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Laundry and Bourbon

Laundry and Bourbon
Your Price: $14.95 CDN
Author: James McLure
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 37
Pub. Date: 1981
ISBN-10: 0822206455
ISBN-13: 9780822206453
Cast Size: 3 female

About the Play:

Laundry and Bourbon has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female/Female Scenes.

Laundry and Bourbon is a one-act comedy by James McLure. Conceived as a curtain raiser to precede Lone Star, with which it constitutes a full evening of theatre often titled 1959 Pink Thunderbird, Laundry and Bourbon can also be presented independently with equal effectiveness. Here the action centers on the discontent and very funny gossip of three small-town wives whose marriages have turned out to be less than was hoped for.

Laundry and Bourbon is set is the front porch of Roy and Elizabeth's home in Maynard, Texas, on a hot summer afternoon. Elizabeth and her friend Hattie are whiling away the time folding laundry, watching TV, sipping bourbon and Coke, and gossiping about the many open secrets which are so much a part of small-town life. Elizabeth reveals that her husband, Roy, who is a Vietnam vet, hasn't come home for two days. They are joined by the self-righteous Amy Lee who, among other tidbits, can't resist blurting out that Roy has been seen around town with another woman. While the ensuing conversation is increasingly edged with bitter humour, from it emerges a sense of Elizabeth's inner strength and her quiet understanding of the turmoil which has beset her husband since his return from Vietnam. He is wild, and he is unfaithful, but he needs her, and she loves him. And she'll be waiting for him when he comes home – no matter what others may say or think.

In 1980 Laundry and Bourbon was paired with a companion piece, Lone Star, under the collective title 1959 Pink Thunderbird, at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, N. J. The double-bill of Lone Star and Laundry and Bourbon quickly became favorites in regional and community theatre, and although each play can be – and often is – performed as a stand-alone one-act (both are popular choices for high school drama festivals), they have connections, both thematically and through character's relationships, and are more often performed together to create a full evening of entertainment.

Cast: 3 female

What people say:

"Mr. McLure's strongest suit is dialogue salty comic banter that derives from colorful indigenous characters." — The New York Times

About the Playwright:

James McLure (1951-2011) was an American playwright and actor best known for his two one-act plays that reached Broadway. He was born in Alexandria, Louisiana and grew up in Shreveport where he was educated by the Jesuits. He became interested in acting in high school, performing in Shakespearean plays. He obtained a BFA degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and subsequently studied at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California. He also wrote original screenplays for Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Twentieth Century-Fox.

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