15th out of 27 books — 3 voters
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Preview — The Little Flower of East Orange by Stephen Adly Guirgis
The Little Flower of East Orange
When Therese Marie arrives in the emergency room of a small hospital in the Bronx, suffering from hypothermia and in shock, no one there knows her story. To the doctors and nurses, she is just another abandoned elderly woman who can’t even tell them her name. But Therese Marie’s dementia is not all that it seems. And when her prodigal son, Danny, returns to New York, There ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by Faber & Faber
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A beautiful, if slightly incoherent, story of a family struggling to discover the meaning of grace. The tale unfolds slowly, and needs to be embodied by stellar actors to fully appreciate, which fortunately it was in the Public Theater and LAByrinth co-production featuring Ellen Burstyn and Michael Shannon. Somewhat auto-biographical, it is a testament to the power of familial love, even in the face of the worst familial adversity.
This play is hard to rate because I feel like it will affect you differently depending on whether you have experienced the death of a close family member, or have had to care for a parent at the end of their life. As a person who has done both (in the latter case it was a grandparent), I was deeply moved by this play. The more I know of Guirgis, the more I love him.
Read an interesting play lately? This might be the one for you. I was into it when my own mom was sick and I can relate deeply to Danny and her sister's plight. Marie Therese is quite a character. I just felt though that this was too contrived, the plot and ending too labored. Oh well. Plays can be hit or miss. In this case, a sloppy miss.
Aug 19, 2012 Snoozie Suzie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Hmm. Did I not like it because it was a play? Maybe. Did I just not like it that much? Maybe. Did I hate it? Not quite. The writing itself wasn't bad, and the story was ok, but as a whole it just wasn't my thing I suppose.
Stephen Adly Guirgis is an American playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor. He is a member and co-artistic director of New York City's LAByrinth Theater Company. His plays have been produced on five continents and throughout the United States.More about Stephen Adly Guirgis...