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  |  Wait Till Next Year

Celebrating "Long Island Reads" 2009
Available March 15 to May 3


Wait Till Next Year

By Doris Kearns Goodwin

A Dramatic Reading in the Style of Radio Drama, Script Adaptation by David Houston
Diana Heinlein as the Voice of the Book and David Houston as Narrator
With Sound and Music from the 1940s and 50s

Set in Rockville Centre in
the 1950s, this is a touching memoir of growing up in love with family and baseball. Celebrated historian Goodwin re-creates the postwar era, and we meet the people who most influenced her early life: her mother who taught her the joy of books but whose debilitating illness kept her housebound; and her father who taught her the joy of baseball and to root for the Brooklyn Dodgers of Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, and Gil Hodges. Goodwin describes with eloquence how the team leaving Brooklyn in 1957 and the death of her mother soon after, marked the end of an era, and, for her, the end 
of childhood.


David Houston

(516) 293-2638 / 
700 Fulton Street, M-1, Farmingdale, NY 11735

Performance runs about 65 minutes
$250 fee includes actors, reading stands, music CD and CD player; facility is
asked to supply an 8 x 12 acting space, basic lighting, and
amplification if the auditorium is large

Scroll Down, or Jump with these Links

Biography: Doris Kearns Goodwin
Biographies: Diana Heinlein and David Houston

Scheduled Performances

Photos for Publicity

Links to Helpful Web Sites
References, Reviews, Comments

Background: Literary Entertainments


Doris Kearns Goodwin

Born in 1943 in Brooklyn and raised in Rockville Centre, she received her B.A from Colby College and a PhD in Government from Harvard, where she later taught “The American Presidency.” Ms Goodwin is author of acclaimed and prize-winning histories —including a Pulitzer for No Ordinary Time about FDR and the home front in WWII (1995) and the recent bestseller Team of Rivals (2005) which garnered several awards including the prestigious Lincoln Prize. Her own childhood is the historical subject of Wait Till Next Year (1997), a Book of the Month Club selection about which the Washington Post reviewer wrote: “This book is in the grand tradition of girlhood memoirs, dating from Louisa May Alcott to Carson McCullers and Harper Lee.” Doris is married to writer Richard N. Goodwin. They have three sons. She says of her many historical subjects: “I just want them to come alive again; that’s really all you ask of history.”


  Diana Heinlein

Reviewing a recent production of The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, NEWSDAY said, "Diana Heinlein is solid and hilarious at the center of the angst-ridden comedy; watching her wallow in comic pathos in the Long Island premiere of Charles Busch's lively surprisingly complex comedy is a delight."  About her performance as Bella in Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers, THE SUFFOLK COUNTY NEWS said, "Diana Heinlein offers a performance so moving that the swing of emotions will leave you dizzy." Diana has acted myriad leading and featured roles in other Simon classics including Mrs. Banks in Barefoot in the Park, Kate in both Broadway Bound and Brighton Beach Memoirs,  Cookie in one production of Rumors and Claire in another, and Florence in the female version of The Odd Couple.  She stars in a touring production of Houston's The Ghost of Dorothy Parker. Other memorable portrayals include Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker, and Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa.  

David Houston

David has appeared in leading roles in scores of plays and musicals, including Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, Senex in A Funny Thing, Ben in Death of a Salesman, Herr Shultz in Cabaret and Horace in The Little Foxes.  He is a published and produced writer of fiction and non-fiction.  His original plays—including Let's Do It!, The Last Dance, The Ghost of Dorothy Parker, Murder and Madness and Poe, and The Dickens!—have been seen at a number of Long Island theatres, schools and libraries. His Joan Crawford biography Jazz Baby (St. Martin's Press) was optioned for movie production, as was his mystery novel Shadows on the Moon (Leisure Books). Other performance readings "in the style of radio drama" include Steinbeck's Travels With Charlie, the Sherlock Holmes novel Study in Scarlet, and for "Long Island Reads" 2008 he presented selections from Aloft, a novel by Chang-rae Lee with a contemporary Long Island setting.

Scheduled Performances

Thursday, March 26, 1:00 pm: THE BRYANT LIBRARY, ROSLYN

Saturday, March 28, 2:00 pm: GLEN OAKS (QUEENS) PUBLIC LIBRARY




Tuesday April 7, 2:00 pm: JERICHO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Wednesday April 8, 1:00 pm: MANHASSET PUBLIC LIBRARY

Tuesday April 14, 12:30 pm: EAST MEADOW PUBLIC LIBRARY

Tuesday April 14, 7:00 pm: BABYLON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Wednesday April 15, 7:00 pm: PORT JEFFERSON PUBLIC LIBRARY


Sunday April 19, 2:00 pm LONGWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY

Tuesday April 21, 2:00 pm: QUEENS VILLAGE PUBLIC LIBRARY

Tuesday April 21, 7:00 pm: WEST ISLIP PUBLIC LIBRARY

Thursday April 23, 7:00 pm: PATCHOGUE PUBLIC LIBRARY



Monday April 27, 2:00 pm: ELMONT PUBLIC LIBRARY


Wednesday April 29, 2:30 pm: LONG BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY

Thursday April 30, 2:30 pm: WEST BABYLON PUBLIC LIBRARY


Monday, July 13, 2:00 p.m.: QUEENS LIBRARY AT BELLEROSE

Monday, July 20, 3:00 p.m.:  QUEENS LIBRARY AT POMONOK


Photos for Publicity

Ebbets Field 1913-1957


Jackie Robinson 1949 MVP



1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, World Champions


Doris Kearns Goodwin



Links to Helpful Web Sites

The Brooklyn Dodgers

Doris Kearns Goodwin

About her life and work

Concerning charges of plagiarism against her

Bio in Britannica

  Reviews and Comments about 
Readings in the Style of Radio Drama

WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR by Doris Kearns Goodwin (David as Narrator, Diana Heinlein the voice of the book)

Penny Wright, Programs and Publicity, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton: "David Houston and company have produced one high quality show after another, and 'Wait Till Next Year' is no exception. Speaking for the Rogers Memorial Library, I'm delighted that we won't have to wait till next year to have them back!" Jessica Ley, Program Coordinator, Port Washington Public Library "A David Houston production is always entertainingly educational in the most professional presentation." Nadine Connors, Cultural Program Specialist, Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library: Very good audience response, excellent performance; "I can't think of something that could have been done better." Lee Gorray, Librarian, Elmont Public Library: "This brilliant dual performance surpasses many Broadway plays. Rarely have I spent such an enjoyable afternoon."

THE COLOR OF WATER by James McBride (David as Narrator, Debbie Starker as Ruth)

Barbara Minerd, Public Relations Director, Shelter Rock Public Library: “Well, if this radio drama doesn't inspire those who haven't read the book to read it, I don't know what will.  The program transported me to another world." Jude Schanzer, Program Director and Publicity, East Meadow Public Library: "Stupendous; meticulous thought obviously given to the material and the venue in which it was to be performed. The audience was visibly moved."  Marion Waller, Professional Theatrical Director, at Copiague Library: "The performances were mesmerizing.  You "saw" these people and never had to wonder who was speaking.  Eras and places were evoked to maximum effect." Melissa Gabrielle, Programs, South Country Library, Bellport: "A powerful and wonderful performance that had a great impact on the audience.  The high school students who attended commented that they found that the actors made the story even more relevant to their experiences in class."

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee (David as men, Diana as Scout and women)

Lori Abbatepaolo, Librarian, Middle Country Public Library: "The performers were excellent, and the adaptation and staging provided a powerful experience of Harper Lee's book. It was filled with emotion and the audience seemed completely caught up in the performance." Jean Scanlon, Program Director, Freeport Memorial Library: "The performers take you back to the 1930's South. The variations in voice make you feel as though all the litigants and the children are on stage. The reading was wonderful." Bonnie Russell, Program Director, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor: "Excellent" in all categories, including Audience Response, Literary Content, and Performance. 

SNOW IN AUGUST by Pete Hammil (David as the Rabbi, Matt Stashin as boys' voices)

Lorraine Paesano and Mary Frayne, Librarians, Middle Country Public Library: “The accents, the shifting of characters, the musical accompaniment – all added to a magical reading." 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."  Evelyn Pusinelli, Program Coordinator, Hicksville Public Library: "The audience was enthralled with the reading; the presentation held their attention.  Excellent."  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."  

FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury (Melanie Lipton, Matt Stashin, David Houston)

Lorraine Paesano, Adult Services Librarian, Middle Country Public Library at Centereach: "As always, a polished professional performance.  Being joined by Matt Stashin and Melanie Lipton added to the overall impact.  Listening to the selected pieces made me think of how scary it would be if people's beliefs and freedoms were to be challenged and mandated by others.  Thanks for a great reading!"  Deborah Dellis-Quinn, Program Director, Manhasset Library "FAHRENHEIT 451 was excellent – not only for our adult audience, but would be valuable for high-school students.  The pace was quick, keeping the audience involved in the characters and plot throughout the program.  The message of Ray Bradbury's novel was powerfully portrayed by the cast, and respectfully scripted." Jessica Ley, Program Coordinator, Port Washington Public Library: "I've come to expect excellence from a David Houston production, and I've never been disappointed.  FAHRENHEIT 451 was outstanding."


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 New York 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 the 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 (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 Round Table 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 for good; and new editions of THE DICKENS! featuring "A Christmas Carol" and “The Chimes.” In addition to original plays, Houston's group currently 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 from JOY COMES IN THE MORNING with Houston and and Gail Merzer Behrens, and a dramatic reading of The Trial of Tom Robinson from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, with Houston and Diana Heinlein.  For Long Island Reads in past years, Houston has provided "dramatic readings in the form of radio drama" in 2003 HOW THE GARCIA GIRLS LOST THEIR ACCENTS, with Houston and Lipton; 2004 SNOW IN AUGUST with Houston and Stashin; 2005 Houston’s solo reading from Steinbeck’s TRAVELS WITH CHARLIE; 2006 Houston’s solo reading from Mark Mills’s AMAGANSETT; 2007 from James McBride's THE COLOR OF WATER with Houston and Debbie Starker; and for 2008 a solo reading from Chang-rae Lee's ALOFT.



Copyright © 2008, David Houston