Eight highly diverse works from one of America’s most prolific and versatile authors. This collection includes an exclusive dramatization of Oates’ best-selling novel American Appetites; two comedic plays, The Perfectionist and The Truth Teller; four short plays (Gulf War, Black, The Key, and Tone Clusters); as well as her libretto for Black Water: An American Opera, composed by John Duffy.
American Appetites: The façade of an affluent suburban couple crumbles under the weight of tragedy and scandal in this exclusive dramatization of Joyce Carol Oates’ best-selling novel. Cast: Lisa Akey, Keith Carradine, Alastair Duncan, Paul Eiding, Anna Gunn, Dan Lauria, Jean Louisa Kelly, Frank Muller, B.J. Ward, Elizabeth Ward Land, Liza Weil, and Tegan West.
The Perfectionist: Joyce Carol Oates turns her satiric eye to Tobias Harte, a man obsessed with perfection in everything from ethics to egg salad. Rollicking comedy ensues as Harte struggles with his highly imperfect family and friends. Cast: Barbara Bosson, Annabeth Gish, Harold Gould, Valerie Landsburg, David Schwimmer, and David Selby.
The Truth Teller: Joyce Carol Oates’ hilarious take-off on a classic Southern play begins when liberated Hedda arrives home to visit the family estate, ruled by the family’s tyrannical patriarch, “Tiny” Culligan. Cast: Charles Durning, Arthur Hanket, Gary Kroeger, Marsha Mason, Priscilla Pointer, William Schallert and JoBeth Williams.
Black Water - An American Opera: A tragic and beautiful opera based on the Chappaquiddick scandal. Libretto by Joyce Carol Oates, with music by John Duffy. Cast: David Lee Brewer, Reid Bruton, Stephanie Buckley, Karen Burlingame, Kimberly Graham, Linda Kerns, Erin Langston, Patrick Mason, John Savarese, and Rob Shacklett.
Gulf War (one-act play): An affluent young couple, entertains an older couple for an evening of cocktails and politics during the Gulf War. But as the evening continues, the conversation take a bizarre and absurd tone. Cast: Edward Asner, Stephanie Dunnam, Nan Martin, and Joe Spano.
Black (one-act play): In this evening of cocktails and dinner, a couple anxiously awaits the arrival of an ex-husband. As the wine glasses are drained, the evening becomes dark and intense, revealing the true colors of the characters in this eerie love triangle. Cast: Stephanie Dunnam, Rif Hutton and Joe Spano.
The Key (one-act play): A hilarious perverse encounter between Melissa, a vacationing suburban housewife, recently separated from her husband, and Edwin, a prosperous businessman. Cast: Edward Asner, Hector Elizondo, Don Reed, Joyce Van Patten, and JoBeth Williams.
Tone Clusters (one-act play): A chilling tragi-comedy that takes the form of an interview between a middle-aged, middle-class American couple and the media. Cast: Edward Asner, Hector Elizondo, Don Reed, Joyce Van Patten and JoBeth Williams.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, because Joyce Carol Oates characters are never boring and this collection of plays is so well acted that the characters and their stories really come to life.
What other book might you compare The Joyce Carol Oates Collection to and why?
I've really enjoyed all the audible collections from The L.A. Theater group, I've purchased. The Joyce carol Oates Collection is right up there with the rest.
What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The excellent narration really brings the characters to life. The plays are fluent and vivid.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Prepare to be engaged!
Any additional comments?
Although, I thoroughly enjoyed the plays, I was not so fond of the operatic interpretation of Black Water. Not my cup of tea.