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!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Riant Book Club at Tello Restaurant December 20th

The Riant Book Club Events for December & January:

Date: December 20, 2006 at 6pm - 8:30 p.m.
Tello Restaurant, 263 West 19th Street, between 7th & 8th Avenue,
RSVP: 646-623-3488
The two plays that we will be dicussing are in
The Best Plays from The Strawberry One-Act Festival: Volume Three.

When The Cherry Blossoms Bloom by Steven A. Shapiro. Two joggers who meet in a park breathe life into each others lives.

Love - This Game Is Real by Tremane Hickman. A poetic story about a girl and a guy anxiously waiting to play the game of love without getting played.

Date: January 24, 2007 at 6pm - 8:30 p.m.
Good Restaurant, 89 Greenwich Avenue, between Bank Street and West 12th Street. One block west of 7th Avenue. Take the 1, 2, 3, A, C, E train to 14th Street.
RSVP: 646-623-3488

The two plays that we will be dicussing are in
The Best Plays from The Strawberry One-Act Festival: Volume Three.

It's About Forgiveness by Albi Gorn. A delightful comedy about a man who seeks out his wife in heaven to ask for forgiveness.

Three Women by Michael D. Jackson. Three world famous female writers, Dorothy Parker, Lorraine Hansberry and Maxine Hong Kingston meet in limbo for a tea party.

We all had a great time at La Belle Vie, 184 Eight Avenue as we discussed Cut Short by Jonathan Zungre and Grave Concerns by Sue E. Sneeringer. Jonathan shared with us his inspiration for his play, which deals with teenage suicide. It's a powerful play about a teenage girl who's life is cut short because she doesn't see another other way to deal with her depression over the breakup from her boy friend. The play serves as a wake up call and enforces the need for all of us to be aware of the early signs of depression and how to seek help for people who suffer from this sometimes debilitating affliction.

Although, Sue was unable to join us because of a death of a colleague, we discussed her play at length. Grave Concerns was an appropriate play to compliment Cut Short. It deals with the spirit world and a woman, Eve, a professional photographer who is on assignment at the Pavialion at Charles Evans Cemetery, in Reading Pennsylvania, taking pictures of gravesites for a new book. Ironically, Eve is busy capturing the resting place of other people, while avoiding the one person closest to her who is very ill and facing death, her mother. The spirits of several people who are at the Gravesite and haven't crossed over help Eve to face her own fears and to go home to her mother and be there for her. Eve learns an important lesson about respecting the dead, but an even bigger one about appreciating the living and cherishing every living moment and not taking it for granted.

We all enjoyed a wonderful bruch at La Belle Vie, the food was delicious and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a wonderful ambiance and staff.

In October we went to Cuba Cafe on 8th Avenue between 20th & 21st Street. We discussed Requiem For A Life by Tony Macy Perez and Fun On The Bayou by Vivian Neuwirth. A good time was had by all as we discussed Tony's play that deals with family traditions and assimulation.
Requiem For A Life deals with the strained relationship between a father, who was born and raised in Cuba and now lives in the United States and his son, who was born and raised in the United States. It's a stuggle of wills and lifestyles as the son returns home for his mother's funeral and is confronted by his father who wishes he followed traditional Cuban customs. It a time for healing and clearing up misunderstandings, respect and love. It's a powerful play which I higly recommend to all to read.

In mourning the loss of loved ones, sometimes celebrating their lives is all we can do to give us comfort. We laughed and compared family secrets as Vivian Neuwirth shared with us the fact that her play was based on her dysfunctional loving family. Of course she changed the names to protect her family, but innocent they are not. In fact, writing the play was a liberating experience for Vivian who experienced another loss when her home town was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. She pays homage to New Orleans with this play in which a family decides to make a stop by the mall after leaving a funeral, so a granddaughter can shop to honor her granddaddy's memory. Of course the girl is not in her right mind, so the family concedes to her wishes only to be alarmed moments later when she comes out of the Mall being escorted by a police officer who is determined to arrest her for shoplifting. So guess where she spent the night? Yes, in jail. She never did make it to the wake. They never told a soul about the arrest, but who would believe them? Anyway the experience made for a very moving play about love and devotion. Mrs. Neuwirth won the BEST ACTRESS award for her performance in Fun On The Bayou when it was performed in the Strawberry One-Act Festival in February of 2005.


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