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: info@dramabookshop.com.

THIS WEEK’S DRAMA BOOK SHOP PICK:

BACK BACK BACK, CELEBRITY ROW, OUTRAGE: THREE PLAYS

by Itamar Moses

This is an interesting collection because it doesn't entirely make sense. The plays don't necessarily connect to or reflect each other, and they're presented in reverse chronological order, and also worth noting that there are plays that were written in between the three selections that aren't included.

BACK BACK BACK, premiered in September '08 is about three baseball players. Kent, a superstar fan favorite, Raul, the black sheep and Adam the rookie. The action starts while Kent and Raul are mid-career and are heavily involved in "vitamin enhancer's.” While there's no real fight for power between the three characters, there are definite shifts in perception versus behavior, idol versus protege.

CELEBRITY ROW, premiered in March '06 and is set in the ADX prison facility featuring the characters Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, Luis Felipe and Ramzi Yousef, and their interaction with the fictional do-gooder, Mazie, who tries to build a case to shut down ADX with Felipe's help. Everyone plays multiple characters in this somewhat farcical comedy, and although that adds to the humor, it also gives the play a level of crazy which keeps the audience from what could easily be an overly dramatic production. (Think Marat/Sade without the insane asylum)

OUTRAGE, premiering in February '03, set in ancient Athens, post World War II Germany and a New England University in 1999. An important Alumna's has offered a 40 million dollar gift to the university shortly after Professor Kale's appointment to Dean of the university. Her mentor Lomax and chair of the distribution committee wants to turn down the grant for fear of what edicts and impositions will be placed on the university if the endowment is accepted. Lomax enables the help of a new committee member Rivnine, who just wants to get his admin duties out of the way so he can focus on his students and hence offers Lomax his vote. Democracy at its finest.

In OUTRAGE, Steven, a TA working on his thesis, builds a theory that if he picks several titles from his professors' shelf at random, he can get said professor to make the necessary connections between the titles which would give him a thesis topic. THREE PLAYS by Itamar Moses is like Oleana, Spinning Into Butter, Marat/Sade, Take Me Out, Miss Saigon, Our Country's Good, applesauce and the US Constitution. I'll let you make the connections.

Cast: Back Back Back 3M; Celebrity Row 4M, 1W (all double other roles), Outrage 9M, 2W

Scenes/Monologues: Great scenes and monologues for men and women mid 20's-late 30's

Recommended by: Adam

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Description

Itamar Moses has been hailed as one of America's most talented young playwrights since his critically acclaimed "Bach at Leipzig" debuted in 2005. In this anthology of three new plays, Moses blurs the line between fact and fiction, dramatizing today's most infamous news stories. In "Back Back Back," the pressures of performance and reputation get the best of three professional baseball players when they are forced to reveal their not-so-natural secrets to winning the game. In "Celebrity Row," Moses imagines what Timothy McVeigh, Ted Kaczynski, the 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef, and the Latin Kings leader Luis Felipe would have philosophized about when they were inhabitants of the same maximum security prison in Colorado. Finally, in "Outrage," the dangerous teacher-disciple relationship calls all of academia into question with the help of none other than Socrates and Bertolt Brecht.


Product Details

Publisher : Faber & Faber
Published : 07/01/2009
Format : Paperback , pages 311
ISBN-10 : 0865479054
ISBN-13 : 9780865479050

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