Saturday Night Fever star Paige Price and Obi-winner Matthew Maher will perform at Drama Books when the store hosts three selected readings from the recently published anthology, "Plays and Playwrights for the New Millennium." This reading takes place on March 16 at 5 PM.
The new play anthology, recently published by New York Theatre Experience, had previous readings at the Present Company, Applause Books and Theatre Ten Ten in New York City. A March 29 reading is scheduled in Washington, D.C. at Backstage Books.
The three works that have been selected for reading are Midnight Brainwash Revival by Kirk Wood Bromley, Cafe Society by Robert Simonson and So, I Killed A Few People... by Gary Ruderman and David Summers.
Two special guests will be performing at Drama Books. Saturday Night Fever star Paige Price will participate in the reading of Simonson's Cafe Society and Obie-winning actor Matthew Maher will participate in the reading of Bromley's Midnight Brainwash Revival. There will be a book-signing after the reading.
Other plays in the anthology (not being read) are Horse Country by C. J. Hopkins, When Words Fail... by David Dannenfelser, Making Peter Pope by Edmund De Santis, Crunching Numbers by Lynn Marie Macy and Are We There Yet? by Garth Wingfield. Available since Feb. 1, the anthology comprises eight plays featuring works that have been produced in New York City, Off-Off Broadway, throughout 1998 99. Edited by Martin Denton, "Plays and Playwrights for the New Millennium" is intended to provide industry professionals and theatre readers with access to new theatrical works. Denton, who is theatre critic for nytheatre.com, provides critical essays, playwright biographies, information about New York productions of the works, and guidelines to obtaining performance and production rights for each play.
The anthology is being marketed using the new model for publishing, which includes such internet outlets as Amazon.com and Denton's own New York Theatre Experience website. In addition, "Plays and Playwrights for the New Millennium" is available at more traditional theatre resources like Applause Books, Drama Books, New York's Samuel French, Books and Books in Cora Gables, Florida, both Unabridged Books and Act I Books in Chicago, Backstage Books in Washington, DC, and in the Old Globe Theatre Shop in San Diego, California. It is also available through the Stage and Screen book club.
As reported earlier, the anthology runs the gamut from farce to satire and comic drama.
The general public is invited to the Drama Books reading. Drama Books is located at 723 Seventh Avenue (second floor) between West 48th and West 49th Streets. Reservations can be made, although they are not necessary. For information call (212) 944-0595.
Nytheatre.com provided the following thumbnail sketches of each work:
• Produced originally by the Inverse Theatre at the Kraine Theatre in New York City in December 1999, Kirk Wood Bromley's Midnight Brainwash Revival is a New Year's revel combining millennial madness and dazzling word play.
• Originally produced by The Present Company at the Theatorium in January 1999, C.J. Hopkins' Horse Country takes audiences to a bleak theatrical landscape where two actors explore the nature of what the playwright describes as "post-everything America."
• Another Theatorium production, which was later revised and produced by Eponymous Theatre at the John Houseman Studio Theatre, David Dannenfelser's When Words Fail... is a romantic fantasy where the human spirit triumphs over technological madness.
• First run by the Harbor Theatre In New York City in March 1999, Edmund De Santis' Making Peter Pope explores the mind of a gay man as he struggles to restore control of his life in the midst of very strained circumstances.
• Distilled Spirits Theatre Company produced Lynn Marie Macy's Crunching Numbers at New York City's Trilogy Theatre in Oct. 1998. Macy's play is a triptych of one-acts that focus on the pressures involved with turning 30.
• The Manhattan Playhouse first produced Cafe Society by Playbill On Line editor Robert Simonson in Feb. 1998. In this comedy, a demonic coffee shop counter girl befriends an ordinary young woman with gleefully satiric results.
• The Annoyance Theatre Production of Gary Ruderman and David Summers' So, I Killed a Few People... in Chicago predated the 1998 New York International Fringe Festival version by a year. This play involves a monologue by a serial killer who, as his last request, seeks to put on a one man show.
• Originally produced by New Voices Theatre Ensemble at Synchronicity Space in New York City, in April 1999, Garth Wingfield's Are We There Yet? is a bittersweet comic drama about a young woman who takes an insightful and inspiring journey after receiving some disturbing medical news.
"Plays and Playwrights for the New Millennium" runs 384 pages and is available for $14.
-- By Murdoch McBride