A One-Woman Play, a One-Man Play.
One Smashing Show.
This Producer found himself with a couple of extraor-dinary stories, a pair of top-notch actors and an ace crew but without the means to produce a film with all the cast, staff, equipment and locations involved.
Unwilling to let this rich material slip away he created a one-man play - Dry Bones - and a one-woman musical – Billie - shot their performances in a black room and produced this package for anyone who might pay the way to present these very excellent shows on the stage or screen.
Billie runs for 40 minutes and like any fable it is a tricky number to describe without giving the game away. That already tells you a lot about it. Almost everything. Except, perhaps, for the fact that Billie is a performer on a luxury liner. Her world is no bigger than the cramped cabin that she makes into her stage, a space that wraps itself around the world and around a couple of lives worlds apart.
What else? Billie is brilliant and blind. One of a kind with more Billies than meet the eye. Obliging and enraged. A born entertainer who cannot laugh at her own jokes. Rough and refined. But what more can we say without giving the game away?
Billie is a show about a show that isn’t a show. A fairy story that will keep the children awake all night. A celebration of make-believe and a liberation from fantasy. An enchanting little bombshell.
Dry Bones runs for 60 minutes and recounts the story of a respectable gentleman who with the best of intentions falls in with a couple of lowlifes and is cast adrift a long ways from home.
The distinction that he had always made between the crimes that earn hard time and the high jinks that he has left far behind becomes a fine line.
The dynamic of this drama lies in its effortless forgetfulness of how little good folk and bad folk have in common and its startling reminder of just how much they do.
People with whom most of us would never break bread are invited to inhabit an intimate place in our imagination, to challenge our judgment and remind us of something important that we have always known.
Thirty years ago Marion Boyars famous publishing house rejected the manuscript of this autobiographical narrative because, “It is a rather far-fetched work of fiction.”
Fact or fiction, Dry Bones is a gripping philosophical thriller, one that manages, against all odds, to be frightfully entertaining. It is a tale that has waited too long to be told.