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  • gilwilson 3:44 PM on December 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Dinah Was” by Oliver Goldstick 

    Dinah Was
    by Oliver Goldstick
    Length: 1 hr and 43 mins
    Published January 1st 2003 by LA Theatre Works

    Whenever I listen to an audiobook that is a biography or autobiography of a musician I always end up getting perturbed when they talk about a song or the writing of a song and I cannot hear that song immediately. I think audiobooks in particular should at least have a clip of that song in the audio recording. But it rarely happens, and thus I have to stop where I am in the story and seek out that song. It helps the story to make sense. I once read a book about Bruce Springsteen’s music with my phone and a blue tooth speaker handy just so I could hear each song being discussed. It was pure heaven.

    That being said, you don’t have to worry about this audio production of the play, “Dinah Was” by Oliver Goldstick. First of all it’s another L.A. Theatre Works production so the production and acting is all superb. The role of Dinah Washington in this production is played by Yvette Freeman. Ms. Freemen does an awesome job singing the songs and all in the right place, in otherwords where I would normally have to stop and go find the song.

    So now you just have to sit back and listen to a beautiful performance about the life of “The Queen of the Blues,” Dinah Washington. I love the scene in the opening of the play where she is booked to play a Las Vegas hotel but being black she is not allowed into the hotel proper. I hate that our society was once that bad, I would like to say we are getting better and from then to now improvements have been made in our society, but we still need work.

    This play condenses the short life of Dinah Washington and her influence on the music biz. If nothing else the music is delicious. Go and consume this production from LATW, it will be worth it.

    Publisher’s Summary
    In a white fur coat, ‘The Queen of the Blues’ sits on her luggage outside a Las Vegas hotel. It’s 1959—the legendary star can’t enter the hotel without a white escort. So Dinah Washington, in her inimitable style, takes a long pull from her flask and starts kicking up a fuss. Yvette Freeman reprises her OBIE Award-winning performance in this passionate play by Oliver Goldstick that reminds us “What a Difference a Day Makes”. Features songs made famous by Dinah Washington and performed in the play by Yvette Freeman.
    Original orchestrations and arrangements by Jason Robert Brown; performed by Lanny Hartley on piano, Leroy Ball on bass, and Washington Rucker on drums.
    Includes a conversation with playwright Oliver Goldstick.
    Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles in May of 2002.
    Directed by Gordon Hunt
    Paul Eiding as Spinelli/Sam Greenblatt
    Yvette Freeman as Dinah Washington
    Adriane Lenox as Maye/Mama Jones/Violet
    Bud Leslie as Frick/Rollie
    Darryl Reed as Boss/Chase Adams/DJ

     
  • gilwilson 4:21 PM on December 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?” By Eric Bentley 

    Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?
    By: Eric Bentley
    Narrated by: René Auberjonois, Edward Asner, Bonnie Bedelia, Richard Dreyfuss, James Earl Jones, James Whitmore, Michael York
    Length: 1 hr and 27 mins
    Published January 25th 2016 by L.A. Theatre Works (first published 1972)

    Politics. Am I right? Who needs ’em. I’ve always hated political anythings. As we have found here in the last part of the year 2020, politics can make enemies out of good people. That’s pretty much what is told in this story. Back during the red scar of the mid 50s people were reporting their neighbors for stuff that may or may not have had anything to do with communism, but it didn’t matter the government was on the scent and would not break off the hunt.

    The worst of this was seen in the treatment of Hollywood. Many folks in the biz never recovered from this witch hunt and careers were ended. This play focuses specifically on the Hollywood aspect of the red scare. Just name names an you will be off the government’s list, but that means that you may turn others against you.

    I would like to think in this day and age that a person simply curious about how communism runs or doesn’t run would be safe to seek out that info. But alas, we have not learned our lesson and at the mere mention of anything social (social medicine, social healthcare, social education, social security) the screaming words of the other side calling another side communist still happens today. I’m not sure why or how but religion and politics are the two subjects / fields that you have to believe like everyone else or be prepared to have your head on a pike. I would also like to say give this play a listen / watch / read and learn, but humanity never learns.

    On the positive side, the performances in this L.A. Theatre works production are once again stellar. Ed Asner steals the show for me he just makes the performance real. As usual with LATW productions the production quality is superb. So, at least enjoy a brief and entertaining history lesson. It may not change the world, but we can always hope.

    Publisher’s Summary

    In the mid-1950s, the House Un-American Activities Committee began investigating the communist influence in the entertainment industry. This searing docudrama from actual transcripts of the hearings reveals how decent people were persuaded to name names – and the steep price paid by those who refused.

    An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: René Auberjonois, Edward Asner, Bonnie Bedelia, Jack Coleman, Bud Cort, Richard Dreyfuss, Hector Elizondo, Robert Foxworth, Harry Hamlin, James Earl Jones, Richard Masur, Franklyn Seales, Joe Spano, James Whitmore, Michael York, and Harris Yulin.

    ©1999 Eric Bentley (P)1997 L.A. Theatre Works

     
  • gilwilson 3:01 PM on December 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    And the Sun Stood Still By Dava Sobel 

    And the Sun Stood Still

    By: Dava Sobel

    Narrated by: Robert Foxworth, John Vickery, Kate Steele, Michael Kirby, Gregory Harrison

    Length: 1 hr and 50 mins

    Audiobook, Dramatization with full cast

    Published June 16th 2015 by LA Theatre Works

    Science! It seems to have the answer to everything. But how do those answers get discovered? Sometimes a discovery is made an voila! all is understood. Sometimes however a discovery is made and current science cannot support so the new discovery meets with some resistance. What’s even worse is when science goes against religion. Then not only is there resistance, but possible punishment for trying to make the religious folk wrong. More so in Copernicus’ day than now, but every so often one finds that religion is the biggest hurtle to get over to promote fact.

    This play brings to life the time when Copernicus discovered that the Earth is not the center of the Universe. Copernicus was hesitant to publis because of religion and even a little self-doubt. Rheticus comes in from Germany and pushes Copernicus to publish because the world needs to know. This play is about that struggle.

    This production is produced/published by L.A. Theatre Works and once again LATW delivers. As always the production values puts you smack dab in the middle of a production and you feel as if you were sitting in the center of the theatre for this production. The sound effects and music are perfect, but what makes this even more believable is the calibre of actors. As with every LATW production the actors bring their all to make this production come to life in an audiobook form.

    Publisher’s Summary

    Dava Sobel’s thoughtful play brings to life the story of Nicolaus Copernicus, the Renaissance astronomer, and mathematician who proposed the heliocentric model of the universe in which the Sun stands at the center. Plagued by self-doubt and threatened by religious censure, Copernicus resisted the publication of his work until just before his death in 1543. The play follows Copernicus in those final years as he works to complete his research with the help of Georg Rheticus, a young disciple from Wittenberg, Germany.

    Includes a conversation with playwright Dava Sobel, author of A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos.

    Recorded at The Invisible Studios, West Hollywood in February, 2015.

    And the Sun Stood Still is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series of science-themed plays. Lead funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, bridging science and the arts in the modern world.

    Directed by Rosalind Ayres

    Producing Director Susan Albert Loewenberg

    Robert Foxworth as Copernicus

    Gregory Harrison as Giese

    Michael Kirby as Rheticus

    Kate Steele as Anna

    John Vickery as Bishop Dantsicus

    Associate Producers: Anna Lyse Erikson, Myke Weiskopf.

    Recording Engineer, Sound Designer, Mixer: Mark Holden for The Invisible Studios, West Hollywood.

    Editor: Wes Dewberry

    ©2015 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2015 L.A. Theatre Works

     
  • gilwilson 3:22 PM on December 1, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    We’re Alive: Goldrush by K C Wayland 

    We’re Alive: Goldrush

    by K.C. Wayland

    (We’re Alive #6)

    Audiobook, Audio Show

    Published September 10th 2019 by Wayland Productions

    Not sure if this really qualifies as a book, but I do know that the previous “seasons” of “We’re Alive” have been published as audio books. Originally produced/released as a podcast, the “We’re Alive” series is the brainchild of K.C. Wayland.

    Wayland took some time out of school to go defend our country when he was called up for duty in Baghdad in the U.S. Army. He was already seeking a career in film and would have been there anyway, but I believe the Army is what brought the “We’re Alive” series out of his brain and into our ears. The series is about survival during a zombie apocalypse. As with any good zombie apocalypse story the zombies aren’t the focus of attention, it is the people and their ways to survive. K.C. Wayland has created a community of survivors that the listener will soon love and some may even be hated. Now, don’t get me wrong, Wayland’s zombies are just as much characters as the survivors, in fact, some of Wayland’s zombies are very unique and create a different zombie atmosphere compared to some of the others in the genre.

    This installment into the “We’re Alive” universe actually has very few zombies. In this story, we get to revisit a few characters that I enjoyed but never got to see develop further. Now the soldiers; Greg Muldoon, Anthony Robbins, Carl Thomas, and Samuel Puck are off on their own adventure to find some stolen gold bars. At first I asked, what are they going to do with gold bars in the middle of an apocalypse? I soon learned that that wasn’t important because a new story develops. On top of that people will be people and the writing of the characters prove that it doesn’t matter that the world’s financial system is in ruins, people still love shiny things.

    The soldiers are out to film a spaghetti western type movie, you gotta do something to entertain yourself, and in the process find out about a cache of gold. The story unfolds as an aging General Puck confides this story to Alex Robbins, the son of his former teammate and friend, Anthony Robbins. So not only do you get a cool western, survival and zombie story, but also an opening for KC Wayland to explore other stories in the We’re Alive universe.

    The zombie genre is not quite dead (or undead).

     
  • gilwilson 3:36 PM on November 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Peace Talks By Jim Butcher 

    Peace Talks

    By: Jim Butcher

    Narrated by: James Marsters

    Series: The Dresden Files, Book 16

    Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins

    Published July 14th 2020 by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group

    16 novels and numerous short stories in the Dresden Files and I still can’t wait for the next one. If you’re not familiar with the series, allow me to introduce you to your next favorite supernatural adventures that doesn’t pander to kids, no lightning bolt scars, no shiny vampires and well no mind ready half fairy narrators. This is the real and gritty world of another wizard named Harry. I say real because the writing style of Jim Butcher just makes it all believable.

    Now there are some negative notes floating around about this book. Those are somewhat legit complaints, however, I’m just glad we got another book, and really there is nothing wrong with this book. It seems, though, that Jim Butcher borrowed from J.K. Rowling’s playbook and turned what looks to be a last very long book into two books. The big complaint is that we waited about 6 years for another book and it turns out to be half a book with another on the way soon. (It’s out now I believe.)

    Yeah the end of the story really leaves you hanging and you can tell it is the first part of something to follow, but I’m just happy we got the book.

    This time around Harry is part of a security team that is making sure that peace talks between all the supernatural entities is safe. Apparantly not, because a Celtic Titan, Ethniu, breaks in to one of the gatherings and destrys Mab (Winter Queen of the Fae), and that is no simple task.

    Harry knows a war is on but first he has to make sure his family and friends are safe before he can fight what feels like his final battle. There is an impending doom feeling throughout this book, whether it is simply a close to the Dresden series of books or maybe Harry’s final Death (he’s died already), I’m not sure, but this book is perfect Harry Dresden. Harry is making sure everyone else is safe while gearing up to put himself in danger, not even thinking to ask for help. But they will help, I just know it.

    No spoilers in this review, I can’t wait to get my grubby paws on the next one.

    Publisher’s Summary

    Harry Dresden is back and ready for action, in the new entry in the number-one New York Times best-selling Dresden Files.

    When the supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, joins the White Council’s security team to make sure the talks stay civil. But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicago – and all he holds dear?

    ©2020 Jim Butcher (P)2020 Penguin Audio

     
  • gilwilson 4:33 PM on November 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Thor: Son of Asgard by Akira Yoshida 

    Thor: Son of Asgard

    by Akira Yoshida (Pseudonym), Greg Tocchini (Artist), Adi Granov (Illustrator), Jo Chen (Illustrator), Jay Leisten (Illustrator), C.B. Cebulski
    Compiles Thor: Son of Asgard #1-12
    Paperback, 296 pages
    Published September 8th 2010 by Marvel Comics (first published May 2004)

    So you like them comic books? I have been a comic book fan for around 40 years or so, while I have read some DC comics releases, I have always been a Make Mine Marvel kind of guy. I’ve also been a fan of Thor, so much so that I convinced my wife to make my son’s middle name Thor. Before all those Marvel movies came out. So I guess in a way I’m a Marvel Hipster.

    Anyway, let’s talk about this book. This trade Paperback collects issues 1-12 of “Thor: Son of Asgard” which ran back in 2004-2005. The story is of a young Thor, Sif and Balder, oh and of course Thor’s trickster brother Loki and how the first three are sent on a group of tasks by Odin and how at first Loki is there (always ahead of the trio) to keep them from completing their tasks. Eventually this leads to the moment when Thor is worthy of Mjolnir.

    Young Thor is attempting to lift Mjolnir, but he is not yet worthy. His friends Balder and Sif and laughing at the silly looks on his face as he strains himself, but Loki watches from the rafters. He causes three spiders to grow gigantic through magic, but by working together, the three young heroes destroy the monsters. Odin then decides to send the three young warriors on a quest to gather four elements that he will use to forge a new sword.

    Thor, Balder, and Sif search the Hidden Hills for the dragon Hakurei. Their first task is to get one of his scales. Thor, Balder, and Sif then go to Jotunheim, to find Gnori and retrieve one of his feathers, as part of the quest of Odin. They are both still angry at Thor for accepting the quest without asking them first, and they are caught in a blizzard. Suddenly, they are attacked by Ice Elementals, but they manage to defeat them. Then Gnori arrives and grants them one of his feathers, along with a few wise words of warning.

    The three friends find their way to the Mines of Jennia to retrieve one of the jewels and are attacked by the Jennia, small creatures that feed on emotions. Loki is trapped too, but he is rescued by Karnilla, who has been watching them the whole time.

    Thor, Sif, and Balder are on their way to the Lake of Lilitha when Loki arrives and tells them of Karnilla’s plan to attack Asgard. They decide that Sif and Balder will return to Asgard, while Thor continues to the lake to draw a vial of water – the final element needed. On his trek, he is attacked by Leviathan, but Thor defeats him. Thor finally arrives at the lake only to find it dried up and dead. He then returns to Asgard as the battle is going on. The Asgardians finally win the battle, but unseen, Karnilla lands on a tower and fires an arrow into Thor’s chest.

    Odin manages to defeat Karnilla and uses the magic sand from the Lake of Lilitha to restore Thor to life. He then has the sword Svadren forged from the four mystic elements and presents it to Balder the Brave.

    That quest complete you would think Thor would be able to rest, but no. Both Sif and Amora vie for Thor’s affections, when a new girl arrives in school – Brunnhilda. Fed up with the competition of the two blondes, Amora and Brunnhilda, in her quest to have Thor fall in love with her, Sif steals the Mirror of Mycha with the help of Loki. But after the spell is cast, Amora steals the mirror and uses it to make Thor love her. But hey you can’t work with Loki without being tricked, right?

    Sif is now enraged to find out she’s been tricked. She and Brunnhilda make peace and decide to get back at Amora and Loki. During their confrontation, the Mirror of Mycha is broken and with it, the spell over Thor.

    Thor goes to see the Fates concerning how to become worthy of Mjolnir, and they tell him that he must first face death. Upon his return to Asgard, the Storm Giants have attacked and kidnapped Sif. Odin tells Thor that he must remain behind and they will go rescue her. Thor decides that he is going to go as well, and find himself worthy to finally lift the enchanted hammer.

    Trade paperbacks are really the way to go when you want to read a story as a whole. There were times when I would get frustrated waiting month to month for the next issue. Once I discovered if I had patience I would be rewarded with a TPB to add to my collection. I recommend the same to anyone. However there is still no replacement for going to the local comic book store every Wednesday when the new books arrive and grabbing a handful.

    Keep reading true believers.

     
  • gilwilson 2:29 PM on November 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    A Delightful Quarantine: A Play about a Homebound Town by Mark Dunn 

    A Delightful Quarantine: A Play about a Homebound Town
    by Mark Dunn
    92 pages
    approx 2 hours performed
    Published by Samuel French (first published November 1st 2012)

    So let’s say that an infectious disease sweeps across the planet. Suddenly there is a shortage of toilet paper and common sense. The government locks down its citizens tells them to wash their hands, don’t touch their faces. Then says don’t hang out in large groups. And finally says, stay home. All the while the leader of the free world is saying it is a hoax and no one will die. Oh and on top of that Hollywood stays home and all movie production stops. Theatres and restaurants are closed for indoor dining. People can no longer attend live concerts or worst yet, live plays.

    No that was real life not this play. In fact, this play was written 8 years prior to the dumpster fire of 2020. But with that in mind, and all the social distancing and safety measures in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s hard to do live theatre. Not so says Super-Director Tara Gallion of Lincoln Trail College theatre department. Tara searches the planet looking for a play that will not only make sense in this trying time but also we can perform while wearing masks and maintaining social distance as required by the state and yet still make sense with the performance. That’s where this play comes in and I was grateful to be performing again live, albeit in front of a limited audience capacity.

    So how does this play fit? Well according to the story, aliens have come to Earth and they want some of our soil. The problem is they leave behind a deadly disease that leaves seven separate households unexpectedly quarantined. Seven story lines are balanced as people are forced to confront their personal issues. A heart-warming original comedy/drama about how people react when there’s nowhere else to go, which, in reality, is pretty much everyday on Earth.

    Two families are on the verge of breaking up their marriages, one family has to deal with a cancer diagnosis, one house has a crazy cat lady and unseen cats, kids forced to be alone in an old lady’s house, a daughter finds her birth mother after 32 years, and a pair of old ladies confront a burglar.

    Each story has a touch of humor, some more than others, and a couple have some poignant, straight in your face this is life moments. All around the play has something to offer for all with maybe even a bit of slapstick that can always be fun.

    I had a blast reading and performing in this play and I have a feeling Mark Dunn may get some extra royalties this year due to having written a nice play that is perfect for weird times.

     
  • gilwilson 5:42 PM on November 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Brief Cases” By Jim Butcher 

    “Brief Cases”

    By Jim Butcher

    Narrated by: James Marsters, Jim Butcher, Cassandra Campbell, Julia Whelan, Oliver Wyman

    Series: The Dresden Files, Book 15.5

    Length: 15 hrs and 30 mins

    Published June 5th 2018 by Penguin Random House Audio

    Once you get started into the world of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, you just can’t stop. Luckily there’s plenty of material to chose from, with 17 books on the series. The fun thing is that Butcher has compiled his short stories into 3 extra books; “Side Jobs,” “Working for Bigfoot,” and this one. This book has the stories from “Working for Bigfoot,” so you could bypass that one, but being a huge fan I have to at least own all the books.

    To summarize, at least up until the stories in this book, in the Dresden Files, I will be brief and let you read the books on your own if you feel so inclined.

    So briefly, Harry Dresden is a wizard. His domain is Chicago, and he protects the city from all forms of supernatural entities with his magic and his life (that is not just talk, he actually spent some time dead to keep Chicago and his friends and family safe.) Harry used to be a consultant with the police and worked closely with Karen Murphy, a detective. He and Karen are now a couple. (spoiler)

    Harry has fought and killed Red Court Vampires, well actually he killed all the Red Court Vampires, Harry has also fought many other supernatural beings, including other courts of vampires, werewolves, ghouls, ghosts, all sorts of fairy and fae, even a god and goddess or two. Oh and let’s not forget Chicago Gangster, Gentleman Johnny Marcone.

    The best part of Harry Dresden’s life is the list of who he has partnered with, which includes but is not limited to: Bigfoot, the fairy queen of winter and summer (with with the queen of winter being his fairy godmother), the white council of wizards, teenage werewolves, Valkyries and many more.

    The tough thing about Harry’s life is that he can never seem to catch a break but he does seem to always find a way out of problems.

    At this point in his timeline Harry’s daughter is the focus of his attention, as is his White Court Vampire/Half Brother, Thomas. Harry’s family has grown to not only include these two but also Karen Murphy, his grandfather, Ebenezer, River Shoulders (a sasquatch), Molly the former warlock daughter of Michael, a Knight of the Cross, now turned to the winter lady. Read the books, you’ll love them.

    So let’s talk about this book in the series it was released between the 2015 released book, “Skin Game” and the newly released (2020), “Peace Talks.” The stories all take place at different times during the Dresden timeline, but each story is important as somewhat of a footnote to lead you to further understand the characters and incidents leading up to “Peace Talks.” Here are the stories in Brief Cases:

    “Curses” — from the 2011 publication, “The Naked City,” edited by Ellen Datlow. Republished in 2014 publication, “Magic City: Recent Spells,” edited by Paula Guran. Takes place between Small Favor and Turn Coat. Harry is hired to look into the Curse of the Billy Goat, which has plagued the Chicago Cubs in the postseason for decades, and try to lift it if possible. I’m thinking this is one of the world’s most famous curses, and sure Harry has to do it without anyone knowing that’s what he’s trying to do. The funny thing about this is that this story was written about 5 years before the Cubs won the World Series again. That leads to the question, did he or didn’t he?

    “AAAA Wizardry” — from the 2010Dresden Files RPG, published by Evil Hat. This story is actually a group of stories within a story. Harry teaches a group of young Wardens his procedure for dealing with supernatural nasties. As Harry teaches the class he has to tell a story for each procedure. Takes place between “Dead Beat”and “Proven Guilty.” Oh and yes there is a Dresden Files RPG.

    “Even Hand” — originally from 2010 Dark and Stormy Knights, edited by Pat Elrod. Reprinted in 2014 Beyond the Pale, edited by Henry Herz, and 2017  Urban Enemies, edited by Joseph Nassise.
    Gentleman Johnnie Marcone clashes with a rival supernatural power. Told from Marcone’s point of view. Takes place between Turn Coat and Changes.

    “B is for Bigfoot” — from 2012 Under My Hat: Tales From the Cauldron, edited by Jonathan Strahan. Republished in 2015Working for Bigfoot. This is the point in the Dresden files where we learn that bigfoot is a major player in Harry’s world. Takes place between Fool Moon and Grave Peril.

    “I Was A Teenage Bigfoot” — from 2012 Blood Lite 3: Aftertaste, edited by Kevin J. Anderson. Republished in Working for Bigfoot. Bigfoot is revisited, this time Harry must save Bigfoot’s son from something that seems to be draining his energies. Takes place circa Dead Beat.

    “Bigfoot on Campus” — from 2012 Hex Appeal, edited by P.N. Elrod. Republished in Working for Bigfoot. Bigfoot’s son is all grown up and in college at Oklahoma University in Norman, OK. (GO SOONERS!!!!) This time his son is the target of a White Court Vampire, sorta. Takes place between Turn Coat and Changes.

    “Bombshells” — Molly-POV novella from 2013 Dangerous Women, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Duzois. Molly teams up with Justine and Andi to thwart a Fomor plot.
    Takes place between Ghost Story and Cold Days.

    “Jury Duty” — short story for 2015 Unbound, edited by Shawn Speakman. Harry endures Jury Duty. Well more like discovers a case he can solve by enduring Jury Duty. Set after Skin Game.

    “Cold Case” — short story from 2016 Shadowed Souls, edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie Hughes.
    In Molly’s first job in her new role, she teams up with Ramirez to take on a Lovecraft-esque cult. Once I got started into the story I knew right away Jim Butcher was tackling the writings of Lovecraft, and merging Lovecraft into Dresden files is just plain awesome. The problem Is that Molly has yet to discover her new full powers. Takes place shortly after Cold Days.

    “Day One” — short story for2016Unfettered II, edited by Shawn Speakman. Butters’ first mission. Waldo Butters is the Coroner for Cook County and has recently been folded in as a Knight of the Cross. The cool thing is that his sword is pretty much a light saber. Set after Skin Game.

    “A Fistful of Warlocks” — short story for 2017 Straight Outta Tombstone, edited by David Boop.
    Luccio takes on necromancers in the Wild West. I think this was the most fun story in this book. It had a very, VERY Clint Eastwood vibe. Set long before the events of the series, like maybe a hundred years or so before.

    “Zoo Day Exclusive bonus novella for Brief Cases. A Rashomon-style story that chronicles a family trip to the zoo from Harry, Maggie, and Mouse’s points of view. Jim Butcher really stretched his story-telling muscles on this one, and I loved the story from Mouse’s point of view. Mouse is Harry’s dog….not just any dog, but a Temple Dog.
    Set after Skin Game.

    In the audiobook when Harry is telling the story, the great James Marsters is narrating, for the other stories the voices are changed to reflecct the point of view and the author’s notes that precede each story are read by the author.

    Publisher’s Summary

    An all-new Dresden Files story headlines this urban fantasy short story collection starring the Windy City’s favorite wizard.

    The world of Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is rife with intrigue – and creatures of all supernatural stripes. And you’ll make their intimate acquaintance as Harry delves into the dark side of truth, justice, and the American way in this must-have short story collection.

    From the Wild West to the bleachers at Wrigley Field, humans, zombies, incubi, and even fey royalty appear, ready to blur the line between friend and foe. In the never-before-published “Zoo Day”, Harry treads new ground as a dad, while fan-favorite characters Molly Carpenter, his onetime apprentice, White Council Warden Anastasia Luccio, and even Bigfoot stalk through the pages of more classic tales.

    With 12 stories in all, Brief Cases offers both longtime fans and first-time listeners tantalizing glimpses into Harry’s funny, gritty, and unforgettable realm, whetting their appetites for more to come from the wizard with a heart of gold.

    ©2018 Jim Butcher (P)2018 Penguin Audio

     
  • gilwilson 3:59 PM on September 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “The Heiress” By: Ruth Goetz, Augustus Goetz 

    The Heiress
    By: Ruth Goetz, Augustus Goetz
    Narrated by: Chris Noth, Amy Irving, Full Cast
    Length: 2 hrs and 3 mins
    Produced by L.A. Theatre Works.

    Leave it to L.A. Theatre Works to turn what easily could be a boring play into something that is worth hearing, and will keep the listener listening.

    LATW produces many plays into audiobook and everyone has a great cast and the production puts you right in the middle of the audience of the performance.

    This time around Amy Irving plays Catherine who already has a decent income (especially considering that this is the 1850s and she’s a woman) from when her mother passed away. She is set to inherit a large sum when Dr. Sloyer (her father) passes and people know it.

    When a young treasure hunter seeks Catherine’s hand, her father is determined to put a stop to the man’s pursuit. Catherine believes his professed feelings to be real, her father knows otherwise.

    A tale of love lost, this performance is well acted and performed. I decided halfway through that it was not my cup of tea, but since the performance was so good I had to keep listening. LATW always gets me listening to plays I would probably normally pass on.

    Publisher’s Summary
    This Tony Award-winning play, set in New York City in 1850, centers on the painfully shy Catherine Sloyer, who lives in Washington Square with her father. When Catherine falls in love with a handsome suitor, Dr. Sloyer threatens to disinherit her, convinced that the young man could only be interested in her fortune. The decisions Catherine makes and their surprising consequences mark The Heiress as a complex and satisfying portrait of the American character.

    Starring (in alphabetical order):

    Jane Beard as Maria/Mrs. Montgomery
    George Gaynes as Dr. Sloper
    Helen Hedman as Marian Almond
    Amy Irving as Catherine Sloper
    Maureen Kerrington as Elizabeth Almond
    Marty Lodge as Arthur Townsend
    Chris Noth as Morris Townsend
    Halo Wines as Lavinia Penniman
    (P)1998 L.A. Theatre Works

     
  • gilwilson 2:39 PM on August 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers: 2008 Tour Edition By: Geoffrey Cowan, Leroy Aarons 

    Top Secret
    The Battle for the Pentagon Papers: 2008 Tour Edition
    By: Geoffrey Cowan, Leroy Aarons
    Narrated by: John Heard, John Getz, Susan Sullivan, James Gleason, Gegory Harrison, Diane Adair, Geoffrey Wade
    Length: 1 hr and 53 mins
    Performance
    Release date: 08-07-08
    Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

    Have I told you lately how much I love these productions from L.A. Theatre Works? Well I do. Because they always have a great cast, the recordings are lifelike and put you in the middle of the audience. I highly recommend seeking out anything produced/published by LATW.

    So this story/play is just as it sounds it is a performance depicting the fight between corrupt government and the free press. (funny how this was in the Nixon era, but so much hits home today.

    The New York Times has gotten their hands on these “Pentagon Papers” and is about to publish them until the government gives them a scare and they decide to pass on these once (maybe still?) classified documents that show that America cannot win the war in Vietnam. These papers were issued a few years before and the subject matter discussed in them is in the past. The Times passes the papers to the Washington Post which makes the daring decision to publish them.

    The Nixon White House insists they are top secret and the press has no right to publish. It could be a breach of National Security and treason for the Washington Post and their other companies.

    A trial ensues and that’s when it comes out that the government cannot be trusted.

    The events were in this play were during a very divisive time in American History and much like today’s divisive political atmosphere, proves how important it is for Americans to have a free press.

    As always great performances by all and definitely a good listen. There is a bonus recording with this in which the play and its subject matter are discussed in a panel with former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, journalist Robert Scheer, author Geoffrey Cowan, and Congresswoman Jane Harman.

    Publisher’s Summary
    This is a timely docudrama about The Washington Post’s decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, a top secret study documenting U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The subsequent trial tested the parameters of the First Amendment, pitting the public’s right to know against the government’s desire for secrecy.
    This new 2008 tour edition features a new cast and a revised script.

    Bonus content: a panel discussion with former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, journalist Robert Scheer, author Geoffrey Cowan, and Congresswoman Jane Harman.

    ©2008 LA Theatre Works (P)2008 LA Theatre Works

     
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