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Suburban Motel

Suburban Motel
Your Price: $29.95 CDN
Author: George F. Walker
Introduction by: Daniel De Raey
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 320
Pub. Date: 1999
Edition: Revised
ISBN-10: 0889224129
ISBN-13: 9780889224124
Cast Size: 2 women, 2 or 3 men

About the Play:

Suburban Motel is the title of a six-play cycle by George F. Walker. Although Problem Child, Adult Entertainment, Criminal Genius, Featuring Loretta, The End of Civilization, and Risk Everything all are set in the same slightly rundown suburban motel room, with a few continuing characters, each play is made to stand on its own. Transients, lovers, the haunted and the hunted, the desperate and the dumb, each "strut and fret their hour upon the stage and then are heard of no more." Real, funny and heartbreaking. According to George F. Walker, the six one-act black, funny, gritty tragicomedies may be presented separately or paired in just about any combination as a double bill to create a full evening of entertainment.

Problem Child tells the story of a young couple, Denise and RJ, shakily back on their feet after problems with the law and with drugs. They are in town desperately trying to get their baby out of the system and back in their arms. But... they have to get around Helen, the by-the-book social worker who isn't budging. With the help of Phillie, the drunken philosophical motel manager, how far will Denise and R.J. go to reunite their family? (Premiered in 1997 at Theatre Off Park in New York City; Cast: 2 women, 2 men)

Adult Entertainment: Max and Jayne are having sex in the motel room: one's an uptight, burnt-out cop and the other a public defender and both have an agenda beyond getting laid. Meanwhile, the cop's booze-soaked, unravelling but likeable partner Donny waits outside in his car. Things go wildly awry. (Premiered in 1997 at Factory Theatre in Toronto; Cast: 2 women, 2 men)

Criminal Genius: When father and son petty criminals Rolly and Stevie screw up a simple arson job for the mob and instead kidnap the mobster's resentful daughter, they hole up in the same seedy motel with their boss, tough-talking Shirl-the-Pearl and, of course, the same drunken motel manager. Can anybody get out of Room 5 alive? (Premiered in 1997 at Theatre Off Park in New York City; Cast: 2 women, 3 men)

Featuring Loretta is about an off-kilter assortment of desperate people. The title character Loretta, a server in the hospitality industry, is young, beautiful and in need of a lot of money. Enter an "agent" named Michael a slick guy who wants her to star in porn flicks. But Dave a would-be boyfriend wants to protect Loretta, or maybe star in the film with her. Then there's Sophie, the Russian physics student whose ex-KGB father runs the motel. (Premiered in 1997 at Factory Theatre in Toronto; Cast: 2 women, 2 men)

The End Of Civilization finds a middle class couple, the self-absorbed Henry Cape and his weary wife Lily, holed up in a dreary motel. They're attempting to save money while Henry searches for a new job. Living in the next room is Sandy who befriends Lily and has plans to help her make some big, fast cash. Also on board: two police officers, Max and Donny from Adult Entertainment, whose investigation of a series of murders brings them to the Capes' motel room. Murder, mystery and kooky mayhem! (Premiered in 1998 at World Stage Theatre in Toronto; Cast: 2 women, 3 men)

Risk Everything is the last in the set of six plays. Ex-druggie Denise and her husband get caught in a bizarre and highly dangerous plot by Denise's booze-swilling mother, to con a homicidal criminal out of money. The black comedy combines elements of the thriller and dysfunctional family chaos. (Premiered in 1997 at Theatre Off Park in New York City; Cast: 2 women, 2 men)

Problem Child, Adult Entertainment, Criminal Genius, Featuring Loretta, The End of Civilization, and Risk Everything are regularly performed in in regional repertory, fringe festival, community theatre, and college theatre productions as a showcase of student talent.

What people say:

"The Suburban Motel plays are fast and furious but they are also funny. Walker is not the remote, omniscient author, looking down from on high, but clearly empathizes with his lost and desperate characters." — The Toronto Star

"We're back in the strange world of George Walker, where humor and horror waltz drunkenly around in each other's arms." — Washington Post

"No other living playwright pushes the boundaries of comedy as far...." — Chicago Sun-Times

" George Walker has an eye for the ridiculous and an imagination that packs his plays with action." — The New York Times

About the Playwright:

George F. Walker is one of Canada's most prolific and widely produced playwrights both in Canada and internationally. His work has been honoured with two Governor General's Awards, eight Chalmers Awards and five Dora Awards. A self-taught playwright with working-class roots in Toronto's hard-luck Cabbagetown, the city's now trendy East End, he is also the recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement and is a Member of the Order of Canada. His screen credits include Due South, The Newsroom, This is Wonderland and Living In Your Car.

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