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Through interviews and the personal recollections of Hollywood luminaries, Bogle pieces together a remarkable history that remains largely obscure to this day. We discover that Black Hollywood was a place distinct from the studio-system-dominated Tinseltown–a world unto itself, with unique rules and social hierarchy. It had its own talent scouts and media, its own watering holes, elegant hotels, and fashionable nightspots, and of course its own glamorous and brilliant personalities.
Along with famous actors including Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Hattie McDaniel (whose home was among Hollywood’s most exquisite), and, later, the stunningly beautiful Lena Horne and the fabulously gifted Sammy Davis, Jr., we meet the likes of heartthrob James Edwards, whose promising career was derailed by whispers of an affair with Lana Turner, and the mysterious Madame Sul-Te-Wan, who shared a close lifelong friendship with pioneering director D. W. Griffith. But Bogle also looks at other members of the black community–from the white stars’ black servants, who had their own money and prestige, to gossip columnists, hairstylists, and architects–and at the world that grew up around them along Central Avenue, the Harlem of the West.
In the tradition of Hortense Powdermaker’s classic Hollywood: The Dream Factory and Neal Gabler’s An Empire of Their Own, in Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams, Donald Bogle re-creates a vanished world that left an indelible mark on Hollywood–and on all of America.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Ms. Hudes draws all her characters with precision and understanding... this warm-blooded play underscores how the disorienting flux of life can be navigated with the help of carefully tended family ties." — Charles Isherwood, New York Times
"Delightful... Hudes is a very accomplished storyteller, a playwright with an emergent, fulsome American narrative." — Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
At the dawn of the Arab Spring in an ancient Jordinian town, an Iraq War veteran struggles to overcome the traumas of combat by taking on an entirely new and unexpected career: an action-film hero. At the same time, halfway around the world in a cozy North Philadelphia kitchen, his cousin takes on a heroic new role of her own: as the heart and soul of her crumbling community, providing hot meals and an open door for the needy.
The final installment in Hudes’s three-play cycle, which began with the Pulitzer Prize-finalist Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue and Pulitzer Prize-winner Water By the Spoonful, The Happiest Song Plays Last is about the search for redemption, humility and one’s place in the world.
Quiara Alegría Hudes is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Water by the Spoonful, the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights and the Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue. Her other works include Barrio Grrrl!, a children’s musical; 26 Miles; Yemaya’s Belly and The Happiest Song Plays Last, the third piece in her acclaimed trilogy. Hudes is on the board of Philadelphia Young Playwrights, which produced her first play in the tenth grade. She now lives in New York with her husband and children.
Springing from the author's personal experiences in China, Chinglish follows a Midwestern American businessman desperately seeking to score a lucrative contact for his family's firm as he travels to China, only to discover how much he doesn't understand. Named for the unique and often comical third language that evolves from attempts to translate Chinese signs into English, Chinglish explores the challenges of doing business in a country whose language—and underlying cultural assumptions—are worlds apart from our own. David Henry Hwang's "best new work since M. Butterfly, this shrewd, timely and razor-sharp comedy" (Chicago Tribune) received its Broadway premiere in fall 2011, and a film adaptation is currently in development.
David Henry Hwang is the author of the Tony Award-winning M. Butterfly, Yellow Face (OBIE Award, 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist), Golden Child (1997 OBIE Award), FOB (1981 OBIE Award), Family Devotions (Drama Desk nomination), and the books for musicals Aida ( co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 Broadway revival), and Tarzan, among other works. David Henry Hwang graduated from Stanford University, attended the Yale School of Drama, and holds honorary degrees from Columbia College in Chicago and The American Conservatory Theatre. He lives in New York City with his wife, actress Kathryn Layng, and their children, Noah David and Eva Veanne.
The dead of winter, Long Beach Island, New Jersey, Charlie, has hit rock bottom. Away from the rest of the world, this perfect escape is interrupted by a motley parade of misfits who show up and change his plans. A hired beauty, a fireman, and an eccentric British real estate agent desperately trying to stay in the country all suddenly find themselves tangled together in a beach house where the mood is anything but sunny.
This pithy piece portrays a scenario of attempted suicide with mordant humour, where a basis of social alienation leads to unexpected connections. The richly-drawn characters are quick-witted and narcissistic yet self-aware and the dialogue is fluid and witty.
All New People is centred around a clever concept which works as a catalyst for both angst-fuelled scrutiny and morbid humour.
"A very funny, warm and, yes, uplifting play with characters that are vivid, vital and who stay with you long after the play is over."—Hartford Courant
"Ms. Hudes possesses a confident and arresting voice."—The New York Times
Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Quiara Alegría Hudes's drama is a heartbreaking, funny, and inspiring account of the search for family in both conventional and unconventional places.
Somewhere in Philadelphia, Elliot has returned from Iraq and is struggling to find his place in the world, while somewhere in a chat room, recovering addicts forge an unbreakable bond of support and love. The boundaries of family and friendship are stretched across continents and cyberspace as birth families splinter and online families collide.
Water by the Spoonful is the second installment in a trilogy of plays that follow Elliot, a young veteran of the Iraq War. The trilogy's first play, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize and will be published by Theatre Communications Group concurrently with Water by the Spoonful. The trilogy's final play, The Happiest Song Plays Last, premiered in April 2012 at Chicago's renowned The Goodman Theatre.
"Without sacrificing his mordant wit or bleak worldview, this distinctive dramatist shows a new maturity and empathy in."?The New York Times
"Nicky Silver's terrific play is filled with moments when you can't stop laughing even though the circumstances indicate you really shouldn't. . . . A wonderful little riff on family dysfunction."?Associated Press
"Silver finds plenty of fresh bite, and the sheer savagery of his observation here is breathtaking. Watching it brings the dueling sensations of wicked mirth and squirming discomfort at being trapped in the hell of someone else's family horrors. That these are exaggerations of our own is what gives the play its teeth."—The Hollywood Reporter
This vicious, hilarious black comedy opened on Broadway in April 2012 to rave reviews.
Nicky Silver, that "strange progeny of a coupling between Mr. Neil Simon and Edward Albee" (The New York Times), has cornered the market on deliciously savage dysfunctional family comedies. Following an acclaimed run Off-Broadway, this intimate and frightening examination of how we cope with loneliness and disappointment currently delights audiences on Broadway.
Rita Lyons is the matriarch of a family facing a major crossroads. Her husband, Ben, is dying and her grown children are struggling. As the family gathers in Ben's hospital room, they discover that they're as terrified of being together as they are of being alone.
With his latest play Good People, David Lindsay-Abaire returns to Manhattan Theatre Club where four of his previous works were produced, including his 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning Rabbit Hole. The play premiered there in winter 2011 in a production directed by Daniel Sullivan (who also directed Rabbit Hole), and featuring Frances McDormand in the role of protagonist Margie Walsh. Good People is set in South Boston, the blue-collar neighborhood where Lindsay-Abaire himself grew up: Margie Walsh, let go from yet another job and facing eviction, decides to appeal to an old flame who has made good and left his Southie past behind. Lindsay-Abaire offers us both his "quiet three-dimensional depth" (Los Angeles Times) and his carefully observed humor in this exploration of life in America when you're on your last dollar.
David Lindsay-Abaire is the author of Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, A Devil Inside, Wonder of the World, and Rabbit Hole, in addition to the book for the musicals High Fidelity and Shrek. His plays have been produced throughout the United States and around the world.
Brooke has come home to draw a line in the sand and is daring her family to cross it. Her brother won't play her game; her aunt knows way too much, and her parents fall into all their old routines as they plead with her to keep their story quiet. In this family, secrets are currency and everyone is rich.
In simplest terms, the play is about a girl who comes home to the desert with a story about where she is from, who her people really are, what she thinks they really are. Her parents represent an Establishment that she feels has betrayed this country. She goes to war with them, and blood is spilled.
Louisiana, 1963: A nation reeling from the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement and the Kennedy assassination. Caroline, a black maid, and Noah, the son of the Jewish family she works for, struggle to find an identity for their friendship. Through their intimate story, this beautiful new musical portrays the changing rhythms of a nation. Tony Kushner and composer Jeanine Tesori have created a story that addresses contemporary questions of culture, community, race and class through the lens and musical pulse of the 1960s.
Tony Kushner is best known for the two-part masterwork, Angels in America, recently produced by HBO as a six-hour television event, directed by Mike Nichols to universal acclaim. His other plays include Homebody/Kabul, A Bright Room Called Day and Slavs!; as well as adaptations of Corneille’s The Illusion, Ansky’s The Dybbuk, Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechuan and Goethe’s Stella. Current projects include: Henry Box Brown or The Mirror of Slavery and St. Cecilia or The Power of Music. He recently collaborated with Maurice Sendak on an American version of the children’s opera, Brundibar. He grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and he lives in New York.
Jeanine Tesori wrote the score for Thoroughly Modern Millie, which won the 2002 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical and the multiple-award-winning Violet.
The night before his assassination, King retires to room 306 in the now-famous Lorraine Motel after giving an acclaimed speech to a massive church congregation. When a mysterious young maid visits him to deliver a cup of coffee, King is forced to confront his past and the future of his people.
Portraying rhetoric, hope and ideals of social change, The Mountaintop also explores being human in the face of inevitable death. The play is a dramatic feat of daring originality, historical narration and triumphant compassion.
This Modern Classics edition of the play features a foreword by Michael Eric Dyson and an introduction by Faedra Chatard Carpenter, Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Theatre, University of Maryland.
For Billy is determined to cross the sea and audition for the Yank. As news of his audacity ripples through his rumour-starved community, The Cripple of Inishmaan becomes a merciless portrayal of a world so comically cramped and mean-spirited that hope is an affront to its order.
With this bleak yet uproariously funny play, Martin McDonagh fulfilled the promise of his award-winning The Beauty Queen of Leenane while confirming his place in a tradition that extends from Synge to O'Casey and Brendan Behan.
“splendidly silly... One Man” is, like Mr. Corden’s grin, both satanic and seraphic, dirty-minded and utterly innocent.... ideal escapism for anxious times.” – New York Times
“deliriously funny” – Washington Post
“gobsmackingly funny... this virtuoso banquet of slapstick farce and verbal jousting brings with it a shocking revelation: How starved we were for comedy.” – Time Out New York
“Few theatergoing experiences are as joyously liberating ... Striking an ingenious balance between meticulous planning and what plays like anarchic spontaneity.. the show now looks set to slay Broadway” – Hollywood Reporter
“I laughed my goddamn head off.” – Financial Times
“[This] breathtakingly inventive addition to Ruhl’s singular body of work . . . has the potential to be a modern masterpiece.”–Los Angeles Times
Sarah Ruhl made her Broadway debut this fall with her latest effervescent comedy: a play about sex, intimacy, and equality, set in the 1880s, when enthusiasm for the electric light bulb gave rise to a handy new instrument to treat female hysteria. The story revolves around the medical office and home of Dr. Givings, who regularly induces “paroxysm” in his once high-strung patient Sabrina, allowing her to happily return to playing piano. Soon, Sabrina falls in love with the doctor’s assistant Annie, and also befriends his wife Catherine, who is dealing with her own neurotic misgivings about not being able to breast-feed her baby. With this new work, Ruhl once again uses playful symbolism and lyrical language as she makes seemingly effortless thematic leaps—crafting a play with tremendous critical and audience appeal, in her singular theatrical voice.
Sarah Ruhl’s plays include Dead Man’s Cell Phone, The Clean House (a Pulitzer Prize finalist), Passion Play, and Eurydice, all of which have been widely produced throughout the United States and internationally. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.
'Look Back in Anger presents post-war youth as it really is. To have done this at all would be a significant achievement; to have done it in a first play is a minor miracle. All the qualities are there, qualities one had despaired of ever seeing on stage - the drift towards anarchy, the instinctive leftishness, the automatic rejection of "official" attitudes, the surrealist sense of humour . . . the casual promiscuity, the sense of lacking a crusade worth fighting for and, underlying all these, the determination that no one who dies shall go unmourned.' Kenneth Tynan, Observer, 13 May 1956
'Look Back in Anger . . . has its inarguable importance as the beginning of a revolution in the British theatre, and as the central and most immediately influential expression of the mood of its time, the mood of the "angry young man".' John Russell Taylor
Clybourne Park is the winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play.
Ever since it was first performed in 1949, Death of a Salesman has been recognized as a milestone of the American theater. In the person of Willy Loman, the aging, failing salesman who makes his living riding on a smile and a shoeshine, Arthur Miller redefined the tragic hero as a man whose dreams are at once insupportably vast and dangerously insubstantial. He has given us a figure whose name has become a symbol for a kind of majestic grandiosity—and a play that compresses epic extremes of humor and anguish, promise and loss, between the four walls of an American living room.
"By common consent, this is one of the finest dramas in the whole range of the American theater." —Brooks Atkinson, The New York Times
"So simple, central, and terrible that the run of playwrights would neither care nor dare to attempt it." —Time
Drawing on primary documentary sources, oral history—including interviews with members of the original creative team such as Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents—and early sketch material, Wells explores the creation and dissemination of West Side Story to diverse audiences. After a short history of West Side Story's creation, each chapter investigates the musical from a different cultural perspective, examining its relationship to the classical canon and Leonard Bernstein's investment in that tradition, juvenile delinquency in the 1950s, feminism and the women of West Side Story, Latin-American and Hispanic influences, and its international reception and distribution. Richly illustrated with images and musical examples and complete with factual appendixes like a chronological timeline, discography, and cast and crew list, this fascinating account is exciting for specialists and non-specialists alike.
“The staggering purity of this show will touch all open hearts…In its refined, imaginative simplicity, it daringly reverses all the conventional rules by returning the American musical to an original state of innocence.”—John Heilpern, The New York Observer
“An unexpected jolt of sudden genius, edgy in its brutally honest, unromanticized depiction of human sexuality.”—New York Post
Spring Awakening is an extraordinary new rock musical with book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Duncan Sheik. Inspired by Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play about teenage sexuality and society’s efforts to control it, the piece seamlessly merges past and present, underscoring the timelessness of adolescent angst and the universality of human passion.
Steven Sater’s plays include the long-running Carbondale Dreams, Perfect for You, Doll (Rosenthal Prize/Cincinnati Playhouse), Umbrage (Steppenwolf New Play Prize), and a reconceived version of Shakespeare’s Tempest, which played in London.
Duncan Sheik is a singer/songwriter who also collaborated with Sater on the musical The Nightingale. He has composed original music for The Gold Rooms of Nero and for The Public Theater’s Twelfth Night in Central Park.
The holiday season brings the chance to give, and what better gift is there than one of the most beloved stories in the English language? This year, we at Atria Books are offering a free ebook edition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the perfect companion for a cozy night by the fire.
Since its publication in 1843, A Christmas Carol and the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge have become literary classics. Illuminated with practical scholarship and questions for discussion, this edition makes a charming package that includes the facts behind the fiction, as well as the pure joy and magic of this timeless tale about the true meaning of Christmas.
“A powerhouse drama. . . . Lynn Nottage’s beautiful, hideous and unpretentiously important play [is] a shattering, intimate journey into faraway news reports.”—Linda Winer, Newsday
“An intense and gripping new drama . . . the kind of new play we desperately need: well-informed and unafraid of the world’s brutalities. Nottage is one of our finest playwrights, a smart, empathetic and daring storyteller who tells a story an audience won’t expect.”—David Cote, Time Out New York
A rain forest bar and brothel in the brutally war-torn Congo is the setting for Lynn Nottage’s extraordinary new play. The establishment’s shrewd matriarch, Mama Nadi, keeps peace between customers from both sides of the civil war, as government soldiers and rebel forces alike choose from her inventory of women, many already “ruined” by rape and torture when they were pressed into prostitution. Inspired by interviews she conducted in Africa with Congo refugees, Nottage has crafted an engrossing and uncommonly human story with humor and song served alongside its postcolonial and feminist politics in the rich theatrical tradition of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage.
Lynn Nottage’s plays include Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Fabulation, and Intimate Apparel, winner of the American Theatre Critics’ Steinberg New Play Award and the Francesca Primus Prize. Her plays have been widely produced, with Intimate Apparel receiving more productions than any other play in America during the 2005-2006 season.
Intimate Apparel: “Thoughtful, affecting new play . . . with seamless elegance.”—Charles Isherwood, Variety
Fabulation: “Robustly entertaining comedy . . . with punchy social insights and the firecracker snap of unexpected humor.”—Ben Brantley, The New York Times
With her two latest plays, “exceptionally gifted playwright” (New York Observer) Lynn Nottage has created companion pieces that span 100 years in the lives of African American women. Intimate Apparel is about the empowerment of Esther, a proud and shy seamstress in 1905 New York who creates exquisite lingerie for both Fifth Avenue boudoirs and Tenderloin bordellos. In Fabulation Nottage re-imagines Esther as Undine, the PR-diva of today, who spirals down from her swanky Manhattan office to her roots back in Brooklyn. Through opposite journeys, Esther and Undine achieve the same satisfying end, one of self-discovery.
Lynn Nottage’s plays include Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Mud, River, Stone; Por’ Knockers; Las Menias; Fabulation and Intimate Apparel, for which she was awarded the Francesca Primus Prize and the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award in 2004. Her plays have been produced at theatres throughout the country, with Intimate Apparel slated for 16 productions during the 2005–2006 season.