Have you ever gotten emotionally attached to a book?
I know I have. From Harry Potter, to Twilight and The Great Gatsby, there are so many books that spark deep memories from years prior, and so many valuable connections I’ve made through reading the books. Villanova Theatre’s recent opening of The Book Club Play helped recall those memories for me, as I followed the plot line of small book club and their own life revelations, changes, and adventures and how it relates to the books they are reading.
The Book Club Play, written by Karen Zacarías, is hailed as a “smart, light and pants-peeingly funny” show, and I could not agree more. I often found myself laughing out loud countless times, both with the audience and with the characters.
Zacarías’ writing of the play is clever: Ana’s book club seems perfect for any literature lover, but when a Danish film maker asks to observe every book club meeting, chaos ensues. The play results as a suburban book club version of The Office, complete with the subtle jokes and witty humor.
The director, James Ijames, creates a beautiful production that includes a moving set and hysterically real cast. Being an audience member in the theatre feels completely comfortable; I wanted to take off my shoes, pour myself a glass of wine, and join the characters on the couch. Ijames does a wonderful job of making his characters seem similar to our neighbors, classmates, and co-workers.
One of my favorite scenes is when the group engages in a debate about the value of “popular” books, like The DaVinci Code, or Twilight. As an English major myself, I often find myself needing to hide my love for a book that doesn’t fall within the canon. However, after watching the show, I picked up some of my favorite books from middle school and high school…you know, the ones that I keep in the back of my bookshelf. The Book Club Play reminded me of the value of connecting with others through books.
The Book Club Play runs at Villanova Theatre in Vasey Hall from September 18-30, 2018. Speaker’s Night, immediately following the performance on Thursday, September 27, will feature a Q&A talkback with Villanova Professor and documentary filmmaker Hezekiah Lewis.
Vasey Hall is located on Villanova’s main campus at the intersection of Lancaster & Ithan Avenues. Performances will be held Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets run $21-$25 with discounts available for seniors, students, MA in Theatre alumni, and groups. Tickets may be purchased at the Villanova Theatre Box Office (M-S, 12-5 pm) in person, by phone: (610) 519-7474, or online at www.villanovatheatre.org.
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