from the Footlights


MARCH 2008                                                          “Life shouldn’t be all work and no plays.”



March 10 -- The Price by Arthur Miller


Are you longing for a play with deeply developed characters and a plot that continually surprises? Do you relish revelation upon revelation, conflict upon conflict? Do you appreciate the irony that real-life brothers will portray the fictional brothers? And the added irony is that the play’s catalyst, the old furniture dealer, is their real-life father?


The Price is one of Arthur Miller’s best plays, slowly uncovering a family past that haunts two brothers. The policeman and the doctor must sell off their father’s furniture – a realistic setting in which long-held resentments bubble to the surface. As the play develops, we find that each brother has been withholding part of the story – or have they just embroidered to fit their own needs? Would they ever have confronted each other without the need to clear out the apartment? And does the wily furniture dealer, played by Robert Prosky, spark the confrontation?


To help us "set the stage," we have Vicki Bremen, a member of the chaplaincy department at St. Elizabeth’s hospital. She will focus on family dynamics, whether the brothers are realistic, what techniques Miller uses to keep us off-balance and how the catalyst sets off an explosion that has been brewing for 16 years. Charlotte Baer will moderate.


The Price was nominated for the Tony Award’s Best Play in 1968 and twice was nominated for Best Revival. Its content should be provocative for our discussion, held on Monday, March 10 at 6:30 at Alfio’s. We meet at Alfio’s, in the Willoughby Apartments, 4515 Willard Ave., Chevy Chase, MD, two blocks from the Friendship Heights Metro. Street parking is limited because of construction projects in the area, but valet parking is free at the restaurant. Dinner is $12 (includes tip) with several choices of entrées, as well as salad, bread, ice cream & coffee.

Contact Mark Gruenberg to reserve for dinner, 202-898-4825 or [email protected]. If you later find you must cancel your dinner reservation, please let Mark know by noon on Monday, March 10. Come early if you can but please arrive by 6:15 p.m. to allow sufficient time to get all the entrée orders in to the waiter. The discussion begins at 7:30 p.m. You may come just for the discussion, if you wish. We do suggest a $5 contribution to Footlights to cover our expenses. Your voluntary contribution to Footlights is tax-deductible.


Reading and Seeing Miller’s The Price:


You may order your copy of The Price from Backstage Books (202-544-5744) or any other bookstore. We will see The Price at Theatre J on Sunday, March 30 at 3:00 p.m. Robert Prosky plays the furniture dealer and his sons, Andrew and John Prosky, play the sons. The cost is $35 for people 65 or over; $40 for everybody else. Please send your check, by March 18, 2008 payable to Footlights, to Robin Larkin, 5800 Nicholson Lane, #L07, Rockville, MD 20852.


Footlights Discussion April 7: Blood Wedding, by Federico Garcia Lorca


Next up for discussion and performance at the GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, Washington D.C. is Blood Wedding, by Federico Garcia Lorca, one of the most-translated Spanish writers in history, according to his biographers. On the cover of the paperback copy of Three Tragedies, the name Lorca is written in sand, which suggests that life, like fame, is fleeting. The life of the playwright, whose assassination at age 38 at the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, seems to support that point of view. Yet like a wildfire, Lorca’s death sparked his reputation as a great poet/playwright. Lorca is now judged to be one of the great writers of the 20th century. His surreal images, such as the "talking moon," put his work on a surreal level with the painter Dali, but Lorca is more earthbound. The passion in his poetry is undeniable and still touches the heart.

Lorca’s Blood Wedding is the first to be written of the three great Andalusian tragedies in the anthology of plays translated by James Graham-Lujan and Richard L. O’Connell. This is the edition that still includes the famous "PROLOGUE," by Lorca’s brother, Francisco. Rosalind Lacy MacLennan will moderate and will have 10 copies of this translation available at the March Footlights meeting at a discount price of $12. Otherwise consult the Washington D.C. library shelves for copies or order Lorca’s Blood Wedding at Barnes & Noble with delivery usually in two to three business days. Be sure it’s the Lujan-O’Connell translation, which will be used as a basis for the subtitles at the GALA. All productions at the GALA are translated in very clear, readable English.

The dinner discussion scheduled for Monday, April 7, 6:30 p.m. at Alfio’s, will feature Hugo Medrano who is the production’s director as well as GALA’s internationally known, producing artistic director. Our second guest will be Abel Lopez, this production’s producer, who is also president of the board of directors of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. We will see Lorca’s Blood Wedding at the GALA Theatre in Tivoli Square on Sunday, April 13, 2008, at 3 p.m. with a post-show discussion afterwards. Order tickets from Robin.


Ruth Pierce


We send our condolences to Frank Pierce, husband of Ruth Pierce. Ruth died recently after a long struggle with lung cancer. Ruth & her husband Frank were longtime active Footlights members. They attended many discussions and moderated several of them. Ruth will be sorely missed.



NOTE: Footlight outing to The Skin of Our Teeth at Rorschach Theatre is on hold until Rorschach reschedules the play.


Dinner-discussion reservations: Reserve with Mark Gruenberg, 202-898-4825 or [email protected].


Theater tickets: Robin Larkin, 240-669-6300 or [email protected]. Make check payable to Footlights. Send to Robin Larkin at her new address: 5800 Nicholson Lane, Apt. L07, Rockville, MD 20852.