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The Phoenix Lottery

The Phoenix Lottery
Your Price: $16.99 CDN
Limited Quantities
Author: Allan Stratton
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 91
Pub. Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 0887546005
ISBN-13: 9780887546006
Cast Size: 2 women, 4 men

About the Play:

HARD TO FIND BOOK, only a very limited number of copies are still available.

The Phoenix Lottery is a farce comedy by Allan Stratton. A young philanthropist is on the verge of bankruptcy. To rescue his charities, he makes his beloved Van Gogh self-portrait the object of an international lottery. The winner will get instant fame and fortune: fame by taking a blow-torch to the painting at an event beamed live to stadiums around the world; and fortune by selling the story to televisions, tabloids and Hollywood.

The Phoenix Lottery is an exploration of art, commerce, and untidy family relationships. Junior Beamish has inherited his father's private corporation, BEI. Determined to repay society for the shady deals that built his family's fortune, he uses his corporate profits to finance ambitious philanthropies. His company soon teeters into bankruptcy. Desperate for cash, he creates The Phoenix Lottery, which offers its winner the twin cults of Instant Celebrity and Wealth. Celebrity by publicly taking a blow-torch to his prized van Gogh Self-Portrait in an event beamed live to the Internet and stadium Jumbotrons around the world. Wealth by selling the story to TV, tabloids and Hollywood. Fighting Junior's scheme is the ghost of Beamish Senior, carrying on their father/son battle from beyond the grave, and Cardinal Giuseppe Wichita, the illegitimate son of an Italian peasant girl and an American GI, sent by the Vatican on a mission to defend the interests of Western civilization. At Junior's side is lottery winner Lydia Spark, a former runaway turned performance artist, and Emily Pristable, Junior's mild-mannered Baptist secretary. Neither friend nor foe, however, is prepared for the arrival of van Gogh himself. A grand comedy told with outrageous wit, and a keen eye for the masks with which society maintains the fiction of a moral world.

The Phoenix Lottery opened to acclaim in 2001 at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario. Since then the play has been successfully staged at several professional theatres across Canada and in the US, and has been mounted by repertory and community theatre productions.

Cast: 2 women, 4 men

What people say:

"The sacred cow is now an endangered species. Allan Stratton, one of the most eagle-eyed satirists our stage has produced, aims his satirical Uzi at a dazzling array of targets. All forms of bureaucratic bushwah take it on the chin and between the eyes. It's ferociously funny and far too much of it is true." — The Toronto Star

"Stratton's fast and funny farce pays entertaining dividends to its lucky ticket holders. It's a wicked, witty script that targets religion, the corporate world and the arts... 'Art, that all that matters. All that lasts,' says The Phoenix Lottery, and this play's artistic imagination backs up that claim." — The London Free Press

"Stratton unleashed. Stratton slipped free from the unruly bonds of the earth, with voices from Lord-knows-what astral plane whispering devilishly, deliciously in his ear about naughty Baptists, wicked cardinals, and the spectacular Beamishes, pere et fils. In The Phoenix Lottery, thank God, live the first Canadians one has wanted to meet since Trudeau." — The Globe and Mail

About the Playwright:

Allan Stratton is the internationally acclaimed Canadian playwright and novelist. He spent two years at the Vancouver Playhouse, from 1975 to 1977 as both actor and playwright. He has also lived and worked in the theatre in Winnipeg, Regina, Montreal, and New York. In 1980 he turned to playwriting full-time after the success of Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii, which remains one of the most produced plays in Canadian theatre history.

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