THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP
by Charles Ludlam
Thursday, February 13, 2020
“Ludlam’s is a dazzling and significant body of work, and it should be accorded a place of greatest regard and honor in the American dramatic literary canon. The plays are funny, erudite, poetic, transgressive, erotic, moving, and so theatrical they seem the Platonic ideal of everything we mean when we use that word. The plays are the sublime expressions of what Ludlam insisted was not an aesthetic, but a moral vision: anti-Puritan, unsentimentally utopian, sexually destabilizing—a transporting, a transcendence by means of deflation, a joyous and subversive, even dangerous revelry leading to revelation, a wise and ecstatic celebration of the world.” –Tony Kushner (from his Preface)
Produced by the Ridiculous Theatrical Company in 1984, Charles Ludlam's most famous play is a hilarious send up of Victorian melodrama, the penny dreadful, gothic British novels and Alfred Hitchcock. One of the most produced plays in the United States, The Mystery of Irma Vep is “the most perfect expression of Ludlam’s approach to theatre: a play that simultaneously provokes terror, laughter and a grotesque mockery of all gender, literary and special boundaries” (Village Voice).
This play should read at about 2 hours with two intermissions. Conversation facilitated by Katie Palmer.
Upcoming Cold Readings
Learn more about Cold Readings here.
A FEMININE ENDING
by Sarah TreemWednesday, January 22, 2020 7-10pm
This plays should read at about 90 minutes with no intermission
Conversation facilitated by Kara Hankard
Amanda has always dreamed of being a great composer. But she is having trouble hearing her symphony through the jumble of everyday life. She is busy planning her wedding and writing jingles to support herself and her fiancé, who is pursuing his singing career. When her mother calls her out of the blue to help with a secret project, she finds herself questioning her priorities. A Feminine Ending is a bittersweet comedy about a woman who knows what she wants but doesn’t know how to get it.
What are Cold Readings?
An informal reading group in NYC for theater makers and lovers. Join us for an unrehearsed reading and discussion of a great play with wonderful people and delicious wine.
If you're coming for the first time, please know that there is no need to prepare anything except to get yourself a script. We send a PDF if we can get one, so you're welcome to bring a tablet. New York Public Library at Lincoln Center is also a great resource.
Cold Readings are totally free to attend but, if you're able, a $3-5 donation to the space, wine and snack fund helps us keep this series going. If you would like to donate in advance, please click the button below.
All are welcome, just let us know if you would like to read or just listen. Actors, please disregard age, race, and gender if you're looking at a character list. And as always, feel free to forward this email to friends. New people are always welcome!
Hope to see you at a Cold Reading soon!
Click here to see a list of every play we've read so far.