Terror in the Suburbs; a suspense-comedy in three acts
by Stuart, Frances L. (pseud. for James F. Stone?)
Evanston IL: Row, Peterson and Company. Near Fine. (c.1959). First Edition. Softcover. [minor edgwear to covers, slight browning to edge of rear cover next to spine]. Trade PB (B&W photographs, diagrams) A bit of a theatrical curiosity, a play expressly designed for mounting by non-professional companies. Apparently very much in the spirit of "Arsenic and Old Lace," it involves the hilarious hijinks surrounding a young widow's attempts to conceal the body of her deceased husband, a famous scientist, until she can arrange an autopsy to prove (as she believes) that he's been poisoned, possibly by a certain "government security agency." There's a whole range of characters, providing (per the production notes) "the widest possible range of dramatic ability and line-loads." (Especially juicy is the part of "mad Teresa, [who] fluctuates so delightfully and so unpredictably from childlike innocence to insane shrewdness.") There are several pages of production notes, including suggestions for various stage designs, discussion of "special problems" in the staging, and even an alternate ending -- and to prove that the whole thing is doable, the text is illustrated with photos taken at various high school and local theatre "test productions" in Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota. [The questionable note about the playwright's pseudonym is based on the fact that in this copy, someone has written "(James F. Stone)" just below the printed name of Frances L. Stuart on the title page.] . (Inventory #: 22575)
Unusual, Uncommon and Obscure Books in many (but not all) fields, with particular interest in American Culture (Popular and Unpopular), Art, Literature, Life and People from the 1920s through the 1960s.
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