Friday, December 7, 2007

The Straw Market Rediscovered

Saul sent me a link to notes from the world premiere of The Straw Market, a play by William Jay Smith, the Writer in Residence at Hollins College in Roanoke, where I was pursuing a masters' degree in psychology.

The award winning poet Henry Taylor was a grad student in the creative writing program. He wrote the program notes.

David Jacobowitz, from Psychology, grew astonishingly from his initial uncertainty—“I don’t think I sing very well,” he said at an early meeting with Bill Smith—to the great energy with which he sold the songs he sang.

Saul & Eli will remember these lyrics:

Florence in the spring
Is such a lovely thing
It makes you want to sing—
Florence in the spring:

This is a great find. I'm going to play with it.
Bridges on the Arno—
In all the world there are no
Other rivers like the Arno!
Florence in the spring!

The play begins with the Cowboy singing a voice-over before the curtain opens. On opening night the microphone failed. I had to sing the introductory song way too loud for the mood.
If I had known that Stephen Spender and Catherine Ann Porter were in the audience I would have plotzed.

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