Monday, October 17, 2016

VONNEGUT, USA …at Atwater Village

I met Kurt Vonnegut in the 1980’s when I was Assistant to the Publisher at Dell. He was one of our authors and lived up the block, but never came into the office. He was very private. The only time we talked was at an Academy of Arts & Sciences event to install new members, where he wryly noted that the Academy President had kissed the women but didn't kiss the men. At a party to celebrate his newest book, when the room fell silent for his speech, he said, "Goodnight everyone!" and left. 

Loved his books, especially Slaughterhouse-Five.

In the 1950s he wrote short stories for Colliers and Saturday Evening Post about life in small-town America that were light and fun, but with flashes of his unique ‘dark’ humor. Director Scott Rognlien has adapted five that highlight the pitfalls of Progress as it storms across the country during the Post-WWII Industrial Boom. 

Filled with unique, hilarious, and touching characters, these stories flow in and out of each other and yet still maintain their integrity. Says Rognlien, "Vonnegut mentioned in his writings that he always felt adaptations were missing one key character – him! With this adaptation, his voice and persona is integral to the stories."

The cast includes Rob Beddall, Keith Blaney, Jason Frost, Marjorie LeWit, Carryl Lynn, Darren Mangler Paul Nieman, Eric Normington, Maia Peters, Paul Plunkett, JR Reed, Rob Smith and Matt Taylor.

A Next Arena production at Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Avenue, LA, through Nov 20. Tickets: 323-805-9355 or Pay-what-you can at Sunday Matinees.

Photos by Maia Peters.

Also in the November issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY.

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