Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Update on authors and their work

David J. Mauriello, author of several plays in my anthology Short Plays To Long Remember wrote me – “My play SPIRITS WILLING is being presented by ACT ONE at the West End Studio Theatre, 959 Islington Street in Portsmouth August 18, 20 at 2 PM and August 18, 19, 20 at 8PM. He quoted from the ACT ONE brochure: " David Mauriello's deliciously wicked Machiavelllian fable. SPIRITS WILLING. Take a lusty young woman, marry her to an older man (who is, shall we say, well endowed), mix in a handsome young brother, stir in a lascivious hag and her huge dog Quido, whisk in generous portions of greed and handfuls of duplicity -then wait thirty seconds for the fun and laughter to begin!! (for mature audiences) 603 300 2986 www.actononenh.org"

Another of the playwrights from Short Plays…George Zarr, whose THE FIRST AND LAST MUSICAL ON MARS recently closed in Chicago has been approached by the theatre’s producer to write a new musical for them to produce with a full out budget.
Third author from Short Plays…, Victor Gluck, who has been busy writing this last year finished his THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, based on a Henry James piece. I directed several scenes from this play during the past year as my swan song to stage directing.
This weekend I attended a celebration of life for my former set designer and book cover artist, the incredible Leon Munier. We were friends for over 30 years, and attending the event at his Mattituck home were relatives I had heard him talk about for years, and friends of his I had not seen in years. It was a lavish affair with incredible finger foods and a large choice of beverages, followed by a ceremony of spreading ashes, reminiscences, planting of a commemorative tree and then a bar b q. Started in mid afternoon it ran well into the night. Leon would have had a blast here. He was a great one for parties, where he used to plan various games of skill and logic to amuse and stymie his guests. We worked on plays by Jane Chambers, Adele Prandini, and Harvey Fierstein besides many others. Leon also costumed my actors when I ran Hasselfree Mysteries during the heyday of dinner theatre shows around New York City. He worked in the art department of NBC for many years.
If you are a theater buff, give yourself a treat, sign on to what I think is the best blog on the web. - RichardSkipper.Blogspot.com

Barbara Kingsolver outdid herself in her novel “The Lacuna.” I had to force myself to read the first 50 or 60 pages of this novel before I got caught up in the story and it swept me away. Much of the history that is the backdrop of the story was familiar to me – but some was very startling. I knew about the internment of Japanese and Germans during the Second World War here in America, and the Atomic Bomb reactions, and the cold war. I did not know the details of the Trotsky-Stalin fallout, and never heard a thing about Hoover’s maltreatment the homeless first world war veterans. How this book, partly set in Mexico and the rest in the U. S, weaves its web is fascinating – its catches you in the horrors of misquotations in the press, and the inexcusable McCarthy Committee Hearings. If we think this nation is at a low ebb now – this reminds us of many errors we have made in the past and that the true American spirit always resurfaces and finds its way. A most potent work of fiction and a glimpse at our ever changing history.
Larry McMurtry calls his “Books” a memoir. I call it a tribute to a fast fading way of life - the life of the book lover, book buyer and seller. It is a paean to a fading way of life, and a memorial to a beloved passion. As one who also loves boojs I was enthralled and saddened by much if it.
Traveling to and from Long Island to attend the Munier memorial event, I proofread copy for “Fairy Stories, Too” the third volume in my read-to-me series of fantasy stories to help bring back the bedtime story habit. Maggie Cousins has only a few more illustrations to complete and the book will be off to smashwords for an ebook version. Then Liam North Sheridan has to finish the back cover, and we will be sending of off for paper print copies.
In addition, I was reworking some of the stories from the final volume of this series, “Gremlins, Genies and Trolls, Oh My!” which contains some of my favorite stories of enchanted creatures. I decided to add an extra story to this book – a bonus – or, as we say at birthdays about the candles, one to grow on – and will be busy this next week writing the tale of a very, very old genie teaching a very young one the art of wish granting.
I have a new website, just for my books. Check it out – http://writerfrancinetrevens.co
On a serious note, I had submitted the following in three parts because of word count limits on facebook – it is on my profile page but they never put it out on the home pages. Guess it was deemed either dirty or dangerous.
Ok – let’s balance the budget. 20% income cut for 2 years for every elected official. They must use public transportation one week out of every 2 months, paying their own fare. Social security benefits under $1400 a month get cost of living raises, others none for next 3 years. Medicare and Medicaid stay same for all earning less that $200,000 a year. Those over lose 20% of benefits. Religious institutions pay 2% tax on their land for 3 years. Any business in default of taxes is barred from government contracts. IRS stops intimidating small tax defaulters concentrates on billions owed by the wealthy… garner salaries or repossess second homes, yachts, whatever. Cut down benefits to prisoners convicted of violent crimes. Slum landlords must “rent” 30% of properties to homeless willing to upgrade premises, in exchange for their work. Put luxury taxes on candy, snack foods and all bakery products other than breads. Employ Americans to go to needy countries to teach basic skills, help nations get employable citizens and upgrade infrastructures. Ship food and clothing bought here to needy nations... Send no money
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