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The Baltimore Waltz

The Baltimore Waltz
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Paula Vogel
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 57
Pub. Date: 1992
ISBN-10: 0822213591
ISBN-13: 9780822213598
Cast Size: 3 female, 2 male (doubling)

About the Play:

The Baltimore Waltz has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues and Male Monologues.

The Baltimore Waltz is a full length comedic drama by Paula Vogel. When an elementary school teacher acquires a mysterious illness, her brother whisks her away to Europe in search of a secret cure. While he conducts cloak and dagger routines to procure black market medication, she indulges in all sensual pleasures as if each day is her last. The Baltimore Waltz explores themes of love, death, and the power of imagination to help us cope with difficult situations.

The Baltimore Waltz is a giddy, fleet fantasy based on the love and adventures of a brother and sister, one of whom has a fatal disease. When Anna, an unmarried schoolteacher, is diagnosed with ATD, Acquired Toilet Disease, an untreatable new malady that's transmitted via toilet seats and mainly affects single female elementary school teachers, she and her brother Carl take flight to Europe. Anna decides she wants to drown herself in the sensuality of food and sex, while Carl becomes involved in a wild "Third Mannish" espionage scheme to find a cure for his sister on the Continent. Something is not quite right with the scenario, and the largest hint is dropped when Anna shows slides of their trip to Europe where each frame looks exactly like Baltimore. Carl's quest for a cure dead ends with a mad Viennese quack. Their European idyll is broken by Carl's death, and the tragic revelation that the entire play was Anna's valiant fantasy to keep alive her brother's spirit when she could not save his life. The Baltimore Waltz is a funny and touching tribute to the author's brother, who died from complications due to AIDS before they were able to enjoy a long planned European vacation.

The Baltimore Waltz was first produced in 1990 in a workshop at the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska. The play was first fully staged in 1992 at the Alley Theatre in Houston, then transferred to Off-Broadway at the Circle Repertory Company and won the 1992 Obie Award for Best New American Play. Since then the play had regional premieres at professional theatres across the US. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been mounted by colleges and community theatres.

Cast: 3 female, 2 male (doubling)

What people say:

"…a crazy-quilt patchwork of hyperventilating language, erotic jokes, movie kitsch and medical nightmare…that spins before the audience in Viennese waltz time, replete with a dizzying fall." — New York Times

"…an immensely likable winning comedy-drama…." — Hollywood Reporter

About the Playwright:

Paula Vogel is an American playwright and university professor. One of the most widely produced and honoured playwrights writing in the English language, her work has garnered numerous awards and prizes including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize honouring the best English-language women writers worldwide, New York Drama Critics Award, Obie Award, AT&T New Plays Award, among many others, as well as fellowships from the Pew Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. She is currently the Eugene O'Neill Professor and Chair of the Department of Playwriting at Yale University.

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