A grunge rock gut punch of a novel.
A grunge rock gut punch. Dark things slither around in the heat under all the Night and the Texas Sky. Set in Houston just before Nirvana conquered the world, it is about a band and the four messed up young people that come to comprise it. There is Zac, the bassist still dealing with the double murder suicide that claimed his brother's life. There is Raven, the guitarist, a former beauty queen turned anorexic goth guitar goddess. There is Kitten, the slash her wrists, burn her arms with cigarettes, really into purple poet/singer and then there is Sean, the half-Irish, half-Vietnamese drummer and driving force that brings the four together and who must negotiate them through the trials of performing at a pro-wrestler/metal sculptor's warehouse and a foot-fetished drug dealer as well as the collective horrors that haunt them all.
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One Blue Tarp is a two-act, eight character comedy about a man, his tarp and the town that tries to take it away from him. David Stillman, a retired Mainer, has just replaced the old, worn out tarp that covers a heap of odds, ends and whatnots out in his yard with a brand new one. It ought to last ten more years but then he finds out from his neighbor that the town of Clara has recently outlawed blue tarps out in folks yards in an effort to spruce things up a bit and attract more tourists. Not one who likes to be told what to do with his own junk, David vows to fight the new ordinance and the rich woman from away, Gail Pritchard, behind it. Undeterred by the pleas of his wife, Joan, David enlists his grandson, Buddy, to help defend the tarp vowing that they can have it when they “pry it out from under my cold, dead, butt. Meantime, his daughter Judy, a Boston lawyer and also a lesbian, looks to get an injunction against the ordinance while fending off the advances of Gail’s daughter, Hester, and the past fancies of Officer Carl Ray who is just trying to keep the peace and get a date to the contra dance. The forces from Maine and away come to a head at a good old fashioned town meeting where tradition meets development and how the way things are wrestles with how life should be. Sometimes we have to let go of the past and all the stuff that reminds us of it, and sometimes freedom is one blue tarp. One Blue Tarp was named the Best of Maine in the 2013 Clauder New England Playwrights Competition and premiered at the Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor in the winter of 2014 setting box-office records for a non-musical and that with two blizzards.
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