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CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR Will Be Presented on the Metropolitan Virtual Playhouse

Renowned storyteller Michèle LaRue brings two of her signature "Tales Well Told" to the Metropolitan Screen.

CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR Will Be Presented on the Metropolitan Virtual Playhouse

Obie Award winner Metropolitan Playhouse presents a new free "screened" reading, live-streamed at no charge, and a talkback to follow: CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, by Michèle LaRue.

The production will be presented on May 1 through May 5 at www.MetropolitanPlayhouse.org/watchcareful, as well as the Metropolitan Playhouse YouTube channel, and the Metropolitan Playhouse Facebook page.

Renowned storyteller Michèle LaRue brings two of her signature "Tales Well Told" to the Metropolitan Screen. In O. Henry's "The Rathskeller and the Rose," an ambitious actor "auditions" for a role opposite a starlet by disguising himself and approaching her, unawares, at a nightclub. But perhaps a performance can be all too affecting. In "A Pair of Silk Stockings," by Kate Chopin, a young mother scraping to make ends meet finds herself with a small but surprising windfall. Her commitment to frugal and generous use of her riches is ensnared in a pair of stockings...and the glorious choices that folow.

Discussion including audience participation follows the reading with Heather Ostman, Professor of English at Westchester Community College, and Founder of the Kate Chopin Society.

Michèle LaRue has toured the country for decades with her vibrant telling of stories from America'sGilded Age and Progressive Era. At Metropolitan's Downtown home, she delighted audiences with Dorothy Canfield Fisher's "The Bedquilt," Elsie Singmaster's "Gettysburg: One Woman's War," and Edith Wharton's "Roman Fever." Metropolitan Virtual Playhouse has presented Michèle in Mary E. Wilkins Freeman's "The Apple Tree," Edna Ferber's "Representing T.A. Buck," and O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi."

Kate Chopin's (nèe Katherine O'Flaherty 1850 - 1904) stories for children and adults were published in Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, The Century Magazine, and The Youth's Companion. Her work included two short story collections--Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897), and among her influential stories were "Désirée's Baby" (1893), "The Story of an Hour" (1894), and "The Storm" (1898). She also wrote two novels: At Fault (1890) and The Awakening (1899). Typically focusing on characters in Louisiana, her home state, and including characters of various and/or mixed ethnic and racial backgrounds, he necessarily addressed miscegenation. This address, and her candid portrayals of women whose sexuality defied socially sanctioned norms as well earned condemnation of critics on "moral" grounds, but in retrospect she has been recognized as a pioneer for feminist writers.

O. Henry (1862-1910), one of the many pen names of William Sydney Porter, did most of his writing after his move to New York from Texas at age 40. Distinctive for his usually comic tales with surprising twist endings, his most famous works include "The Gift of the Magi," "The Duplicity of Hargraves", and "The Ransom of Red Chief". He was a founder of satiric magazine, The Rolling Stone, for which he wrote and illustrate, and during his early years worked as a land surveying draftsman and bookkeeper of the First National Bank of Austin (TX). Found guilty of embezzlement at the latter, he spent three years in prison, and there worked as a pharmacist, for which he was licensed. It was in the period following that he was his most prolific. Among his lasting influence was the establishment, in 1918, of the writer's award in his (pseudo) name: the O. Henry Award.


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