Index (and links to less active productions at bottom of the index page)  
Abe Lincoln in the 21st Century  |  Coming Together Coming Apart  |  To Kill a Mockingbird  |  The Dickens!  
Fred and Adele Astaire: The Last Dance  |  Mark Twain: Telling Tales  |  The Belle of Amherst  |  Fahrenheit 451 
Study in Scarlet
  |  Joy Comes in the Morning

Dramatic readings from

the acclaimed Pete Hamill novel

SNOW IN AUGUST

a  performance in the style of radio drama, packaged for libraries
celebrating the 2004 "One Island One Book" selection

available March 15 through April 30, 2004

With actors Matt Stashin and David Houston
portraying the men and boys of
1947 Brooklyn

    
MATT STASHIN                                      DAVID HOUSTON
 

MATT STASHIN—an accomplished actor, singer and educator, has appeared in major roles professionally: Patrick in Mame, Bernard in Death of a Salesman, Axel in Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink the Water, Cornelius in Hello Dolly, Geoffrey in The Lion in Winter, Frankie in Forever Plaid, alternately James and Jacob in a Tri-State tour of Shenandoah, and many others.  He and David Houston played father and son in a recent production of the family comedy Alone Together.  Matt’s “day job” is teacher, and currently most of his pupils are eleven—the age of the boys in Snow in August, whose voices and values he interprets.
 
DAVID HOUSTON—has appeared in leading roles in scores of plays and musicals, including Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, Senex in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Ben in Death of a Salesman, Herr Shultz in Cabaret and Horace Giddens in The Little Foxes.  He is a published and produced writer.  His original stage plays, Lillie Alone, Great Scott and Zelda, Murder and Madness and Poe, Mark Twain Telling Tales, and The Dickens! have been seen at a number of Long Island libraries. His Joan Crawford biography Jazz Baby (St. Martin's Press), has been optioned for movie production, as has his mystery novel Shadows on the Moon (Tower Books).  In 2003, he and Melanie Lipton presented readings from the “One Island One Book” selection, How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents     

Scheduled Performances

Sunday, March 21, 2:00 p.m., Elmont Public Library
Wednesday, April 7, 2:00 p.m., Hicksville Public Library
Thursday, April 8, 12:30 p.m., East Meadow Public Library
Saturday, April 10, 2:00 p.m., Half Hollow Hills Community Library in Dix Hills
Monday, April 12, 1:00 p.m., Port Washington Public Library

Monday, April 12, 7:00 p.m., Islip Public Library
Thursday, April 15, 7:00, Mineola Memorial Library
Friday, April 16, 7:30 p.m., North Babylon Public Library
Saturday, April 17, 2:00 p.m., Longwood Public Library in Middle Island
Monday, April 19, 7:30 p.m., Port Jefferson Free Library
Wednesday, April 21, 7:30 p.m., Plainview Old Bethpage Public Library
Thursday, April 22, 7:30 p.m., Shelter Rock Public Library in Albertson
Friday, April 23, 7:30 p.m., John Jermain Library in Sag Harbor
Saturday, April 24, 2:00 p.m., at Bellmore Library, co-sponsored by Merrick Library
Monday, April 26, 7:30 p.m., Middle Country Library in Selden
Wednesday, April 28, 7:00 p.m., Patchogue-Medford Public Library
Thursday, April 29, 3:30 p.m., West Babylon Public Library
Friday, April 30, 7:00 p.m., North Shore Library in Shoreham

Comments and Reviews from Performances

Lorraine Paesano and Mary Frayne, Librarians, Middle Country Public Library: "It's too bad we had time constraints; our whole group would have loved to hear more.  The accents, the shifting of characters, the musical accompaniment – all added to a magical reading.  [The reading brought] Snow in August to life for us."

Patti Paris, Adult Services, Bellmore Memorial Library: "This was an excellent program holding the audience's rapt attention.  Matt Stashin and David Houston made the characters in the book come alive.  We look forward to having another program with Houston in the fall (readings from the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer)."

Marcia Johnson, Program Coordinator, North Shore Public Library, Shoreham: "Both performers were well prepared, relaxed and professional.  Mr. Houston's adaptation of the book into the style of an old-time radio broadcast, complete with music underscoring, was deftly done.  Finally, the accents effectively delineated the many characters portrayed."

Millie Scott, Librarian and Book Discussion Coordinator, West Babylon Public Library: "It was everything we expected.  You have done a program for us before, and the Book Club was looking forward to your return.  The members enjoyed the performance very much."

Beth Saltalamacchio, Cultural Program Specialist, Plainview Old Bethpage Library: "This program gave me a better sense of the whole book than I thought was possible.  The segments were well planned, and the actors did a wonderful job creating characters and voices.  The background music added to the creation of an atmosphere."

Evelyn Pusinelli, Program Coordinator, Hicksville Public Library: "The audience was enthralled with the reading; the presentation held their attention.  Excellent."

Jude Schanzer, East Meadow Public Library: Excellent rating in all categories and this succinct comment: "Wonderful!"

Barbara Minard, Program Director, Shelter Rock Public Library: "The performance was much more than I expected.  Music selections augmented the reading perfectly.  Foreign accents beautifully transported the audience to a different time and place.  All in all, it was relaxing, entertaining, and very professional."

Marjorie Shuster, Program Director, Merrick Public Library (at Bellmore Library): "A fabulous fascinating program, very well done; I loved it."  Rated "excellent" in all evaluation categories.

Pat Brandt, Program Director, John Jermain Library in Sag Harbor:  "Excellent audience response; from some of them as they left: 'Very good!', 'I really enjoyed it,' 'A very sweet adaptation,' 'Too bad more people couldn't have seen this; it was very well done,' 'Very professional for such a small space.'"

Barbara Sussman, Adult Reference Librarian, Port Jefferson Free Library: "The feedback was all positive.  Another excellent program."

 

About the book, copyright © 1997 by Deidre Enterprises,
published by Little Brown and Co. in hardcover and Warner Books in paperback.  From the Warner edition:

SNOW IN AUGUST
by Pete Hamill

In the year 1947, Michael Devlin, eleven years old and 100 percent American-Irish, is about to forge an extraordinary bond with a refugee of war named Rabbi Judah Hirsch.  Standing united against a common enemy, they will summon from ancient sources a power in desperately short supply in modern Brooklyn—a force that's forgotten by most of the world but is known to believers as magic.  From Pete Hamill, bestselling author and former editor-in-chief of one of the country's largest newspapers, The New York Daily News, comes a masterful, astonishing story of gritty streets, awakening youth, and undying wonder.

"In this beautifully woven tale, Hamill captures perfectly the daily working-class world of postwar Brooklyn . . . .  Will thrill believers and make nonbelievers pause . . . .   He examines with a cool head and a big heart the vulnerabilities and inevitable oneness of humankind." — Publishers Weekly

"Hamill blends fiction and fantasy to produce a masterpiece . . . in a book that comes along about as often as there is SNOW IN AUGUST. All of the elements strike a chord without coming across as clichés.  He has written a great American novel.  — Winston-Salem Journal

"A tender novel.  When it comes to evoking the sights and sounds of postwar Brooklyn streets, Pete Hamill has no peer.  When you finish that roller-coaster last chapter, you'll wonder if the shade of Isaac Bashevis Singer whispered in his ear." — Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes

"With a mastery of language and imagery that has made him the journalist-editor-novelist he is, Hamill, in his 10th work of fiction, meshes several disperate works seamlessly, in lush colors." — Fort Worth Star-Telegram

 


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