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Blue Surge: A Play [Paperback]

Rebecca Gilman
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 31 2002 0571211070 978-0571211074 First Edition
Curt is a small-town cop in the Midwest; Sandy is the nineteen-year-old prostitute he first tries to arrest, then attempts to help, at the cost of his badge. What Rebecca Gilman makes of this familiar scenario is something startlingly real and compelling, delving deeply into the small space that can divide a feeling of hope from one of hopelessness, as Curt and Sandy both try to get a foothold in the American dream of a house, a job, a life, a relationship with another human being.

Gilman's previous play, Boy Gets Girl, was acclaimed by Time magazine as the best play of 2000, saying that "with Spinning into Butter, her play about race relations on campus, Rebecca Gilman gave notice that she was a playwright to watch. And with this intense drama of a woman's encounter with a stalker, she became one to hail . . . It's not just a gripping play but also an important one." Marked by Gilman's characteristically sharp delineation of character, pitch-perfect dialogue, and effortless use of humor that is both biting and silly, Blue Surge is a worthy successor to these plays--an intimate look at the class struggle in America today as well as a brilliant example of the dramatic craft from one of today's most accomplished practitioners. It will have its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in the spring of 2001.

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From Library Journal

Gilman's young playwriting career continues to strengthen and improve as she stretches beyond her familiar Spinning into Butter (LJ 7/00) and the shocking The Glory of Living (Faber & Faber, 2001) into a larger world. Gilman's previous plays have received numerous awards and accolades, and this work should be no different. At once a romance, a comedy, and a tragedy, Blue Surge offers a penetrating look at class struggle and at women's issues. This lean play of two acts and five actors moves quickly and leaves no winners in the reality of life. Curt is a small-town cop who tries to arrest Sandy, a prostitute. He fails in the arrest and then he fails in his attempts to help her and himself. One of the most poignant scenes occurs when Curt and his upper-class fianc e argue about the morality of arresting prostitutes. Beth is making fun of the family restaurant located next door to the massage parlor that Curt and his fellow policemen are trying to shut down. Curt argues that, just because the restaurant is not up to her high standards, the families that use it shouldn't have to be subjected to a massage parlor next door. Beth says, "Okay then. Places that put something besides iceberg lettuce in the salads." To which Curt responds, "I like iceberg lettuce." This great work by an upcoming playwright is recommended for public and academic libraries. J. Sara Paulk, Coastal Plain Regional Lib., Tifton, GA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Chicago-based Gilman emerged in the mid-90s with a tightly written thriller, The Glory of Living, about a fascinating pair of sociopaths who, a la Natural Born Killers, go on a murderous spree. In the years since, Gilman has wandered away from her initial noirish style to craft plays that, despite such serious themes as racism, stalking, and sexual harassment, retain a certain comic lightness. Blue Surge, which premiered at Chicago's Goodman Theater in July 2001, returns to the sleazy milieu of her first triumph but deals with it in the light manner of her Spinning into Butter and Boy Gets Girl. A pair of cops become emotionally enmeshed in the lives of a couple of massage therapists who hook on the side. Or are they hookers who do massage on the side? The play includes passages of astonishing dramatic power, and the first quarter of the play is particularly strong. Gilman's gift for believable dialogue remains, but a glib, TV-melodrama ending mars what might have been a much stronger play. Jack Helbig
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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2.0 out of 5 stars Look elsewhere May 20 2003
By J. Ott
Format:Paperback
This play had a short run at The Public Theater in New York last year, where I happened to catch it. While there are flashes of wit and emotion in the writing, backing up the many praises Gilman has received, the play as a whole fails to cohere. It's ostensibly about a cop who falls in love with a hooker, but the relationship never gets deeper than a lesson in botany. The exterior drama becomes more than a little kitchen-sink convenient, especially near the end.
I'll admit, I haven't read or seen any other Gilman plays. But from what I hear, you may be better off working your way through them (especially CHURNING INTO BUTTER) before reading this one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gillman does it again April 11 2005
By Nelson Diaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was an amazing experience. I was happy to read Boy Gets Girl and The Glory of Living, and this one just reassured me that Gillman know her craft.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lesser work from a modern master June 20 2006
By C. Sanderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Rebecca Gilman is unquestionably one of the finest modern playwrights; SPINNING INTO BUTTER, BOY GETS GIRL, and THE GLORY OF LIVING are among my favorite plays. But BLUE SURGE, despite being generally well-written, is mostly forgetable. Like Gilman's other works, it tackles "big issues"--prostitution, poverty, class differences--but can't compare with her previous accomplishments. However, it's a worthy read, especially since it isn't likely to get too many staged productions.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Look elsewhere May 20 2003
By J. Ott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This play had a short run at The Public Theater in New York last year, where I happened to catch it. While there are flashes of wit and emotion in the writing, backing up the many praises Gilman has received, the play as a whole fails to cohere. It's ostensibly about a cop who falls in love with a hooker, but the relationship never gets deeper than a lesson in botany. The exterior drama becomes more than a little kitchen-sink convenient, especially near the end.
I'll admit, I haven't read or seen any other Gilman plays. But from what I hear, you may be better off working your way through them (especially CHURNING INTO BUTTER) before reading this one.
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