“[a] delightfully off-key, off-color hymn to clichés we all live by, whether we know it or not.” —NY Times.
May 19, 2015 LAUDERDALE, FL: Amy and David Sedaris individually are two of America’s premier comic geniuses. Together, as The Talent Family, they are responsible for such witty, clever, and often downright hilarious productions as Stitches, One Woman Shoe, Stump the Host, Incident at Cobbler’s Knob and The Book of Liz. Fresh off their critically acclaimed production of Vita and Virginia, The Vanguard, Fort Lauderdale’s exciting new cultural venue, will present The Talent Family’s The Book of Liz from June 12th through June 28th at The Vanguard. The Book of Liz chronicles the plight of Sister Elizabeth Donderstock (of the Squeamish Order) renowned for her delicious cheese balls (traditional and smoky) that sustain the existence of her entire religious community. However, upon the arrival the sanctimonious Brother Brightbee, and feeling decidedly unappreciated, Donderstock flees from her home in Clusterhaven to try her luck in the real world. Her adventures lead her to an array of distinctly Sedaris-esque characters, from a Ukrainian immigrant dressed as a giant peanut to the alcoholic staff of a local diner, as she struggles to figure out where she belongs.
“The Book of Liz is a fun romp that asks serious questions about identity, self worth, and status,” says the production’s director, Mark Duncan. “Audiences can identify with Liz’s search for recognition, approval, and respect as they “sweat” through life.” Duncan has assembled a talented, award-winning cast to portray Liz and the various characters she encounters on her journey of self-discovery: Christina Groom will play Sister Elizabeth Donderstock, and she, along with Elena Maria Garcia, Matt Stabile, and Scott Douglas Wilson will take on multiple roles throughout the play.
“I love offbeat, totally irreverent humor, and The Book of Liz has that in spades, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this production,” Groom explains.
“I saw the play at the Orlando Fringe Festival in 2000,” says Garcia. “I was very pregnant at the time, and I laughed so hard I thought my water would break! I truly enjoy morphing from character to character,” she continues, “and this is the perfect vehicle to play and create in…” “I’ve been hoping to work with Thinking Cap for quite a while now,” Matt Stabile explains. “So…I probably would’ve taken any show they offered! But the deal was sweetened when I read this wacky comedy, heard about this “probably more funny than should be allowed together in a room” cast, and found out that Mark Duncan was captaining this ship. I love that this show is just silly fun. I think there is a place for that in the theatre – and a way to help possibly connect some new audiences to the art form I love so much.”
Scott Douglas Wilson is equally enthusiastic: “A couple years back I discovered the script at a used bookstore in Ohio,” he says. “And being a big fan of the Sedaris family, I purchased it. I read it on the flight back to South Florida, laughing myself silly and thinking ‘I’ve gotta see this someday!’ Fast forward to 2015, and here I am – fortunate enough to actually BE in the show, with this amazingly hilarious and talented team! That’s what I call Gouda Luck!” The Vanguard, which officially opened its doors on March 13th, has been enthusiastically received by local artists, theatergoers, and nearby businesses. The new venue is located at 1501 S. Andrews Avenue in what was formerly a church when the building was first erected in 1939. The Book of Liz will run from June 12 – June 28 at The Vanguard. There will be a special opening night reception at the theatre on June 12th from 7 pm – 8 pm. Tickets for the evening are $40 and include wine and cheese(cake), automatic entry into a raffle for books by David Sedaris, and a silent auction with prizes such as a ‘Wine Night for 2’ at The Naked Grape, a private wine tasting for up to 20 people donated by Total Wine, and valued at $500, and rare Israeli wines, donated by the Madonna Family. Sponsors for the evening include The Cheesecake Factory, Bob’s News, Total Wine & More, Naked Grape, Enchantment Flowers, and the Madonna Family. Tickets for The Book of Liz are $35, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at www.vanguardarts.org , or by phone at 813-220-1546. Performances are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 pm, and on Sundays at 5 pm. There will be a matinee performance on Saturday, June 13th at 2 pm. The venue is located at 1501 S. Andrews Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, 33316. For more information, production shots, head shots, or to set up interviews, please contact Nicole Stodard at 813-220-1546 / firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Kassie at 561-445-9244 / email@example.com or visit www.vanguardarts.org. Photographs and graphics available on request. The Book of Liz By Amy Sedaris and David Sedaris June 12 – 28 Tickets: $35 ($37.22 with s/c) For Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1475445 www.vanguardarts.org 813-220-1546 Performances: Friday, June 12th – Opening Night Thursdays – Saturdasy at 8 pm Sundays at 5 pm Saturday, June 13 at 2 pm
[The Book Of Liz] may well be the world’s first Amish picaresque…hilarious…” —Village Voice. “…acidic laughs…linguistic delight…” —Variety. “Good-natured, goofy and frequently hilarious…” —NY Newsday. “…laugh-out-loud funny…” —Broadway.com.