Horizon Theatre Presents The Book Club Play

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Atlanta's Horizon Theatre presents The Book Club Play

Wendy Melkonian. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus

Book clubs take the spotlight this spring with the Atlanta premiere of The Book Club Play by Karen Zacarías at Horizon Theatre. This “delightful, fresh comedy,” as heralded by Talkin’ Broadway, follows a tight-knit book club bound for pandemonium when it becomes the focus of a documentary film. The Book Club Play runs May 17  to June 23, 2013. Performances are Wednesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and Sunday at 5 p.m.. Tickets are $20-$30. Tickets and information are available at horizontheatre.com or 404*584-7450.

“If you’ve ever been in a book club (or just think they’re bizarre) you’ll love laughing with this quirky group of long-time friends as everything goes haywire,” says Horizon’s Co-Artistic/Producing Director, Lisa Adler.

“This is the kind of smart romp that has become Horizon’s trademark, and we’re unleashing an ensemble of Atlanta’s most talented comic actors on our stage.”

STORY

Ana lives in a letter-perfect world with an adoring husband, the perfect job, and her greatest passion: Book Club. But when her cherished circle becomes the focus of a documentary film, their intimate discussions about life and literature take a turn for the hilarious in front of the inescapable camera lens. Add a provocative new member along with some surprising new books titles, and these six friends are bound for pandemonium. Will their beloved book club survive? Sprinkled with wit, joy, and novels galore, laughter meets literature in this delightful new comedy about books, the people who love them, and the side-splitting results when friends start reading between the lines.

DIRECTOR

After his recent success with ensemble-driven comedies The Waffle Palace and Superior Donuts, Horizon Co-Artistic Director Jeff Adler leads The Book Club Play creative team as director. He has directed numerous Horizon productions, beginning with Horizon’s first production Bonjour, la, Bonjour in 1983. Other notable credits include Shooting Star, Altar Boyz, Madame Melville, The Lonesome West, Racing Demon, Mere Mortals, and All in the Timing. The Book Club Play is more than a story about people who love books,” comments Adler. “It is about the value of connecting with a small group and how a shared experience like reading a book can lead to self-discovery, personal transformation, and life-long friends.”

PLAYWRIGHT

Playwright Karen Zacarías is a rising star in American theatre, and Horizon welcomes her fresh, witty voice to Atlanta. Currently the playwright-in-residence at Arena Stage in Washington DC, Zacarías has written several award-winning plays, including the adaptation of Julia Alvarez’s How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and Mariela in the Desert, and has commissions in the works for the Washington Ballet, Denver Theater Center, Cincinnati Playhouse, and Oregon Shakespeare Theater. Originally from Atlanta, her TYA musicals with composer Debbie Wicks la Puma Einstein is a Dummy and Ferdinand the Bull have delighted young audiences at the Alliance Children’s Theatre. Her plays have also been produced at The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, The Goodman, Round House Theater, The Denver Center, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, San Jose Rep, and more. Her awards include 2010 Steinberg Citation-Best New Play, National Francesca Primus Prize, New Voices Award, National Latino Play Award, Finalist Susan Smith Blackburn, and Helen Hayes for Outstanding New Play.

“The Book Club Play’s wit is razor sharp with wry observations on sexuality, ego, race, class, the rise of online reading, literary license, and whether there can be hidden value in reading “popular” literature,” says Woman Around Town.

CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM

An outstanding ensemble cast of Atlanta favorites is led by Wendy Melkonian, acclaimed for her performance in Becky’s New Car at Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Here, she makes her Horizon debut as Type A book club organizer and local newspaper columnist Ana. Bryan Brendle, last seen at Horizon in Superior Donuts, joins the cast as Ana’s handsome husband Rob who loves the wine and food, but can’t quite make it through the books. Maria Rodriguez-Sager, fresh off her performance as the endearing Esperanza in Horizon’s encore production of The Waffle Palace is Jen, the down-to-earth heart of the club. Jen’s best friend and other long-time club member is Will, a well-dressed historian played by John Benzinger, just seen in the world premiere of Angry Fags at 7 Stages. The book club’s newest member is Ana’s young, hip protégé, Lily, played by Danielle Deadwyler, last see at Horizon in Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, and rounding out the club is meeting-crasher Alex, played by long-time Dad’s Garage improviser Dan Triandiflou.

Suzi-Award winning set designers Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay (Time Stands Still, The Waffle Palace, Avenue Q) will create a chic in-town bungalow, Ana’s home where the book club holds its meetings. Resident lighting designer Mary Parker (Time Stands Still, The Waffle Palace, Avenue Q) and sound designer Thom Jenkins are back again as part of the creative team. New to Horizon are costume designer Abby Parker (Synchronicity’s Petite Rouge), props designer Krista Seekatz (Alliance scenic painter), and projection designer Jon Summers (Theatrical Outfit’s Fly).

BRING YOUR BOOK CLUB!

The Book Club Play is the perfect outing for your book club or group of friends! What’s your favorite book and how did it change your life? What does it say about who you are? Don’t miss this entertaining comedy about the joys of reading and friendship. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. Horizon has a lounge space available for rental for pre-show gatherings. Contact Marketing Manager, Kristen Gwock Silton at 404-523-1477 x111 for more information.

PERFORMANCE TO BENEFIT LIBRARIES

Horizon is partnering with the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Foundation and the DeKalb Library Foundation to raise funds for both organizations through a benefit performance on Wednesday, May 15 at 8 PM. More information and tickets for this special performance can be found at afpls.org and dekalblibrary.org/foundation.

TICKETING INFORMATION

General admission tickets for The Book Club Play are $20-$30. Tickets may be ordered by phone at 404-584-7450 or online at www.horizontheatre.com. Performances start May 17, 2013 and run through June 23, 2013. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 5 p.m. Ticket prices are subject to change. 8% sales tax will be added to all ticket orders. Internet convenience fee added to all online orders. No refunds, exchanges, or late seating.