The Riant Book Club

THE PLACE TO MEET, MINGLE, DISH & DISCUSS! Once a month the Riant Book Club will converge at a fabulous restaurant in Manhattan and talk about 2 plays chosen from The Best Plays From The Strawberry One-Act Festival: Volume One, Two or Three. There is NO FEE to belong to the Club. Just read the selected plays for the day, rsvp to reserve your seat at the restaurant and then show up. Everyone pays for their own meals and/or drinks. So bring your business cards and dress to impress!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Riant Book Club at the Piccolo Restaurant

The Riant Book Club had a great time at the Piccolo Restaurant on the Eastside. The food was delicious and the company even better.

Sharon Zaslaw
and Karen Page, host of Riant! Riant! Arts & Entertainment, get a hug from playwright David Risk who signed copies of his play THE KISSING BOOTH and discussed why he chose to write a play about a girl with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer that's terminal and quick. The carrier usually doesn't show any symptoms and can look perfectly fine. THE KISSING BOOTH is an enchanting story about a young lady named Beckie, who's working at a Kissing Booth to distract herself from the fact that she is dying. Bucky, an exterminator working in the park, decides to stand in the booth and get a few kisses when he discovers the booth is vacant. Beckie returns from her break and his breath is taken away jus
t by the mere presence of her beauty. Bucky, who's wife has recently died is in much need of a distraction too, but is determined to not let life pass him by and to live it with joy and conviction. He describes life as such: "It's all a kiss. Kiss of death. Kiss of life. Kiss of blindness. Kiss of vision. Kiss of ignorance. Kiss of reason. You don't get to pick your kiss, Beckie; it picks you. But sometimes...sometimes there's a kiss of grace. And when it better be open to it. You're more living than you are dying."

It's a very moving play, in which two wounded souls find each other and learn to take a chance on love, for whatever it's worth. After all, tomorrow isn't promised to any of us. Which reminds me, playwright Vivian Neuwirth was with us again. We'll be discussing her play FUN ON THE BAYOU in October. Stay tuned. That's me with Vivian below.

But not to be outdone playwright
Deborah Greenhut joined us, along with playwright John Baldi who discussed his play MONKEY RHYTHMS. John shared with us the fact that a childhood death of a friend inspired his play. It's a moving story of 3 generations, a loving son who's trying to get his elderly father, who's recently widowed and suffering from Alzheimer's, to leave his home and move in with him. But his father Pop, is determined to stay put even though he knows the house has already been sold. Pop has had a change of heart and wants to pass the house on to his grandson Jessie. It's a heartbreaking story as we read in the end, after Pop has tricked his son and grandson to leave the house only to lock them out and then proceeds to slow dance in the living room as he remembers fonder times with his beloved wife.

We were all able to relate to the two plays chosen for today's event. Love's a powerful potion and we were grateful to make some new friends and share some happy memories with some old friends. Good food, good wine, good friends, what more could you ask for? Well, I'm sure Carol Handwerker would agree a good waiter doesn't hurt as she thanks Antonio for the good service he provided us.


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