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How I Learned to Drive  By  cover art

How I Learned to Drive

By: Paula Vogel
Narrated by: Glenne Headly,Randall Arney,Joy Gregory,Paul Mercier,Rondi Reed
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Publisher's summary

Balmy evenings in rural Maryland are fraught with danger, and seductions can happen anywhere from a river bank to the front seat of a car, where a young self-conscious girl is learning to drive. To Li'l Bit, the radio is the most important part of the car, but the pop music of the 50's can never quite drown out the harrowing images in her mind.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Randall Arney, Joy Gregory, Glenne Headly, Paul Mercier and Rondi Reed.

©2015 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2015 L.A. Theatre Works

What listeners say about How I Learned to Drive

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Censored version!

I'm a fan of the LA Theatre Works audio productions, but I was really disappointed with this one. It is censored for some reason. It is not that the performance omitted any scenes or parts, but it is that there are actual bleeps added over certain words! It only happens a few times, but it really pulled me out of the play. Is this a radio friendly, edited version they've simply thrown up on Audible? I'm not sure, but I have never had this experience with any other work here. Sadly, I'll probably end up returning this.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging. Provocative. Comical

A great play. So well structured. Captures a certain time and the innocence and longing and search for understanding by a complicated, confused boozing uncle who was also desperate for understanding. I wish that Uncle Peck sounded more Southern. He did not sound south carolinian.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not For the Feint of Heart

How I Learned to Drive is not an easy play. The subject matters -- generational sexual abuse, the aftermath of war, the ugly power of enablement -- are daunting at the best of times, but they are particularly difficult in Paula Vogel's brilliant drama because she comes at them with such empathy, such humour, and an unrelenting need to undermine her audience's expectations.

No matter what they have done or have had done to them, it seems pretty clear that Vogel cares about her characters (even if she can't like them), and that care is conveyed perfectly in the performances of Glenn Headly and Randall Arney. Their turns as Li'l Bit and Uncle Peck are as excruciating as they are moving (and we don't even get to see them onstage; we only get to hear them and project their actions in our mind). L.A. Theatre Works has gifted us myriad plays on audio, and this is one of their finest productions.

It's tough to listen to, it's not really entertaining so much as overwhelming, but it will move you. I just fear it is going to stick with me forever, and that might be a little too much for me to handle.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Trigger warning

After listening to this play you will understand how a family member or other trusted adult can groom a child for sexual abuse. Paula Vogel is brilliant. The topic of this play is horrifying. I feel for anyone who has experienced this.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyed the experience

This was my first time listening to a stage theatre production on audible. I enjoyed the experience a great deal. The actors and sound effects were great. I would listen to another one.
Mature theme presented with the right mix of nuance, humor and seriousness.

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Censored Version

This was a very good and very dark play. It had wonderful performances. But my only complaint is that it is censored in some parts. Not a lot but there are just enough bleeps that it does take the listener out of the story I can’t really fault the play for that so my rating won’t reflect my complaint. Having said that they shouldn’t ever censor any form of art.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too perky for a serious topic

The light tone and easy delivery was a little too upbeat for what was a very disturbing story. This may work for some, but for me, it was too big a disconnect to be enjoyable.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Felt sad the adults in the room didn't intervene.

Feel sad that the adults in the room didn't intervene. Seems that this story represents much that is occurring in society today. We need to wake up.

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