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Philadelphia, Here I Come! : A Comedy in Three Acts Paperback – February 24, 1994
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"Of all contemporary authors, there is no one I admire more highly than Brian Friel." --Peter Brooke
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Brian Friel is highly celebrated. his play "Dancing At Lughnasa" won all of the awards in the UK, moved to Broadway and won all of the words there. It transferred beautifullt to film with an all Irish cast with the exception of Meryl Streep= the only dialect actress whose performance is just as good in German as it is in English. His play "Faith Healer" is a completely different format but just as powerful and moving. Wkith "Philadelphia, Here I Come", we open the first page or enter the theatre and because of the title we ar expecting a particular sort of play- perhapos one of Lewis and Martin's "Road to' styles but we open to gray and dim Balleybeg and we are soon so very captivated that though the premise is intelligent (think of "The Newsroom", "Sports Night", or "Social Network" and there you have it.)
If you;re one who enjoys reading plays, this is one not to miss. It's not an acotrs edition, it;s designed for reading.
For those who don;t know, when creating a script for actors gthere should be as few stage or line directions as possible so that the actors can make choices on her own. Scripts printed for the public require stage directions for those peiple who have a hard time designing a set, light plot costumes and properties list as they read. This is the difference between an actors edition (usually published by Damuel French) and the pficial published version. This version is the latter.
I will not include any spikersm but will say that Friel has a remarkable talent for diualouge and character- they are remarkably believable- and he can take a single emotion of character flaw and develop it into a full evening of self discovery.
The Philadelphia in this play is not the Philadelphia of today. It represents new beginings- the city where broadway musicals tried out and Eugene Ormandy conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra. The state of New Jersey had not yet pulled the plug on Canden just over the Franklin Bridge so crime and druigs didn;t creep across during the night in the ghuise of gangs.
If David Crosby can call Bob Dylan the Shakespeare of song writers then i can certainly calkl Brian Friel toady''s stage Shakespeare. He is even better than Aaron Sorkin, for those of you who know television or film; Fril is the shakespeare of Mozart for those of you who are comfortable with art music. Ani DiFranco for indie music, Paul Simon for pop music and willy Wonka or Choclate.
Think it's with it? It is.