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The Heliotrope Bouquet By Scott Joplin & Louis Chauvin Paperback – August 1, 1993
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Resounding with the bittersweet mood and slow grace of the ragtime music it celebrates, Eric Overmyer's THE HELIOTROPE BOUQUET BY SCOTT JOPLIN AND LOUIS CHAUVIN is an elegiac fever dream of a play, a skillful weaving of fact and fancy played against a backdrop of memory, loss and the redemptive power of art.... Overmyer's insertion of fantastical elements into conventional narrative has been used to comic, or at least whimsical, effect before, notably in his ON THE VERGE, OR THE GEOGRAPHY OF YEARNING. But in HELIOTROPE, the playwright spins this technique into a poignant composition peppered with moments of joyful release.... Overmyer's rich, clever dialogue gives the play a sumptuous feel.... Running under an hour and a half, HELIOTROPE is less like the ambitious ragtime opera that consumed Joplin's final years than the brief but startling collaboration that gives the play its name. Ending on a tentative note of hope and revival, Overmyer adheres to Joplin's musical tenet of `sweet resolution' even as the cynical Chauvin's admonition lingers: `Sweet resolution,' he tells Joplin, `is the difference between music and life.' --Greg Evans, Variety