Friends, thespians, audience-members, lend me your ears as we celebrate World Theatre Day! For those who love and have missed live theatre, check out one of these plays or Broadway-inspired books from the Homewood Public Library!
Plays to check out!
The Clean House and Other Plays, Sarah Ruhl – This volume is the first publication of Sarah Ruhl, “a playwright with a unique comic voice, perspective, and sense of theater” (Variety), who is fast leaving her mark on the American stage. In the award-winning Clean House—a play of uncommon romance and uncommon comedy—a maid who hates cleaning dreams about creating the perfect joke, while a doctor who treats cancer leaves his heart inside one of his patients. This volume also includes Eurydice, Ruhl’s reinvention of the tragic Greek tale of love and loss, together with a third play still to be named.
The Flick, Annie Baker – In a rundown movie theater in central Massachusetts, three underpaid employees sweep up popcorn in the empty aisles and tend to one of the last thirty-five-millimeter projectors in the state. With keen insight and a ceaseless attention to detail, The Flick pays tribute to the power of movies and paints a heartbreaking portrait of three characters and their working lives. A critical hit when it premiered Off-Broadway, this comedy, by one of the country’s most produced and highly regarded young playwrights, was awarded the coveted 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, an Obie Award for Playwriting and the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Angels in America, Tony Kushner – The play is a complex, often metaphorical, and at times symbolic examination of AIDS and homosexuality in America in the 1980s. Certain major and minor characters are supernatural beings (angels) or deceased persons (ghosts). The play contains multiple roles for several of the actors. Initially and primarily focusing on a gay couple in Manhattan, the play also has several other storylines, some of which occasionally intersect.
Fairview, Jackie Sibblies Drury – Grandma’s birthday approaches. Beverly is organizing the perfect dinner, but everything seems doomed to go awry–the silverware is all wrong, the radio is on the fritz, and the rest of the family can’t be bothered to lift a hand to help. And yet, what appears at first to be a standard family dramedy takes a sharp, sly turn into a startling examination of deep-seated paradigms about race in America.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon – Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.
Rabbit Hole, David Lindsay-Abaire – A story of loss, heartbreak and forgiveness—told through daily moments and emotional hurdles—as a family moves on after the accidental death of their 4-year-old. After a critically acclaimed Broadway premier and successful film adaptation (starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, and Diane West), Rabbit Hole has been hailed as an artistic breakthrough for the highly regarded Lindsay-Abaire. A drama of what comes after tragedy, it captures “the awkwardness and pain of thinking people faced with an unthinkable situation—and eventually, their capacity for survival.” -USA Today
Sugar, Butter, Flour: The Waitress Pie Cookbook, Jenna Hunterson –
In the cult classic movie-turned-Broadway production, the eternally optimistic protagonist of Waitress expresses her hopes, dreams, fears, and frustrations through the whimsically named pies she bakes each morning. Sugar, Butter, Flour celebrates this art of baking from the heart, with foolproof and flavorful pies for seduction, pies for mending a broken heart, pies for celebrating new beginnings and pies for all the little milestones that come afterwards. Taking its inspiration from the iconic mile-high pies of the diner case, Sugar, Butter, Flour offers an array of showstopping pies, each with a twist that puts it over the top; from rum-spiked cookie crusts to hidden layers of passion fruit preserves, these are familiar favorites with hidden depths. The ideal gift for anyone who has ever eaten her feelings or baked away the blues, Sugar, Butter, Flour proves there’s a perfect pie for every occasion – and that everything looks better with pie.
Hamilton: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter –
Hamilton: The Revolution gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages–“since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda–trace its development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Gregory Maguire –
Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.
An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Gregory Maguire just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature.
Break an Egg!: The Broadway Cookbook, Tara Theoharis –
Warm up your appetite with some Eggrolls for Mr. Goldstone (Gypsy) served with a side of Too Darn Hot Sauce (Kiss Me, Kate). Looking for some liquid courage? Whip yourself up Another Vodka Stinger (Company) or make good with The Wizard and Ice (Wicked). Need something with a bit more substance? Schnitzel With Noodles (The Sound of Music) is one of our favorite things, or you can spice it up with Mama’s Well-Peppered Ragu (Chicago). Then again, if you’re craving something really indulgent, try our Angel (Food Cake) of Music (The Phantom of the Opera). It’s guaranteed to bring down the chandelier.
With fun illustrations and gorgeous food photography throughout, this book is the perfect gift for season ticket holders, drama kids, and Broadway fans of all ages.