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The Rainmaker

by N. Richard Nash

What a beautiful story! If anyone is confused, this is not the John Grisham story of a corrupt insurance company. No Matt Damon here. What we do have is a story of drought - a lack of rain and a lack of love.

The Curry men are concerned that plain Lizzie will never get married. They do everything in their limited power to marry her off to, well, anyone. How humiliating. Lizzie knows that her father and brothers are shopping her around and this throws her into wildly contrasting emotions - excitement, despair, anxiety, and depression. She knows she is not pretty but Jim, her brother, tries to convince her that she's just going about it the wrong way.
You don't talk to a man the way you oughta! You talk too serious! And if there's anything scares the hell out of a fella it's a serious-talkin' girl!
On a side note, I'm not convinced that Jim is the one she should be taking romantic advice from. After all, he's going with a girl named Snookie. Of whom, the other brother Noah says, "If you wanta get mixed up with poison, you go right ahead! But I wash my hands!" Anyone sense a Broadway revival starring our current media sensation? The audiences would flock! (but the jokes on them, Snookie never makes an on-stage appearance)

Jim is perhaps the most innocent member of the family and through his eyes we see that Noah's warnings are perhaps harsh cynical judgements. Jim asks him:
People want to get together - they oughta get together. It don't matter how, does it?
Love is love. Everyone is deserves it and we are all worthy of it. If the play tells us anything, it tells us this.

Lizzie is most properly matched with File, the local Sheriff Deputy. He is a man closed-off to love but he begins to see the value in having a woman around and comes to visit Lizzie at her home. They get into an argument and File is frustrated with expressing his emotions:
Look here! There's one thing I've learned! Be independent! If you don't ask for things - if you don't let on you need things - pretty soon you don't need 'em! 
I have certainly felt this way at times in my life. It can be hard to ask someone for something, it shows a weakness. File is a proud man and cannot bring himself to admit that he needs Lizzie. They part. Lizzie is convinced that she will end up a spinster until a strange travelling con man who calls himself Starbuck comes to town promising to bring rain to the town for a fee of $100.

Noah is the most skeptical of Starbuck and the most cynical towards Lizzie (though, he'd consider it being realistic). Starbuck is struck by Lizzie from his first entrance and does everything he can to convince her that she is worthy of love.
Don't let Noah be your lookin' glass! It's gotta be inside you! And then one day the lookin' glass will be the man who loves you! It'll be his eyes maybe! And you'll look in that mirror and you'll be more than pretty! - you'll be beautiful!
He and Lizzie share a moment of true connection and Lizzie is happier than she's ever been in her life.
You look up at the sky and you cry for a star! You know you'll never get it! And then one night you look down - and there it is - shining in your hand! 
But word has gotten out that a con man is in town and File and the Sheriff come looking for Starbuck. I won't reveal the ending, but I'll just say that it should not come as a surprise that this play was turned into 110 in the Shade. The magical elements and heightened emotions lend themselves very well to musical theatre.

The list of plays I want to do NOW is getting longer and longer.... ;)

Tomorrow's Play: Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel


Notes on Directing

by Frank Hauser and Russell Reich

Okay, this is not a play. It is, however, a very good read and a useful tool as an actor.

I received this book as a gift from a very thoughtful friend and devoured the whole thing in a few hours. It is a quick read, full of funny and smart lessons. Below, some of my favorites.

79. Reverse the material.
Stanislavski says somewhere, "If you are playing a good man, look for the bad in him; if you are playing a bad man, look for the good in him." Obvious, but easy to forget.
An actor floating along on the surface of a character is cozy and boring.

88. Humor falls mostly into one of two categories.
British actor Edward Petherbridge aptly described the first category of humor when he said, "No one ever got a laugh out of something that wasn't someone else's tragedy."
But audiences also laugh at statements or actions they recognize as implicitly true. "When a thing is funny," wrote George Bernard Shaw, "search it for a hidden truth."
Part of your job as a director is to help the audience make connections that delight the mind. When an audience thinks, Ah! That suggests this, the accompanying reaction will often be simple laughter, a sure sign that their synapses are firing and that you, the playwright, and the actors have done something right.

97. Love triangles.
Two actors on stage establish a single visual relationship. Add just one more actor and you have up to seven relationships: one relationship between any two of the individuals (that's three relationships), one for each of the possible pairings of two individuals in opposition to the third (that's three more), plus the unique relationship that exists between all three.
Look for threes. When you have a triangular situation - and therefore rich dramatic possibilities - make clear choices as to who is in opposition to whom and how alliances and allegiances shift moment by moment.

104. An audience's interest in the action is only as high as the actors' interest in it.
Keep an eye out for disinterested responses such as yawning or an actor's gazing upon anything other than what the audience should be looking at.
Watch extras in large groups, especially. They frequently steal vital focus by being negative listeners, hating everything they hear.
Here's the rule: Listener reactions that are positive and interested focus audience attention on the speaker. Listener reactions that are negative and disinterested steal attention away from the speaker and toward the listener.

114. Beware the naked truth.
Yes, nudity might bring in a crowd, but at what cost? Earnest nudity imposed by sincere directors is rarely the reliable conveyer of inner emotional nakedness and vulnerability they suppose it is.
More typically, when the skin makes its appearance, the audience is ripped from the world of the play along with the clothing. The audience is deposited in a prurient inner world far from the plot. Their eyes no longer watch the eyes, mouths, and hands of the performers, but are diverted, no, riveted to other body parts. The audience and the story often become lost to each other.

These are just some of the wise words from these two accomplished men. I laughed, I recognized truths, I learned. If you have any interest in directing, or in getting inside a director's head - check this book out. You won't regret it.

Tomorrow's play: The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash


by David Hare

Plenty was rather confusing to me. In reading some reviews of the piece I gather that it was very moving upon watching, however solely in reading it I think something was lost. The play jumps around in time quite a bit and can be rather mysterious as to what's going on. Part of that is due to the fact that our main character, Susan is employed secretly by the French Resistance behind German lines during the war, so the nature of her work was clandestine.

I wasn't crazy about this play but I do love David Hare. The first play of his that I read was Racing Demon, in college, and I loved it. I would highly recommend it. His writing, as always, is beautiful and there were some lines that grabbed me.
Did you know... did you know sound waves never die? So every noise we make goes into the sky. And there is a place somewhere in the corner of the universe where all the babble of the world is kept.
I love the thought that somewhere are stored all the stolen moments and secret gossip and heartfelt fights. A reminder that words are powerful and you should choose them carefully and stand by them if in fact you were forced to hear them again.

Susan's friend, Alice is a bohemian spirit, unafraid of new things. She explains her lifestyle to Susan:
The writer must experience everything, every kind of degradation. Nothing is closed to him. It's really the degradation that attracted me to the job. 
A little wink from Hare to other writers?

Lastly, I appreciated this little jab from another character in the play:
Say no more. We have eaten. We did not wait. In Burma we say if you cannot be on time do not come at all. 
Well said, sir. Well said.

Tomorrow's "Play": Notes on Directing by Frank Hauser and Russell Reich

All My Sons

by Arthur Miller

This was a welcome entertainment after the depression brought on by Death of a Salesman. That's not to say that this is a simple, happy play. By no means, friend. It is dramatic and the stakes are very high throughout.. there are moments of lightness, however, and characters filled with joy.

Even though it was written in the '40s, history repeats itself and the themes are relevant again. There are men and women all over the world who are waiting for their lover to return from the war, just as Ann did. There are parents who are in denial of their child's disappearance. There are people who will profit from our current wars and there are those who will suffer. These people are as real today as they were during Miller's time.

The Keller family bears many burdens, not the least of which is the criminal decision that Joe made to send off defective airplane parts to the soldiers fighting for their country. He managed to place blame elsewhere and avoid jail but his reputation was sorely damaged, as the whole town knows he's guilty. Perhaps only Chris, his son, believes him to be innocent. My heart goes out to Chris - an optimistic man, left in the shadow of his missing brother, Larry. Chris is in love with "Larry's girl" Ann but feels he cannot act on it:
I don't know why it is, but every time I reach out for something I want, I have to pull back because other people will suffer.
Chris is a good man, but he wants to be happy and he invites Ann to his home to propose to her. His mother is completely against the idea - she believes that Larry is still alive. Ann is overjoyed and seems to have been waiting for Chris to ask her for a long while. Do we get a happy ending? *SPOILER ALERT* Well.... yes and no. Chris' world is shattered when he realizes that his father is guilty. He is destroyed and doesn't know what to do:
What? Do I raise the dead when I put him behind bars? Then what'll I do it for? We used to shoot a man who acted like a dog, but honor was real there, you were protecting something. But here? This is the land of the great big dogs, you don't love a man here, you eat him! That's the principle; the only one we live by - it just happened to kill a few people this time, that's all. The world's that way, how can I take it out on him? What sense does that make? This is a zoo, a zoo!
The most heartbreaking line was when Chris confronts his father:
I know you're no worse than most men but I thought you were better. I never saw you as a man. I saw you as my father.
The moment when a child sees his parent as a person is a true loss of innocence. In a way it is a bridge we must all cross into adulthood but it can be difficult. Chris wants to believe the best in people and he tells his mother:
You can be better! Once and for all you can know there's a universe of people outside and you're responsible to it. 
I take this line away with me as something we should all remember. Whatever you believe in, our world will only be as good as we make it - the energy you put in will be the energy you get out. I choose to live today with love and a positive spirit.

Tomorrow's Play: Plenty by David Hare


The 39 Steps

adapted by Patrick Barlow

My only experience with The 39 Steps prior to reading it was watching the PBS version starring my British crush Rupert Penry-Jones ---->

Some of the scenes from the film stuck with me as I was reading, but mostly the play created a whole new world in my mind.

I loved how inventive the piece was - making huge spectacles with very little. I just saw Brief Encounter at Roundabout the other night and the elements are very similar. (Highly recommended, btw, if you have a free night definitely check it out.)

Like all good farces, there are moments that rise above the comedy and speak to you at a deeper level. Hannay, in a moment of desperation, is forced to give a public address. He's not sure of what or who he is supposed to be but he delivers a rousing speech:
Let's all just set ourselves resolutely to make this world a happier place! A decent world! A good world! A world where no nation plots against nation! Where no neighbour plots against neighbour, where there's no persecution or hunting down, where everybody gets a square deal and a sporting chance and where people try to help and not to hinder! A world where suspicion and cruelty and fear have been forever banished! That's the sort of world I want! Is that the sort of world you want?
Here here!

Tomorrow's Play: All My Sons by Arthur Miller


Rabbit Hole

by David Lindsay-Abaire

The more I read this play, the more I like it. This was my third time and I found it funnier than ever. "But Lauren, isn't Rabbit Hole that play about the child who died? What kind of sick sense of humor do you have?" Now now, faithful reader, it is true that this is also a very sad play. There are, however, many moments of humor and joy.

If you have been living in a rabbit hole and are not familiar with this play, it is the story of a family dealing with the grief of losing a small child when he runs into the street and gets hit by a car. I emphasize that the family is dealing with the grief, not wallowing in it. In an effectively written author's note, Lindsay-Abaire tells us, "Yes Rabbit Hole is a play about a bereaved family, but that does not mean they go through the day glazed over, on the verge of tears, morose or inconsolable. That would be a torturous and very uninteresting play to sit through. The characters are, instead, highly functional, unsentimental, spirited, and often funny people who are trying to maneuver their way through their grief and around each other as best they can. ... It's a sad play. Don't make it any sadder than it needs to be."

It's hard to imagine how the parents can ever move on from something like that. Knowing that if one thing had been different that day perhaps it wouldn't have happened - as the characters mention in the story - if the dog hadn't chased the squirrel, if Izzy hadn't phoned the house, if Becca hadn't answered that call, if Jason had driven down a different street.. if, if, if. Ultimately, none of those ifs matter because no one can change what happened. The family has to come to terms with their grief and learn not to place blame. It was truly an accident. Towards the end of the play Becca asks her mom, who has also lost a son, if the pain ever goes away. She responds:
No. I don't think it does. .. It changes though. .. At some point it becomes bearable. It turns into something you can crawl out from under. And carry around - like a brick in your pocket. And you forget it every one in a while, but then you reach in for whatever reason and there is it: "Oh right. That." Which can be awful. But not all the time. Sometimes it's kinda ... Not that you like it exactly, but it's what you have instead of your son, so you don't wanna let go of it either. So you carry it around. And it doesn't go away, which is .. Fine ... actually.
At the end we see Becca and Howie, beginning to take steps forward into a happier future. It is by no means tied up with a bow, however. Lindsay-Abaire says, "Rabbit Hole is not a tidy play. Resist smoothing out its edges." This is the very reason that I loved it. The ending is as complicated as all that has come before - nothing is easy. Mourning is a process unique to the individual, and while time heals all wounds, some scars of the heart are always with us.

Apparently, Lionsgate has picked up the film after Toronto and we'll soon be able to see Nicole Kidman's version on the big screen. I hope she does it justice.

Tomorrow's Play: The 39 Steps adapted by Patrick Barlow


The Actor's Nightmare

by Christopher Durang

I feel like this is one of those chicken or the egg things. Did the actor's nightmare exist before Durang named it? I'm sure it did, but how lovely to read someone else's version. In my own nightmare it's often a blend of having to go on for Hamlet and being part of Dance Theatre (a large dance-show I did for years) without ever having learned the choreography. I'm often running backstage, hearing lines on stage and freaking out about not knowing where my next entrance is or how Hamlet and dance go together! Sometimes the theatre changes from dream to dream, or the people - one time there were Cirque-like performers in face-paint and running around on stilts. Too much yoga that day, perhaps.

Poor George. In Durang's play George isn't even an actor. He's an accountant. That must be REALLY frightening, thinking you're all safe, in your office, with your briefcase, and then BAM you're shoved on stage in doublet and hose in the middle of the first scene of Private Lives. Uh, good luck!

So what's your actor's nightmare? I know you have a good one. Care to share?

Tomorrow's Play: Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire


Golden Boy

by Clifford Odets

I was kinda dreading reading this play, cause it seemed long and dated and I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy it. However... within the first few pages one of the characters calls another a phonus bolonus and I knew I was in for a fun ride.

Golden Boy is an underdog story of a young "cock-eyed wonder" who quickly rises in the fighting world. Written in the late '30s, this play is definitely reflective of the time. When a guy says, "I'm super-disgusted with you!" and it's not meant to be funny you know you're dealing with language of a different generation. I think I may start using that line in fights and see what happens - I'm willing to bet it would diffuse the situation rather quickly into a fit of giggles.

The '30s feels like a long time ago to me but apparently not much has changed with regards to society's perception of the arts. Before our "hero" Joe becomes a fighter he played the violin. His father would much prefer that his son continue along his musical path but Joe's manager-of-sorts feels otherwise.
Could a boy make a living playing this instrument in our competitive civilization today? Nowadays is it possible for a young man to give himself to the Muses? Could the Muses put bread and butter on the table?
I like that idea of giving oneself over to the Muses. I think I'll do that today and see what happens. "Don't blame me, officer, it was the Muses!" "Sure lady, it's off to the dungeon with you." Apparently in my head jail = a dungeon. It's early, don't judge me.

Joe has a major crush on his boss' girl, Lorna. She has been sent to convince him that he should fight. Joe thinks it's more of a date sort of thing and begins to open up to her about why he likes the violin. He says:
With music I'm never alone when I'm alone - Playing music ... that's like saying, "I am man. I belong here. How do you do, World - good evening!" When I play music nothing is closed to me. I'm not afraid of people and what they say. There's no war in music. It's not like the streets. Does this sound funny? But when you leave your room ... down in the street ... it's war! Music can't help me there. Understand? People have hurt my feelings for years. I never forget. You can't get even with people by playing the fiddle. If music shot bullets I'd like it better - artists and people like that are freaks today. The world moves fast and they sit around like forgotten dopes.
So beautiful and so sad. "There's no war in music." I love that. And then Odets takes that lovely idea and darkens it by putting the image of music shooting bullets into our heads. This was my favorite speech in the play. Joe starts off young and tender and gets progressively fiercer in his fighting and harder in his emotions. He is now a "success" and yet he has alienated himself from all the people he loves. That's not my definition of success.

Word that I learned from reading this play - bellicosity: a natural disposition to fight; Warlike or hostile in manner or temperament.

The best insult goes to Eddie - the new manager who "buys" Joe. At the big, final fight, angry that Lorna has thrown Joe off his game by refusing his love, Eddie tells her:
That's right ... if he lost ... the trees are ready for your coffin. 

Tomorrow's Play: The Actor's Nightmare by Christopher Durang


Words, Words, Words!

This week's plays:

1) All My Sons by Arthur Miller
2) Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire
3) Dublin Carol by Conor McPherson
4) The 39 Steps adapted by Patrick Barlow, from the novel by John Buchan
5) Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
6) The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash
7) Plenty by David Hare

Plays for the week of 9/20:

1) The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster
2) The Tempest by William Shakespeare
3) After Miss Julie by Patrick Marber after Strindberg
4) Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck
5) Cymbeline by William Shakespeare
6) Hapgood by Tom Stoppard
7) God by Woody Allen

On a non Play-a-day related note, I'm currently working on a production of Shakespeare's As You Like It, playing Audrey & Le Beau! Go here for all the info - come support live theatre!

Loose Knit

by Theresa Rebeck

When I can predict where a story is going I 1) feel a small feeling of satisfaction and 2) feel a larger feeling of disappointment. I enjoy being surprised and outsmarted by the play or movie I'm reading or seeing. This is the main reason I don't see horror films, I figure them out too quickly and spend the next two hours pissed off. That being said, reading Loose Knit I had a few moments where I knew what was going to happen (called the affair with the sister by the husband's second line) and there were some things that surprised me (the complicated relationship between Liz and creepster Miles seemed to ring true).. Overall I found the play tamer than I would have liked. I wanted more of the repercussions of the affair and I wanted more of the Lily/Miles relationship. Miles in general was super creepy and I was interested in his point of view, I wanted his character to be more fleshed out. I didn't quite understand why Lily wouldn't just go for Miles since she had kicked her husband out? My favorite scene was when Paula went on her date with Miles. I thought it was risky and the conversation turned towards the controversial... and that's more of what I wanted from the rest of the play.

I have always wanted to learn how to knit, though I don't think I'll be joining a knitting group anytime soon. Too much drama!

Tomorrow's Play: Golden Boy by Clifford Odets


Coastal Disturbances

by Tina Howe

It was recommended to me in college that I read plays written by Tina Howe. I am now realizing why.

Coastal Disturbances is essentially a love story. What I enjoyed about this particular love story was the fact that I didn't realize the play was about love until near the end. Nor was this your traditional romantic comedy. Holly is not easily won. Holly is charming and clumsy and downright lovable. The object of her affection, Leo, is a kind and decent guy. There was an innocence to both of them that I found refreshing and watching the push/pull of their relationship kept me hooked. It reminded me of all the best kinds of summer love, and how the beach with the ocean and the sand and those perfect nights can really allow you to let down your guard and potentially fall in love. I absolutely adored the scene where Holly couldn't walk away from Leo because her legs weren't working correctly.. gives a whole new meaning to "sea legs!"

Some of the supporting characters did not interest me as much. I found humor in the "fish out of water" image of Holly's European lover trying to walk in the sand in his designer shoes. I enjoyed the playfulness of the children, but I did not understand the purpose of the aggressive relationship between Ariel and her son. When she kept shaking him I had a physical response and then couldn't understand why none of the other characters were commenting on how rough she was being. It didn't seem in keeping with the rest of the tone of the play. Perhaps I've dramatized it more in my mind than it would be on stage, but it irked me!

Fall is my favorite season, but this play actually made me wish for summer nights..

Tomorrow's Play: Loose Knit by Theresa Rebeck


The House of Yes

by Wendy MacLeod

What a delightful little play. Except for the whole incest thing.

I loved the quirky, dark humor that MacLeod brought to this piece - the characters are all crazy in their own way, but that's why we love them. Reading this, I got the sense that this family was existing in its own little world, much like the women of Grey Gardens.. this old house, with so much history and class, and yet if you sit in the wrong chair you'll get sucked into a black hole and never escape.

Love is a powerful motivator. Crimes are committed out of passion and Jackie-O has more than enough passion for one individual. I was perturbed when I read the play summary on the back jacket of the acting edition and they REVEALED THE ENDING. Way to ruin the surprise! I felt like someone had told me the end of The Sixth Sense and I spent the whole time knowing that he could see dead people. I still enjoyed the play but I didn't have that *gasp* moment in that final scene. Bummer. (note how I strategically didn't tell you in case you haven't read it yet. yes, I am kind.)


The most interesting character to me was the mother. Yes, all the incest is interesting and effed up and made me think about British monarchies of the olden days, but when Mrs. Pascal watches Anthony and Lesly get down and then tells Lesly to leave because Marty "[has] belonged to Jackie for 20-odd years" there was something so twisted about her motivations. If she truly did care about Jackie's well-being she would encourage Marty to be happy and normal and marry Lesly for god's sake because when he and Jackie are around each other there's no escape from their desires. Instead, she seems to encourage their behavior. What's the deal there?

My favorite line in the play goes to Jackie-O when she first meets Lesly. Being from Pennsylvania myself, I laughed when Lesly tells Jackie-O that's where she grew up. Jackie responds:
I've never been to Pennsylvania, I've never even met anybody who's been to Pennsylvania, much less been from Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania is just this state that gets in your way when you have to go someplace else!
For the record, this does not reflect my true feelings about PA. It's a great place to be from! However, my heart belongs to New York.

Tomorrow's Play: Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe



by Michael Weller

This play, consisting of two different one-acts, is the story of, you guessed it! one couples' separation. At times funny, sad, hauntingly true, and charming, Split reminds you that when a relationship ends it affects more than just the two lovers.

Carol and Paul are the lovers in question. They seem great for each other and all the way until the end I kept thinking, what went wrong? Carol is jealous of Paul's female friends and one day she does something completely out of character. She cheats. She tries to explain to Paul:
I wanted to sleep with someone else, that's all. I thought about you when I was with him. I thought maybe now I'll be more interesting. Because I'm not very interesting am I. We go out with friends and we have a great time and you get into a good mood and you joke around and then when we get home you're never like that. You get quiet. You don't joke around with me because I'm just not very interesting and I thought maybe if I did something I'd never do, then I'd be ... instead of being the kind of person who'd never do certain things I'd become ... I'd be different than you thought I was.
But in the end, very little changed. It didn't get any better. The main thing this play made me consider is how two people can be perfect for each other but something - timing, location, situations beyond their control, their own insecurities - prevent them from being happy. If Carol weren't quite so jealous of Jean.. if Jean didn't try so hard to befriend Carol.. if Paul were better at reassuring Carol.. if people in general stopped worrying so much about the little things and were more thankful. Granted, these are all "ifs" ("much virtue in if" according to Touchstone.. "Your if is your only peace-maker.") [shameless plug for the "As You Like It" I'm working on -->]
but what IF we turned them into WHENs -- would we be happier? Or would more IFs pop up to replace them?

Tomorrow's Play: The House of Yes by Wendy MacLeod


Becky's New Car

by Steven Dietz

Mr. Dietz, you've done it again! I am once again thrilled with seeing another side of this playwright! Before I blog about a play I always do a Google search to find an interview or an interesting review to be the click-thru link when you click on the title (above). For Becky's New Car, I found a wonderful story about how a man commissioned this play for his wife as a birthday present. What a lovely idea! Who would think that you could still do that? We all know that this was a very common thing back in Shakespeare's day but I've never heard of anyone doing it today.. Until now.

Becky's New Car is about a woman's flirtation (and eventual romance) with change. The title character addresses the audience in the beginning, saying: 
When a woman says she needs new shoes, what she really wants is a new job. When she says she needs a new house, she wants a new husband. And when she says she wants a new car, she wants a new life.
 And so begins Becky's search for a new life. It is not necessarily something she set out to do. It was something that stumbled upon her in the form of the dashing and sweet Walter. They meet at Becky's work as Walter comes to buy cars for all of his employees. He is grieving the death of his wife and somehow gets it in his head that Becky has also lost a spouse. In fact, her husband, Joe, is very much alive and in love with her. Joe likes to give her a hard time about her job, saying "it's just cars." Their son Chris has this to say about his mother's attention to her work:
This phenomenon is known as "normative social influence" - the desire to gain approval through situational behavior, despite not believing in the value of what one is doing.
He studies psychology.

Without revealing everything about the play, Becky ends up visiting Walter's home where he confesses his feelings for her. He is a bit embarrassed and covers:
It's that hour, you know. That late hour on a summer night when words come out easily.
What is it about a certain hour of the night where all one's defenses seem to disappear? I always feel my most creative at night. When I'm just a little bit tired, I stop judging myself and the creative energies start to flow.

I loved reading this play. I think the characters are wonderfully human and likeable, even when they do bad things. I also enjoyed the brief correspondence that I shared with Charles, the man who commissioned this play for his wife. He told me that their motto is "you don't have to be a Vanderbilt or d'Medici to commission a new work of art." :)

Towards the end of the play there is a wonderful scene between Joe and Walter ("what? the two men meet!" you say? oh that's right. it's lots of fun). Joe has my favorite line in the play:
I learned something a long time ago, Walter: No one - and I mean no one on earth - wants to hear how busy you are, how tired you are, or what happened to you at the airport.
We all have that airport story. Might make an interesting book. Short stories of people's airport nightmares -- something to read the next time you have a five-hour layover in Tennessee. 

Tomorrow's Play: Split by Michael Weller (apparently the theme of the week is infidelity!)


This Week's Plays

It has been requested that I post the plays farther in advance to give people the opportunity to get and read the plays along with me. I happily oblige! I will attempt to post them two weeks in advance, leaving the option open to make substitutions if the mood strikes me!

Without further ado. This week's plays are (in this order):

1) Becky's New Car by Steven Dietz
2) Split by Michael Weller
3) The House of Yes by Wendy MacLeod
4) Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe
5) Loose Knit by Theresa Rebeck
6) Golden Boy by Clifford Odets
7) The Actor's Nightmare by Christopher Durang

NEXT week's plays:

1) All My Sons by Arthur Miller
2) Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire
3) Dublin Carol by Conor McPherson
4) The 39 Steps adapted by Patrick Barlow, from the novel by John Buchan
5) Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
6) The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash
7) Plenty by David Hare

I would be remiss not to mention that if you're in the NY area, the Strand is by far your best stop to search for plays. I have found many gems there over the years, including many in the $1.00 bins outside the store!

Happy Reading! :)


' (1) absurdist (1) american (68) British (17) chekhov (1) classical (33) comedic (49) contemporary (108) dramatic (44) fairy-tale (1) farce (8) helen keller (1) impediment (2) Irish (1) musical (2) no role (3) nudity (1) one-act (9) pulitzer (4) role (117) serio-comedic (43) shakespeare (4) Shaw (2) thriller (1) tragedy (4) translation (3) war (2)