Book PLAY of the Weeks 7/3-7/16/2017: Cabaret

Learn all about Elizabeth Brico's favorite play, Sam Mendes' Cabaret-on bettysbattleground.com

Sacrelige! My “book of the weeks” is not a book.

I couldn’t resist myself this week. I have been singing Cabaret showtunes ever since I saw Roundabout Theatre’s National Tour last weekend. Everything from ‘Willkommen,’ to ‘Mein Herr,’ to ‘Don’t Tell Mama’…I even re-wrote the lyrics to ‘Two Ladies’ so I could sing it around my kiddos. Now Anabelle joins in…”Deedlideelidee two babies! Deedlideelidee two babies! Deedlideelidee and I’m the only mom here!” Is that perverse? Re-constructing a song about a menage a trois to sing with my toddlers?

I don’t care! I love Cabaret. Not just any productions of Cabaret: It is THIS production of Cabaret that makes my dark little soul sing. Originally directed by Sam Mendes, the most recent Broadway revival of Cabaret, which is now touring the United states, Read about Roundabout Theatre Company's Cabaret on bettysbattleground.comperfectly captures the darkness, the decadence, the desperation, the sexiness of pre-WWII Berlin-and humanity. If there’s a stop near you left on the tour, you must see it. See it even if you don’t like the movie, which I will admit, I don’t much like myself. Keep reading to find out why this production is an absolute must-see that beats all the rest.

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Book of the Weeks 6/5-6/18/2017: American Gods

Read about American Gods on bettysbattleground.com

Even if you’ve never read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, you have probably at least heard the title. Maybe you’ve seen the new hit show on Starz. I haven’t, because I don’t have cable, and even while I was visiting my in-laws who do have cable, I didn’t get to see it because their package didn’t include Starz. Ah, well.

Though I haven’t seen the show, and though I do believe the hype and greatly look forward to it becoming available via my local library or Netflix, I know, without watching a minute of it, that it does not compare to the book. I know this because the novel American Gods by Neil Gaiman, who may be a god himself, is the greatest book ever written.

If that sounds extreme to you, then you’ve definitely never read it. Look, OK, everyone has their favorites. For a long time, my favorite book was 100 Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. For an even longer time, I couldn’t pick a favorite book because there are just so many amazing books in this world. I still adore 100 Years Of Solitude, and I still believe there are countless worthy books on this planet. But I have also crowned American Gods as the best. At least in my literary pantheon.

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Book of the Weeks 5/22-6/4/2017: “Oryx and Crake”

by Margaret Atwood

A review of Oryx and Crake on bettysbattleground.com

When I was fifteen, I dropped out of high school. I did it for a number of reasons; high school sucks, everyone knows that. But the biggest reason, the crucible factor, was methamphetamine. I had begun to hang around The Ex, who had used his characteristic mixture of charm, threat, and manipulation to get me to try meth.

Meth wasn’t my favorite drug in terms of effects, but let me tell you: the comedown is harsh. I mean, once that drug leaves your system for the first time, you feel like you’ve been thrown into a garbage truck and run through the masher. I don’t know what the “normal” response is to that feeling, but the addict-mentality response is to take more of the drug. Which is what I did, and I became hooked. I’d get clean within two years; like I said, it wasn’t really my thing. But it did cause me to drop out of high school.

As a result, my basic scientific knowledge is lacking. Of course, I took the requisite science class in college, but my lab science was a study abroad in Costa Rica where I basically counted twigs while sunbathing and flirting with the Ticos. My MFA had no science requirements. I’m a smart person, but fundamentally uneducated on certain topics. So, when I hear about the marvels and dangers of genetic engineering, I’m kind of in the dark. I get it, I get the basic concept, but not the details. I certainly could not have written this weeks’ choice book, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

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