Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nothing is Juicier than a Plum Novel

Who’s the baddest Bounty Hunter around? Stephanie Plum!
Who’s the funniest heroine in modern fiction today? Stephanie Plum!
Who has the funniest Grandma in the “Burg”? Stephanie Plum!
Who is involved with the sexiest cop on the beat? Stephanie Plum!
Who lusts after the hottest mystery man in noveldom? Stephanie Plum!
Who has the finest former hooker cum bounty hunter in town as her sidekick? Stephanie Plum!
Over 13 books, Janet Evanovich has created not just a great character in Stephanie Plum , she has created a fantastic supporting cast in Grandma Mazur, Mom and Dad Plum, her sister, her sister’s fiancé and their kids, Lula, Ranger, Morelli and the “Burg” along with all the villains and guest starts in each novel . Each story is filled up with action, a little romance and abundant local color like the 2 gay guys who bought the funeral home and according to grandma Mazur, serve better cookies than the mob guys they got it from. Joe Morelli’s Italian grandma and her evil eye puts me in mind of some of my crazier Hungarian relatives. Wait! Stephanie is half Hungarian! Maybe that is why I have such affinity for her. Dinners at the Plum residence are nothing less than epic for their hilarity. Please, take a weekend at the beach, cabin or backyard, pour yourself a local ale of your choice and sink your teeth into this rich, colorful and hysterically funny world called the “Burg”.
Meet the cast:
Stephanie is a single woman living with her pet hamster in an apartment building with a bunch of old people. She has become a bounty hunter because she couldn’t get another job after losing her job as a lingerie buyer. Her bounty hunter skills are limited only by the fact that she couldn’t find her way out of a wet paper bag. She basically blackmailed her slimy cousin Vinnie to hire her. So begins one of the funniest, fun loving-est, romps in novel series writing!
Grandma Mazur is crazy. Her favorite social activity is going to the neighborhood funeral home for viewings. She even picks up a man at one of them. She thinks Stephanie has a great job chasing bad guys and tries whenever she can to join the chase.
Mom and Dad Plum are a typical longtime married couple. Dad tries to just ignore everything going on around him while pretending he is in control while mom deals with the stress of Plum family crises with ironing and tippling.
Valerie is Stephanie’s, (once the perfect now just as screwed up as Stephanie), sister. She married the right guy, moved to California, had two girls, and then left by said perfect husband and moves back to the “Burg” into mom and dad’s house. She is employed and then gets pregnant by the goofy and loser lawyer Albert Kloughn who turns out to have a phobia of getting married.
Take neon pink spandex, pair it with leopard print leggings on 5 inch spike heels and you have Lula. Lula is Stephanie’s sometimes sidekick who is a former hooker who still dresses like she is in the biz. She is constantly on a diet that she cannot stick to. Her favorite places to go to for stress relief is the chuck-a– cluck chicken place and the donut shop. When she isn’t helping Stephanie tracking down evaders of the law, Lula is file clerk at the bail bonds office and the sometimes paramour of Tank, one of Rangers tough guys.
Ranger is a fellow bounty hunter. He is dark, latin, mysterious and oh so sexy. The heat coming off this bad boy has sometimes melted Stephanie’s clothes.
Joe Morelli is Stephanie’s on again off again, love of her life. Joe is a local cop and can be mysterious in his own ways when he goes undercover. His Italian good looks and hot bod gives Ranger a run for his money in the sexy dept. but Joe is at heart a regular guy who wants a regular life with Stephanie. For him regular life means his girlfriend works in an office, store, or even factory not a bounty hunter who regularly gets her cars blown up or demolished and keeps her gun in the cookie jar. Steph loves him a lot but for all her bitching about bounty hunting likes it too much to give it up even for a hunk like Joe.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I love theatre. I love the movies too, but there really is nothing like live theatre. I can’t interact with a flat screen the way I can with live performers. Live theatre is the only real “Live Action” show. There is an energy and excitement to live dancers pirouetting, singers belting out my favorites, orchestras filling the auditorium and actors creating a whole world right before my eyes. The audience’s applause returns their energy back to them and the dancers leap higher, the orchestras swell and the actors get funnier or more dramatic.

West Palm Beach makes it easy to indulge in my favorite pastime. Within a 20 minute drive I can get my fill at Palm Beach Drama Works, The Cuillo Center for Theatre Arts, Florida Stage, Maltz Theatre, Lake Worth Playhouse and the crown jewel of them all, The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.

Palm Beach Drama Works is located on Banyan Street in downtown West Palm Beach. This regional company has been around since 2001 and features classic plays and comedies with innovation and fresh interpretation. This season is filled with greats like “The Subject was Roses” by Frank Gilroy, “Agnes of God” by John Pielmeier, and “Benefactors” by Michael Fryan.

The Cuillo Center for Theatre Arts is located on Clematis Street also in downtown. The building that is the Cuillo has a long history of presenting theatre being the previous home to other companies one might remember, Florida Repertory Theatre and The Stage Company. It was also home to the Grand Kettler Theatre which was one of the first movie houses in West Palm Beach in the 1920’s and 30’s. Today the Cuillo presents an eclectic mix of theatre, comedy and cabaret performances. Their current offerings include “Viagra Falls” and “A Jew Grows in Brooklyn”.

The crown jewel of downtown is The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.
The Kravis opened its doors 15 years ago and since then has presented world class entertainment for all of Palm Beach County and nearby Broward and Martin Counties. The Kravis not only provides the big names in entertainment but presents local companies like Ballet Florida, Palm Beach Opera, Palm Beach Pops and Miami City Ballet. They have a serious commitment to bringing live performance to the kids of our community too. In 15 years of business the Center has brought theatre, music and dance to over 1 million children in our Community. This season will continue the tradition of star filled presentations with Queen Latifah, kd lang, Martin Short, Steve and Edie, “Spamalot”, “Sweeney Todd” and oh so much more.

Just outside of Downtown other wonderful theatres thrive in our area.

Check out one of the finest regional Theatres in the country at Florida Stage. Located in Manalapan, Florida Stage has a long tradition of bringing cutting edge, new works to our area. This season will feature “End Days”, A Murder, A Mystery & A Marriage” and “Ward 57”.

Lake Worth Playhouse, located on Lake Avenue in downtown Lake Worth has been providing the community with great theatre for over 50 years. This quaint community theatre is staying current with the times adding a film series to their lineup, as well as, a concert series featuring great regional musicians. The mainstage season consists of “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, Hollywood Arms”, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”.

Just north of West Palm Beach lies a theatre with another long and interesting history. Located on the corner of Indian Town Road and A1A in Jupiter, the Maltz Theatre, aka, the Jupiter Dinner Theatre, aka, The Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre has completely revamped and reinvented itself with a beautiful 554 seat theatre. This professional regional theatre is one of the most recent additions to the rich theatrical community of Palm Beach County presenting classics like “Man of Lamancha” and new works like “Food Fights”.

Don’t just sit in the dark with a flat screen. Come on out and experience real 3D, live, interactive theatre abounding in the area. There is no Business like LIVE THEATRE Showbusiness!