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

Readings from

the acclaimed Julia Alvarez novel

"How the Garcia Girls
Lost their Accents"

a  two-actor performance in the style of radio drama, packaged for libraries
celebrating the 2003 all-island study of the book

available March 15 through April 30, 2003

With Melanie Lipton and David Houston


MELANIE LIPTON—is equally at home in drama, comedies and musicals. Her starring roles include Tracy in High Society, Eve in Applause, Mary in Cyrano Dot Com (a world premiere), Maggie in The Man Who Came to Dinner, Johanna in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, Alexandra in The Little Foxes, Maria in The Sound of Music, Martha in 1776, Jenny in Threepenny Opera, and Lois Lane in a rare revival of the musical It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman.  In 2002, she starred in Great Scott, and Zelda written and directed by David Houston.  An educator with a background in music, voice, and theatre, Melanie spent two seasons as teacher and choreographer at Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Center.
DAVID HOUSTON—has appeared in featured and leading roles in scores of plays and musicals, including Sir in The Dresser, 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, and Uncle Willie in High Society.  His one-man dramatized readings of the works of Charles Dickens and Mark Twain have played at theatres and libraries in the New York area.  He is a published and produced writer (14 books, 3 screenplays, 4 stage plays), fiction and non-fiction.  His Joan Crawford biography Jazz Baby, has been optioned for movie production, as has his mystery novel Shadows on the Moon.   


Tuesday, April 1, 7:00 p.m., Islip Public Library, Islip, NY
Wednesday, April 2, 7:30 p.m., Plainview Old Bethpage Library, Plainview, NY
Thursday, April 3, 11:30 a.m., Locust Valley Library, Locust Valley, NY
Thursday, April 3, 7:30 p.m., North Babylon Public Library, North Babylon, NY
Friday, April 4, 2:30 p.m., Half-Hollow Hills Public Library, Dix Hills, NY
Friday, April 4, 7:30 p.m., Huntington Public Library, Huntington, NY
Saturday, April 5, South Huntington Public Library, S. Huntington, NY
Tuesday, April 8, 1:00 p.m., Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY
Tuesday, April 8, 7:30 p.m., Port Jefferson Free Library, Port Jefferson, NY
Friday, April 11, 12:30 p.m. East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY
Friday, April 11, 3:00 p.m. Farmingdale Free Library, Farmingdale, NY
Friday, April 11, 8:00 p.m. Port Washington Public Library, Port Washington, NY
Saturday, April 12, 2:00 p.m., Hauppauge Public Library, Hauppauge, NY
Sunday, April 13, 2:00 p.m. Longwood Library, Middle Island, NY
Monday, April 14, 7:00, Mineola Memorial Library, Mineola, NY
Tuesday, April 15, 7:30 p.m., John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor NY
Wednesday, April 23, 2:30 p.m., Long Beach Public Library, Long Beach, NY
Thursday, April 24, 1:30 p.m., West Babylon Public Library, West Babylon, NY
Thursday, April 24, 7:00, Lindenhurst Public Library, Lindenhurst, NY
, April 25, 2:00 p.m., Jericho Public Library, Jericho, NY
Monday, April 28, 7:00, Middle Country Library, Selden, NY


"The excellent presentation of the book helped bring out the book's lyrical qualities . . . the 'verbal performance' brought it into a special light and enhanced the book's overall appeal." — Lorraine Paesano and Mary Frayne, Librarians, Middle Country Public Library in Selden

"We were surprised and delighted.  The West Babylon Literary Club thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.  Your sensitive readings drew us into the lives of the Garcia Girls.  Everyone agreed that Ms. Lipton gave an excellent portrayal of Yolanda." — Millie Scott, Librarian and Literary Club Leader.

"Better than I anticipated.  Very professional.  I got a much better understanding of the book; I felt the characters through the readings." — Irene Klein, audience member, Locust Valley Library

"Your readings were charming and delighted our audience, which listened with such rapt attention.  It was almost better than reading the book!" — Aviva Crown, Cultural Programs Specialist, Plainview Old Bethpage Public Library

"Ms. Lipton made the characters come alive in her dramatic readings from 'Garcia Girls,' and Mr. Houston's readings of the narrative created a clear and enticing atmosphere." — Linda Soldo, Assistant Librarian, East Meadow Public Library.


Contact: David Houston
(516) 293-2638;
700 Fulton Street, M-1, Farmingdale, New York 11735

$200 fee includes all: actors, reading stands, director, travel (Long Island only)
available March 15 through April 30, 2003

About the book, copyright © 1991 by Julia Alvarez, published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (hardcover) and Plume/Penguin Putman.  From the Plume paperback edition:

By Julia Alvarez

When their father's part in a plot against a cruel dictator forces them to flee the Dominican Republic, the Garcia sisters—Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sophia—come to America.  But in 1960s New York City is vastly different from the genteel, if troubling, existence they left behind, a world marked by maids, manicures, a loving family, and disappearances, secret police raids, growing political unrest.  What the sisters have lost—and what they find—is revealed in this exquisite novel from one of the premier novelists of our time.  In America, the Garcia Girls try to assimilate into the mainstream by ironing their hair, forgetting their Spanish, and meeting boys unchaperoned.  Through it all, they remain caught between the old world and the new.  With zestful humor and rare insight, Julia Alvarez evokes the uncertainties and joys of belonging to two distinct cultures in a buoyant novel full of irrepressible spirit.

"Poignant . . . powerful . . . beautifully captures the threshold experience of the new immigrant, where the past is not yet a memory." — The New York Times Book Review

"Simply Wonderful." — Los Angeles Times

"Fascinating." — People

"Tender, charming . . . the writing is charged with a poetic intensity that is truly original." — The Miami Herald

"A tumultuous family get-together, full of warmth, laughter, and bickering." — St. Petersburg Times

"Delightful." — Cosmopolitan