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Lemonade and The Autograph Hound

Lemonade and The Autograph Hound
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: James Prideaux
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 50
Pub. Date: 1969
ISBN-10: 0822200813
ISBN-13: 9780822200819

About the Play:

This volume contains the one-act plays Lemonade and The Autograph Hound by James Prideaux. The Autograph Hound takes a humorous but scathing look at the obsessive celebrity-chaser. Lemonade is an equally funny and perceptive play concerning the frustrations ans loneliness of middle-age.

Lemonade: A perceptive and funny study about the fantasies, inhibitions and dreams of two frustrated and lonely middle-class matrons who set up competing lemonade stands along a jammed highway. This short play incorporates comedy and tragedy, a touch of the bizarre, and ultimately, a sincere compassion in both women. As outlined in Show Business: "Lemonade features ... a pair of Peoria matrons who seek respite from the doldrums of middle age by selling spiked lemonade to highway travelers. The dialogue is hilarious as the two trade drinks and the fantasies they have concocted to brighten their dull lives. But the two strong performances really emerge when we find there is no sale. ...Mabel has not raised a crippled son; ...Edith has not seen her children burn to death. Their lemonade grows tepid; their fantasies lose lustre. Prideaux's theme is the desperation with which we seek to evade the mundane, the illusions small people live by, and the emptiness which can exist beneath the veneer of supposed well-being." (Cast: 2 women)

What people say:

"The dialogue is bright, witty and to the point an evening of dark humor." — WABC-TV

"Prideaux's plays are light as a souffle, his lines sparkle like prisms and his wit is derived from sharp observations of oh, grateful surprise normal people." — Long Island Press

The Autograph Hound: A sharply humorous and inventive play which takes a revealing look at a wife who is an obsessive celebrity-chaser who finds meaning in her life through collecting autographs, a resentful husband who takes serious action against her compulsion, and their young adult daughter who is caught in-between them. As the Associated Press describes "The Autograph Hound is … so funny and unphony that an old hand playwright could be proud of it. The play ... is funny in a comfortable way. It bases its humor on human and domestic foibles. The playwright's views seem to be that some faults are completely ridiculous and in no way admitting of praise and yet, reassuringly, they spring from an unquenchable human spirit to be celebrated rather than censured. The wife in the three-character play is a full-blown eccentric who stands for hours outside every possible celebrity gathering place to get autographs. One night when she's out, standing in the snow, her husband tears up the treasured collection housed in three living room filing cabinets, bests her in a strangling contest when she gets home, sends their daughter out to find her own apartment, and declares a turning point. But what way will they turn? She's the one, after all, with the 'thrill of the chase' as she expresses it. They find their togetherness — he joins her hobby." (Cast: 2 women, 1 man)

The Off-Broadway debut of the author, the double bill of Lemonade and The Autograph Hound was first presented in 1968 by New York's famed Playwrights Unit at the Jan Hus Playhouse on the Upper East Side. The plays have become a popular choice for high school and community theatre productions.

What people say:

"… a frequently funny, if slanderous analysis of the types who haunt stage doors, hotel entrances and Sardi's doorway in search of celebrities' signatures." — Variety

"There's a nice feel of boldness to the writing; a good sense of structures; and a genuinely funny wit to the dialogue." — Cue Magazine

James Prideaux (1927-2015) was a prolific American playwright and television writer. A frequent collaborator and friend of Katharine Hepburn, he wrote and produced three films with the iconic actress including his Emmy-nominated work on the telefilm Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry. Early in his career, he became a member of off-off Broadway’s Playwrights Unit, created by Edward Albee, Richard Barr and Clinton Wilder. His plays have been produced on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally. Among his awards, he has a New York Drama Desk Award and a Los Angeles Film Board Award.