Each week the expert staff of the renowned Drama Book Shop in Manhattan, just seconds away from Broadway, recommends one play that's new, interesting, or just flat-out fantastic. Picking the best of published work, they help keep us up to date and aware of the little known, broadening our horizons and encouraging dialogue. Order a play from The Drama Book Shop, read it, and e-mail them with your thoughts–they'd love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THIS WEEK’S DRAMA BOOK SHOP PICK:
by Conor McPherson
Scrumpy Jack, Chardonnay, and Smithwicks are the drinks of choice for Kevin, Dermot, and Joe, respectively.
These men are three down and out Dubliners; their drink choices are a direct reflection of their place (or lack there of) in modern day Dublin society. One young, one middle-aged, and one old, they tell us their stories, in monologue, from the longing in their hearts.
This play deals with lost loves and missed chances not in the tragic sense as a lot of American playwrights do. McPherson refuses to reside in tragedy, injecting humor and insisting that things could always be worse. He also suggests that one’s own dream is not all that’s to be had, that friends, family and the little things are just as important.
An element of suspense is created throughout by these overlapping of stories that seem to have endless possibilities. Ultimately it’s McPherson’s ability to story-tell with simplistic yet surprising phrases that makes Port Authority a listener’s candy.
Monologues/Scenes: The play itself is a trilogy of male monologues intercut and intertwined. Each monologue is easily extractable (due to the fact that all three stories are independent of each other) as a possible one-man one-act.
Recommended by: Muiris
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Like so many of the great Irish authors, McPherson's writing has a beautiful, lyrical quality and the characters he creates are not easily forgotten. Once again, he explores the heart and psyche of the common man in these three interconnected monologues. The young man who is desperate to move out of his parent's house once and for all; the middle-aged man, a borderline alcoholic and serial loser who has landed a job he's not qualified for; and the old man, a sprightly widower who tries to make the most of his mundane retirement home existence. Set against a backdrop of contemporary Dublin-these three different generations are vastly different yet all three share a common concern about lost love-and their own part in losing it. The power of these three interlocking stories grows gradually into one incisive portrait of Dublin life, in a play that is hilarious in its detail and moving in its portrait of ordinary lives.""
Conor McPherson was born in 1971 in Dublin. He is best known for "The Weir" which ran in London's West End for 18 months as well as a lengthy Broadway run. He has won the Laurence Olivier, Critics Circle, Evening Standard, Meyer-Whitworth, Stewart Parker and George Devine awards. Following "I Went Down" (1998), his second film, "Saltwater," which he directed himself, recently opened in London.
Also available by Conor McPherson: "
The Weir and Other Plays"
PB $15.95 1-55936-167-0 USA"
PB $11.95 1-55936-185-9 USA