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‘Book Club Play’ fast-paced, often hilarious
by Tom Spigolon
January 22, 2014 09:49 AM | 2585 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Newspaper columnist Ana and husband and pharmacy salesman Rob host a book club at their house that reads and discusses stuffy classics like “Moby Dick” and “Ulysses.” A Danish documentary filmmaker, however, tells Ana he wants to film the group’s meetings because it is part of a uniquely American cultural phenomenon. She agrees to allow it, surprising the members and hosting a camera that cannot be cut off.

This is the setup for the hilarious, new production, “The Book Club Play,” at the Horizon Theatre, which played to capacity crowds at the Little Five Points venue last spring and has been “remounted” for a six-week run through Feb. 23.

A capacity crowd saw the opening night performance, which featured the Horizon’s typically creative use of its limited space and inventive and somewhat high-tech set design. The two-hour play, which includes a 10-minute intermission, features a fast-paced script that leaves the audience waiting for the next zinger to come from the mouths of the six-member cast.

The setting throughout the play is Ana’s and Rob’s living room. The club also includes librarian Will, who has known the hosts since college days, Ana’s newspaper protégé Lily and law firm paralegal Jen. They discuss books typically found in a college English literature classroom. Organizers Jen and Will love it while Rob tags along for the ride because of the social aspect — never reading the books.

Jen works for stressed-out attorneys all day and enjoys the club, along with the drink Ana provides, to take the edge off the day. Lily, who recently moved to town, works for Ana’s newspaper and is happy for the invitation to the club to allow her to meet new people.

Club members — actually, Ana and Will — must vet new members. But, when Jen surprises the group by bringing recently-single college professor Alex, who resides in her building, it provides the spark which sets off a tinderbox of emotions, unearths secrets and brings about life changes to the close group.

The play also features a variety of contemporary references, including a few jabs at a few American business, governmental and cultural institutions.

The play, by Karen Zacarias, features a number of veterans of stage and screen, including John Benzinger as Will, Bryan Brendle as Rob, Danielle Deadwyler as Lily, Wendy Melkonian as Ana, Maria Rodriguez-Sager as Jen and “Anchorman 2” cast member Dan Triandiflou as Alex. Horizon co-artistic director Jeff Adler directs it.

The show will run Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m.

Horizon Theatre is at the corner of Euclid and Austin avenues in Atlanta.

For more information, call (404) 584-7450 or visit www.horizontheatre.com.
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