American Notes

Len Jenkin(Broadway Play Publishing)

American Notes Cover


3.33 out of 5


from 9 ratings

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A kaleidoscopic, surrealistic overview of contemporary America, set forth in the bizarre, highly theatrical style which characterizes this writer's distinctive voice.

Produced by New York's highly regarded Public Theater, the play employs brilliantly imaginative avante-garde techniques to highlight both the dreams - and delusions - which infuse and motivate our modern world.

The play is made up of a series of concurrent actions, some set in a tacky motel, some elsewhere, involving a group of disparate but curiously related people.

There is the young night clerk, Pauline, who studies her high-school English Lit notebook, while growing increasingly fearful of the unseen and unwanted suitor who lies in wait in the motel parking lot; a raucous carnival barker touting his giant crocodile, Bonecrusher; a pair of seedy bar denizens who occasionally break into song; a dim-witted handyman, Chuckles, who performs pointless errands; a deranged scientist who believes that he is in contact with creatures from outer space; an abandoned woman who waits restlessly for a lover who will probably never return; and a mysterious drifter, Faber, who, somehow becomes the catalyst which fuses all these divergent elements into a cohesive, and often wildly funny whole.

And, in so doing, makes the play both an encapsulation of the American myth and, at the same time, a telling comment on what is right - and wrong - with this myth.

..". it has a cumulative, atmospheric effect, tantalizing our senses at the same time it creates a haunting iconographic world ... AMERICAN NOTES is itself sui generis - bearing the unmistakably original signature of Len Jenkin."

-The New York Times "[AMERICAN NOTES] is a kind of anti-OUR TOWN.

The weird backwater in which it's set is a little surreal and a lot seedy, populated by nighthawks, drifters, pimps, and hucksters."

-Chicago Reader "Twice as ingeniously written as any play in town ..." -The Village Voice ..". a mythic vision of America ..." -Drama-Logue

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