May 6, 2003 |
Oh, there she is, the raging wildfire of a playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, who zips toward the outdoor stage in chunky sandals five minutes before her first-ever reading of her much-anticipated debut novel. Under the coolness of sycamore trees, an audience of about 75 waits on folding chairs on a UCLA lawn. It's a sleepy scene compared to the electric Broadway opening last April of her Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Topdog/Underdog," in a 1,125-seat theater.
July 23, 2006 |
IF Suzan-Lori Parks and Bonnie Metzgar could sell Chevys the way they're selling plays -- without a test drive, without even a peek under the hood -- they'd be rescuing General Motors instead of Pied Pipering several hundred American theater companies toward destinations unknown. Parks is the livewire MacArthur "genius" grantee and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of "Topdog/Underdog." Metzgar, her low-key friend of 20 years, is producer, artistic confidante and, for this mission, her prod.
April 10, 2002 |
Suzan-Lori Parks is very much the top dog of Southern California playwrights at the moment, even though her work has hardly been seen in the Southland. Parks, 38, who lives in Venice, won the Pulitzer Prize on Monday for "Topdog/Underdog," a day after the play opened on Broadway to positive reviews. Her Pulitzer triumph followed an announcement last fall that she won one of the annual $500,000 fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, commonly referred to as "genius" grants. Yet her only play to receive a professional production in L.A. was an early work, "Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom," staged at the 99-seat Odyssey Theatre in West L.A. in 1993.
October 29, 2008 |
It looks like the Big Orange is soon to lose another playwright to the Big Apple. Suzan-Lori Parks, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright ("Topdog/Underdog"), has been awarded the first Master Writer Chair at the Public Theater in New York City. Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the full-salaried post affords the chosen writer the chance to develop his or her work using the resources of the Public Theater and to participate in "the artistic life of the theater."
July 30, 2006
YOUR piece describes a small but still troubling step in the decline of Western Civilization ["A Steady Diet of Plot Luck," July 23]. Untold theater companies around the country, including a number locally, are falling over themselves to mount productions of what amounts to Suzan-Lori Parks' daily musings, simply because she has stature. She is a MacArthur "genius" and a Pulitzer winner for the incoherent, pointless exercise that is "Top Dog/Underdog." She puts on paper anything that comes into her mind.
May 29, 2012 |
'The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess' (PS Classics) Gershwin purists, this "Porgy and Bess" is probably not for you, even though its official title is "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. " The cast album of the current Broadway production is a streamlined version of a score that can run longer than three hours when done in its entirety. This two-disc recording is not just shorter, but it also takes liberties that have rankled traditionalists. "Summertime" is performed as a romantic duet; sections of recitative have been converted to spoken dialogue; and the orchestra has been scaled down for a Broadway house.