Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th Pt. 3: The Book Club Play

By Russ Bickerstaff
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 The standard workweek ends in another Friday the 13th. (Again.) This is the second month in a row. Being a well-adjusted, non-superstitious person, I can’t stress enough that this has no significance to me at all. That being said, I am out of town this particular Friday the 13th. (On the other side of the continent.) I can’t stress enough that this is NOT because I’m superstitious. This particular Friday the 13th, no less than three shows will be opening in the area with another theatre event going on for good measure. Here’s one of the shows I will be missing this Friday . . . but NOT because I am superstitious.

 

Tonight, Soulstice Theatre  presents A Wisconsin Premiere Reader’s Theatre production of Karen Zacraias’ The Book Club Play. The play, which debuted just last year in Maryland, tells the tale of what evidently goes on at a typical book club. A video documentary is being done on this particular group, allowing us to see some of the inner struggles of the characters as they intermittently deliver monologues directly to the audience, which serves as the camera of the documentary. A promising premise for what is likely the Milwaukee premiere of the drama in the intimate space of the Marion Center’s Studio Theatre.

With the growing prominence of book clubs, the comedy has a built-in appeal for some who may want to attend it with the rest of their group.In the short time since it first debuted, there have already been a number of productions of it all over the country. 

Those clubs that may still have an open opportunity to read something new during the run of the production may wish to consider reading Edith Wharton’s 1921 Pullitzer Prize-Winning The Age Of Innocence, which figures prominently in the play. The club could then discuss the book, the play AND the fictitious book club’s reaction to it. It might be kind of interesting meta-art . . . an enriching improvised meta-thatre for pre-existing book clubs.

 

Soulstice Thetre’s production of The Book Club Play  runs now through April 4th at the Soulstice lab Theatre in the Marion Center.

 

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