Book review

Dramatic Comedy / 3m, 3f / Unit Set Woodie Guthrie had it. Arlo may have it. It's usually hereditary, but not always passed on to every offspring. The symptoms do not normally appear until a person reaches their mid-forties. Referred to as "The Dance of Death," Huntington's Disease is a complete degeneration of the nervous system. Recently, medical researchers developed a blood test to determine if the disease is present in young people. The question is: Should we know? There are over 100,000 people in the U.S. that are currently "at risk." Of these people, only 500 have actually taken this test. Could I Have this Dance? is about two sisters in their 30's: Monica and Amanda. Their mother, Jeannette, has Huntington's and lives with her daughters. The action takes place in the Los Angeles office/home where the girls run a thriving public relations firm, Grapevine, which was started by their mother. During the course of the play, we come to understand the time bomb these two sisters live with. Their possible fate is dramatically evidenced in the characterization of Jeannette which is interpreted through dance. The effects of the disease are "visible" to those onstage, but "invisible" to the audience, except in a few rare instances where the actualization of the disease is revealed. The other characters in the play are the men in these women's lives. Jeannette's husband (and the girls' father), Hank, has come to accept his wife and still loves her very much. Both Monica and Amanda have shunned long-term romantic relationships because of their unknown fate; bitter Monica plays it safe and vibrant Amanda takes every chance with young, one-night-stands. Yet the girls and their father never lose their sense of humor. As the play unfolds, both women have met men they'd like to get serious with and the knowledge of the test both repels and attracts them: Amanda, desperate for the answer and Monica, in morbid fear of it. Could I Have this Dance? is ultimately about love and cherishing what life we are given. This is a deeply romantic play about difficult choices. As the once-murky medical crystal ball becomes clearer, the universal question remains: Are we better off not looking at what the future holds? "Playwright Doug Haverty uses Huntington's Disease not in the telepic fashion where the disability is the star, but as a vehicle to explore human nature ... The play is kind of cross between Lee Blessing's Independence and Arthur Kopit's Wings ... Every character has color and dimension." - DAILY VARIETY "In a profound blend of pathos and humor, the memorable world premiere of Doug Haverty's drama repeatedly transports the audience from out right hilarity to heartfelt sorrow .. electrifying ... this show is one of the season's best." - L.A. READER

Could I Have This Dance? by Doug Haverty

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Doug Haverty
Samuel French, Inc.
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Could I Have This Dance?

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