Tricycle Theatre of London’s Great Game: Afghanistan, he was nominated for 2009 Olivier Award. His works have been staged throughout the United States and in Germany, Canada, and Israel, and are published by Faber and Faber and Dramatists Play Service. Rogers’s essays have appeared in American Theatre and in London’s Independent and The New Statesman. He is a member of New Dramatists and the Dramatist Guild and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Blood and Gifts: A Play
By J. T. Rogers
Paperback. $14.00

Monday, January 23, 2012

POW! (Play Of The Week)

by Bekah Brunstetter

Bekah Brunstetter’s hilarious yet sad play Be A Good Little Widow is a wonderful depiction of loss, longing, and dealing with the people who suddenly become a large part of your life.

Newlyweds Melody and Craig have just moved into a new home to attempt at becoming proper sophisticated grownups. Though 23 year old Melody loves her husband, she is constantly competing for attention with his blackberry. As if that weren't bad enough, when her mother-in-law, Hope, comes into the picture we get to experience the horrid battle of, "well little girl, you are obviously not good enough for my son."

Because of Craig's Job, Melody is often left alone and only seems to feel relaxed or comfortable around Brad (Craig's assistant) who seems to be just as dazed and confused as she is. When Craig suddenly dies, Melody begins an uncontrollable journey of trying to mourn "properly" because, of course, her mother-in-law is a professional. In fact, she is the leader of the Widows League in town. As the plot grows we learn that Melody and Hope have much to teach each other about the grieving process.

This play was a surprising and wonderful read. You can't help but fall in love with each character. Be A Good Little Widow may seem like a cute play but do not be fooled; it is unexpectedly hilarious, sexy and moving.

If you enjoy Annie Baker or Brooke Berman's work you will not be disappointed.

Great scenes for 2W and for M/F
2M, 2W

Reviewed by Sharone