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David Houston's Literary Entertainments

 Contact: David Houston

(516) 293-2638 / DH@davidhouston.net
700 Fulton Street, M-1, Farmingdale, NY 11735

 

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Literary Entertainments Scripts for Sale / Sample Scenes on YouTube

   

NEW, AND IN THE WORKS

« "The Sporting Life" A humorous historical hour-long entertainment about
Polo and Fox Hunting, Golf and Horse Racing, and Game Big Small and Feathered.
It's about the grand and glorious, dangerous and bizarre, bloody and bloodless, royal
and popular pastimes of today and days gone by, on Long Island and in the rest
of the world. Rick Heuthe and David Houston perform in the style of Radio Drama.
Available from May 1, 2017

      « "Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania" For LONG ISLAND READS,
 2017, Available March 15 to May 15. A two-performer reading of excerpts from
Erik Larson's thrilling, absorbing,
informative account of the colossal disaster that
helped pull the United States into World War I. E
rik Larson grew up in Freeport,
LI, to become “one of the modern masters of popular narrative non-fiction”― according
to
The New York Times Book Review.
His DEAD WAKE was published to rave reviews in
2015 and quickly became number one on the NYT list.
As we’ve done every year since
The Great Gatsby
in 2002, David Houston’s LITERARY ENTERTAINMENTS
produces a one-hour “radio drama” of excerpts from this year’s island-wide read.
 
(Not affiliated with the LI Reads Committee.)
Actors Diana Heinlein and David
Houston provide the narrative and character voices over a background of
sound effects and the lush suspenseful music of Erich Korngold.

 

« "Henry and Ribsy and Beezus and Ramona" Available fall-winter of 2016.
A two-performer reading (Rick Heuthe and Diana Heinlein) "in the style of radio drama"
(with character voices, sound effects and music)
—dramatized scenes from the young-reader
books of Beverly Cleary. Two separate half-hour shows for children 5 to 11 and their parents:
HENRY AND RIBSY, about Henry's attempt to earn a dollar for his bicycle fund while
being thwarted by his trusty dog Ribsy. BEEZUS AND RAMONA, about what happens
when the two girls are ushered to the kitchen to prepare the family dinner.

 

 «  "The Lap of Luxury" The cruise-ship endeavor as glorified in books and plays,
memoirs and movies, 1900 to today. In
THE LAP OF LUXURY Diana Heinlein
and David Houston perform a reading “in the style of radio drama”—with touching tales
including that of missionaries sailing to a new life; romance at sea, music and comedy from
the Broadway stage—including a beautiful short scene from Noel Coward’s epic
Cavalcade,
and a ridiculously funny moment by Christopher Durang in which a ship’s captain attempts
to conduct a burial at sea and a wedding simultaneously. Underneath it all there’s
sea-going symphonic music from the film score of
The Sea Hawk.

 

2017 PERFORMANCES, ALL SHOWS

Thursday, March 2, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — Bethpage Public Library
Monday, April 3, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — Manhasset Public Library
Tuesday, April 4, 10:30 a.m.: LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — Franklin Square Public Library
Thursday, April 6, 1:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library
Friday, April 7, 7:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — Northport - East Northport Public Library
Tuesday, April 11, 7:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — Bellmore Public Library
Wednesday, April 12, 12:30 p.m. LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — East Meadow Public Library
Friday, April 14, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — Jericho Public Library
Saturday, April 15, 2:00 p.m.LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — Long Beach Public Library

Friday, April 21, 12:15 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — Port Washington Public Library
Sunday, April 23, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — Farmingdale Public Library
Monday, April 24, 2:30 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — Elmont Public Library
Thursday, April 27, 2:30 p.m. LONG ISLAND READS DEAD WAKE — West Babylon Public Library
Sunday, May 7, 2:00 p.m.: THE SPORTING LIFE — Planting Fields Arboretum Coe Hall
 Thursday, June 8, 2:30 p.m.: HENRY & RIBSY and BEEZUS & RAMONA Queens Douglaston Library
Sunday, June 18, 2:00 p.m.: THE SPORTING LIFE — Planting Fields Arboretum Coe Hall
Sunday, July 9, 2:00 p.m.: THE SPORTING LIFE — Planting Fields Arboretum Coe Hall
Sunday, September 10, 2:00 p.m.: MARK TWAIN TELLING TALES Planting Fields Arboretum Coe Hall
Sunday, October 15, 2:00 p.m.: MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE Planting Fields Arboretum Coe Hall

  2016 PERFORMANCES, ALL SHOWS


Thursday, February 18, 2:00 p.m.: THE LAP OF LUXURYManhasset Public Library
Tuesday, February 23, 2:00 p.m.
: ABE LINCOLN IN THE 21ST CENTURY — Bethpage Public Library

Monday, April 4, 2:00 p.m.: THE LAP OF LUXURY — Planting Fields Arboretum, Coe Hall
Tuesday, April 5, 10:30 a.m.: LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME (Gail) — Franklin Square Public Library

Thursday, April 7, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME (Gail) — Long Beach Public Library
Sunday, April 10, 3:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME (Diana) — Shelter Rock Public Library
Monday, April 11, 7:00 p.m. LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME (Diana) — Comsewogue Public Library

Wednesday, April 13, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME (Diana) — Jericho Public Library
Thursday, April 14, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME (Gail) — Manhasset Public Library
Sunday, April 17, 2:00 p.m.: THE LAP OF LUXURY — Planting Fields Arboretum, Coe Hall
Wednesday, April 20, 7:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME (Gail) — S. Huntington Public Library

Thursday, April 21, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME (Diana) — Garden City Public Library
Monday, April 25, 2:00 p.m.:
LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME (Diana) — Elmont Public Library

Thursday, April 28, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME (Gail) — West Babylon Public Library
Friday, April 29, 12:00 p.m.:
LONG ISLAND READS LEAVING TIME (Diana) — Port Washington Public Library
Sunday, May 15, 2:00 p.m.: THE LAP OF LUXURY — Planting Fields Arboretum, Coe Hall

Saturday, June 18, 2:30 p.m.: THE LAP OF LUXURY — Bronx Library Center
Sunday, September 18, 2:00 p.m.: MARK TWAIN: TELLING TALES — Planting Fields Arboretum, Coe Hall
Sunday, October 16, 2:00 p.m.:
MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE — Planting Fields Arboretum, Coe Hall

Saturday, October 29, 2:30 p.m.: MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE — Bronx Library Center
Sunday, December 4, 1:00 p.m. : MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE — Deer Park Public Library
Wednesday, December 7, 2:00: O.HENRY'S CHRISTMAS GIFT — Bethpage Public Library
Sunday, December 11, xx
p.m.: THE DICKENS: A CHRISTMAS CAROL — Huntington Station Public Library
Thursday, December 15, 2:00 p.m.: THE DICKENS: A CHRISTMAS CAROL — Garden City Public Library
Saturday, December 17, 2:00 p.m.: THE DICKENS: A CHRISTMAS CAROL — Longwood Public Library

Monday, December 19, 1:00 p.m.: THE DICKENS: A CHRISTMAS CAROL — Seaford Public Library

 

2015 PERFORMANCES, ALL SHOWS

Thursday, March 5, 2:00 p.m.: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Melanie) — Bethpage Public Library
Thursday, March 12, 1:30 p.m.: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARYTHINGS (Diana) — Garden City Public Library
Saturday, March 14, 2:30 p.m.: ON THE CASE: CHRISTIE MYSTERIES — Bronx Library Center
Wednesday, April 1, 12:30 p.m.: LIKE CATS AND DOGS! — Emma Clark Memorial Library, Setauket
Monday, April 6, 7:00 p.m.: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Melanie) — Comsewogue PL, Port Jeff Station
Tuesday, April 7, 10:30 a.m.: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Melanie) — Franklin Square Public Library
Wednesday, April 8, 2:00 p.m.:  THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Diana) — Jericho Public Library
Thursday, April 9, 2:00 p.m.:  THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Diana) — Long Beach Public Library
Friday, April 10, 12:15 p.m.: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Diana) — Port Washington Public Library
Monday, April 13, 2:00 p.m.: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Diana) — Great Neck Library
Tuesday, April 14, 12:30 p.m.: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Melanie) — East Meadow P L
Thursday, April 16, 2:00 p.m.: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Diana) — Manhasset P L
Saturday, April 18, 2:30 p.m.: MARK TWAIN: TELLING TALES — Bronx Library Center
Tuesday, April 21, 1:00 p.m.: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Melanie) — Hewlett Woodmere
Thursday, April 23, 2:30 p.m.: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Diana) — West Babylon P L
Monday, April 27, 2:00 p.m.: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS (Melanie) — Elmont Public Library
Thursday, May 21, 3:00 p.m.: MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE — Commack YJCC
Saturday, July 25, 2:30 p.m.: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD — Bronx Library Center
Sunday, August 23,  2:00 p.m.: A RODGERS AND HART AUDITION — Planting Fields Arboretum
Tuesday, September 8, 2015, 12:30 p.m.ON THE CASE: CHRISTIE MYSTERIES — East Meadow Public Library
Sunday, September 20, 2:00 p.m.: MARK TWAIN: TELLING TALES — Planting Fields Arboretum
Friday, October 16, 7:00 p.m.: MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE — North Shore Public Library, Shoreham
Sunday, October 18, 2:00 p.m.: MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE — Planting Fields Arboretum, Coe Hall
Tuesday, October 20, 3:00 p.m.: MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE — Queens Library, Douglaston
Friday, October 23, 7:00 p.m.  MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE — Hillside Public Library, New Hyde Park
Tuesday, October 27, 1:00 p.m.: ON THE CASE: CHRISTIE MYSTERIES — Seaford Public Library
Wednesday, October 28, 1:30 p.m.: MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE — Queens Library, Glen Oaks
Thursday, October 29, 6:00 p.m.: MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE — Queens Library, Forest Hills
Saturday, October 31, 2:30 p.m.:: MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE — Bronx Library Center

Thursday, December 10, 2:00 p.m.: O. HENRY'S CHRISTMAS GIFT
— Garden City Public Library
Friday, December 11, 12:15 p.m.: O. HENRY'S HUNRED YEARS — Port Washington Public Library
Friday, December 18, 12:30 p.m.: O. HENRY'S CHRISTMAS GIFT — Elmont Public Library

Literary Entertainments

David Houston's series of small-scale theatrical productions, on themes of history and literature, got its start in 2000 when he portrayed Charles Dickens, circa 1867, at a Queens NY theatre and gathered impressive reviews. In 2001 he toured THE DICKENS! to Long Island libraries, where interest in additional plays was expressed. Houston—an accomplished writer and experienced actor—jumped at the opportunity. He wrote, produced and directed GREAT SCOTT AND ZELDA, with Melanie Lipton and Steve Corbellini, which toured libraries during the 2002 “Long Island Reads” celebration of THE GREAT GATSBY. Since then he has added other original plays to the repertoire: LILLIE ALONE, a one-woman tour-de-force starring Mary Ellin Kurtz as Lillie Langtry backstage in 1900 as she prepares lies to tell an interviewer and presents monologues from her classic stage successes; MARK TWAIN: TELLING TALES, in which Houston, as elderly Twain, gives a lecture on humor and wit, derived from Twain essays and stories;  MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE, starring Rick Heuthe as Edgar Allan Poe attempting to secure a lucrative lecture tour in 1848, quoting and reading poetry and stories in the process; LET'S DO IT!, developed at the request of the Port Washington Library, a one-act musical in which Noel Coward (Houston) and Cole Porter (Rick Heuthe) test material for Coward’s cabaret debut in Las Vegas, ending with Coward's outrageous lyrics for Porter's "Let's Do It"; JAZZ BABY JOAN, with Melanie Lipton as Joan Crawford in 1934 defending her career and reliving her childhood, based on Houston's Crawford biography Jazz Baby (St. Martin's Press); THE GHOST OF DOROTHY PARKER with actress Diana Heinlein as the famed Algonquin wit trying to make sense of her turbulent life through her poetry and stories; WALT WHITMAN, TO BEGIN WITH in which Houston impersonates Whitman and his critics; FRED AND ADELE ASTAIRE: THE LAST DANCE, starring Melanie Lipton and Steve Corbellini, in which, backstage in 1932, Fred and Adele reminisce in song and dance as she leaves their famous act to marry into British royalty; ABE LINCOLN IN THE 21ST CENTURY with Houston as a light-hearted Honest Abe; ON THE CASE: CHRISTIE MYSTERIE with readings of three short stories plus a one-act fully staged "Getting Away With Murder" featuring Diana Heinlein as Miss Marple and Rick Heuthe as Hercule Poirot; A BEN FRANKLIN FOR ALL SEASONS with Houston as the funny, bawdy and profound founding father; plus new editions of THE DICKENS! featuring "A Christmas Carol" and “The Chimes.”  In addition to original plays, Houston's group presents Melanie Lipton as Emily Dickinson in William Luce's Broadway play THE BELLE OF AMHERST; Houston in a reading of the first Sherlock Holmes novel STUDY IN SCARLET; Houston in readings of three short stories of ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER; a three-actor "radio style" dramatization of Ray Bradbury's FAHRENHEIT 451 with Houston, Lipton and Matt Stashin; a reading of the love story from JOY COMES IN THE MORNING with Houston and Gail Merzer Behrens; a dramatic reading of the trial of Tom Robinson from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD with Houston and Heinlein; Houston and Heinlein are teamed for O. HENRY'S HUNDRED YEARS and O. HENRY'S CHRISTMAS GIFT readings of short stories; A RODGERS AND HART AUDITION, with Houston as Richard Rodgers and Rick Heuthe as Hart, and Melanie Lipton, Diana Heinlein and Steve Corbellini playing 15 auditioning celebrities, including Mae West, Desi Arnaz, Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Crocker, the Lunts, Hopalong Cassidy and others; and LIKE CATS AND DOGS!, the innermost thoughts of our pets, through the eyes of Thurber, Eliot and others, with Houston and Heinlein.  For Long Island Reads in past years, Houston has provided readings "in the style of radio drama": 2003 HOW THE GARCIA GIRLS LOST THEIR ACCENTS, with Houston and Lipton; 2004 SNOW IN AUGUST with Houston and Matt Stashin; 2005 Houston’s solo reading from Steinbeck’s TRAVELS WITH CHARLIE; 2006 Houston’s solo reading from Mark Mills’s AMAGANSETT; 2007 James McBride's THE COLOR OF WATER with Houston and Debbie Starker; 2008 a solo reading from Chang-rae Lee's ALOFT; 2009 Heinlein and Houston read from WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR by Doris Kearns Goodwin; 2010 Houston in a solo reading as Teddy Roosevelt in RIVER OF DOUBT; 2011 Houston reads from Colson Whitehead's SAG HARBOR with notes from the history of the village; 2012 Houston and Gail Merzer Behrens read from Alyson Richman's THE LOST WIFE; 2013 Houston and Ray Gobes from J.R. Moehringer's SUTTON; 2014 Houston with (alternating) Debbie Starker, Diana Heinlein, from Mac Griswold's THE MANOR; 2015 Houston with Melanie Lipton or Diana Heinlein (alternating) from Alice Hoffman's THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS; 2016 Jodi Picoult's LEAVING TIME with Houston and (alternating) Diana Heinlein, Gail Merzer Behrens; 2017 Erik Larson's DEAD WAKE with Houston and Heinlein.