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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 Photo Gallery  /  David on Long Island Stages Photo Gallery

Literary Entertainments Scripts for Sale / Sample Scenes on YouTube

   

NEW, AND IN THE WORKS

« Walt Whitman, to Begin With (revised) From the initial publication of his
"Leaves of Grass," the outpouring of Long Island native Walt Whitman was controversial
—condemned by critics, shunned by the pious and prudish, ignored by the American
academy—but quietly praised by many men of letters the world over. In this one-man
dramatization, David Houston impersonates outspoken critical voices from 1855 to the
 20th Century, and finally becomes free-thinker Whitman, who defends
his revolutionary work by presenting both famous and
neglected passages from "Song of Myself.
"


«
"Frankenstein: Little Mary's Monster" Mary Shelley began writing her masterpiece in 1815
when she was 18 years old. It was published 3 years later, 200 years ago. Since then her thrilling
story has spawned more than 70 movie adaptations (starting with Edison’s silent version in 1910),
16 television shows, 7 stage plays, 8 comic books, and 8 derivative novels – many of them
drastically unfaithful to Mary’s haunting and horrific vision. Our dramatic reading, with music
and sounds, time-travels to learn heart-stopping truths from Ms. Shelley’s manuscript
pages. Diana Heinlein is the voice of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.
Available from August 15, 2018


«  
"Eclipse!"
Celebrating science, Diana Heinlein and Rick Heuthe
 present a reading in the style of Radio Drama (with music and effects)
with text from inspiring and frightening fiction about what happens when the light goes out,
all the way out
. . . thanks to Mark Twain, Isaac Asimov, Fredric Brown, Stephen
King, and The Hardy Boys. Written and directed by David Houston.

    « "Henry and Ribsy and Beezus and Ramona" Available 2016 - 2017.
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.

 
 

2019 PERFORMANCES, ALL SHOWS

Wednesday April 3, 7:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS: THE FEMALE PERSUASION — Northport Public (Melanie)

Monday April 8, 1:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS: THE FEMALE PERSUASION — East Meadow Public Library (Melanie)

Tuesday April 9, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS: THE FEMALE PERSUASION — Manhasset Public Library (Melanie)
Wednesday, April 10, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS: THE FEMALE PERSUASION— Jericho Public Library (Diana)
Monday April 15, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS: THE FEMALE PERSUASION— Bethpage Public Library (Diana)

Thursday April 18, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS: THE FEMALE PERSUASION — Long Beach Public Library (Diana)
Monday April 22, 7:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS: THE FEMALE PERSUASION —Comsewogue Public Library (Diana)

Thursday, April 25, 2:30 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS: THE FEMALE PERSUASION — West Babylon Public Library (Diana)

Tuesday, April 30, 7:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS: THE FEMALE PERSUASION

Thursday, May 30, 1:00 p.m.: WALT WHITMAN, TO BEGIN WITH — Shelter Rock Public Library, Albertson

Tuesday October 4, 7:00 p.m.: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD — Hillside Public Library (Melanie)

Tuesday October 29, 7:00 p.m.: FRANKENSTEIN, Little Mary's Monster — Islip Public Library (Melanie)

Friday November 1, 12:30 p.m.:WALT WHITMAN, TO BEGIN WITH  — Elmont Public Library

2018 PERFORMANCES, ALL SHOWS

Tuesday, March 27, noon: THE LAP OF LUXURY St. Ann's Episcopal Church, Senior Luncheon
Thursday, March 29, 1:00 p.m.: ECLIPSE! — East M
eadow Public Library

Tuesday, April 3, 10:30 a.m.: LONG ISLAND READS SPACEMANFranklin Square Public Library

Wednesday, April 11, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS SPACEMAN — Jericho Public
Friday, April 13, 12:15 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS SPACEMAN — Port Washington Public Library
Tuesday, April 17, 1:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS SPACEMAN — Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library
Wednesday, April 18, 1:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS SPACEMAN — Manhasset Public Library
Thursday, April 19, 1:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS SPACEMAN — East Meadow Public Library
Monday, April 23, 7:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS SPACEMAN: — Comsewogue Public Library

Thursday, April 26, 2:30 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS SPACEMAN — West Babylon Public Library
Wednesday, May 2, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS SPACEMAN —
Long Beach Public Library
Thursday, May 10, 2:00 p.m.: LONG ISLAND READS SPACEMAN — Bethpage Public Library

Friday, September 28, 1:00 p.m.: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD — Queens Library, Glen Oaks

Saturday September 29, 3:00 p.m.: FAHRENHEIT 451 — Queens Library, Jackson Heights

Friday, October 5, 7:00 p.m.: FRANKENSTEIN — Port Jefferson Free Library

Saturday, October 20, 2:00 p.m.: FRANKENSTEIN — Planting Fields Arboretum, Coe Hall
Sunday, October 21, 2:00 p.m.: FRANKENSTEIN
— Planting Fields Arboretum, Coe Hall
Friday, October 26, 7:00 p.m.: FRANKENSTEIN — Hillside Public Library, New Hyde Park
Saturday, October 27, 2:00 p.m.: FRANKENSTEIN — Planting Fields Arboretum, Coe Hall
Sunday, October 28, 2:00 p.m.: FRANKENSTEIN — Planting Fields Arboretum, Coe Hall
Tuesday, December 4, 1:30 p.m.: O. HENRY'S CHRISTMAS GIFT — Glen Cove Senior Center
Friday, December 14, 12:15 p.m.: FRANKENSTEIN — Port Washington Public Library

 

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
 Saturday, June 10, 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
Monday, August 21, 2017, 1:00 p.m.: ECLIPSE! — East Meadow Public Library
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
Thursday, November 16, 3:00 p.m.: THE LAP OF LUXURY — Suffolk Y Jewish CC, Commack
Friday, December 1, 1:00 p.m.:THE DICKENS!: 3 WINTER STORIES Elmont Public Library
Sunday, December 10, 2:00 p.m.: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Bethpage Public Library
Friday, December 29, 1:00 p.m.: THE GIFT OF THE MAGI — Douglaston Little Neck Community 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.