Tag Archives: Plays

Chemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein

First of all, I’d change the title from Chemistry Lessons to Love Potion Number Nine, at least that’s the tune I was humming while reading this G rated love story perfect for young teens. A loving family is torn apart when Mom succumbs to cancer. Dad turns to physical activities to work out his grief, while daughter Maya finds an internship transcribing notes at the MIT lab where her mother did research in Epigenetics. A high school graduate, Maya is looking forward to her Freshman year at Cambridge, but the summer is ruined when her boyfriend Whit, already a film major at Boston University, decides he’s ready to move on to greener pastures. Devastated at this betrayal, she turns to her best friend Bryan, for comfort. Theirs is an unusual relationship, with this talented fellow, immersed in the acting world, a pal to not only Maya, but also Whit, and even her dad. Obviously gay, Bryan is a welcome overnight guest, and her father even feels comfortable when Maya finds herself after hours at his place. Of all the characters, Bryan is the most grounded, with excellent advice and a huge shoulder to cry upon.

When Maya discovers that her mom was working with pheromones to manipulate romantic relationships (make love last), she decides, with the help of her mother’s former graduate student lab assistant, to continue the experiment with the hopes of reawakening the attraction of her former boyfriend. In order to make the study more valid, she needs to test the procedure on two other subjects. The selections have results which are definitely a surprise to Maya, but the reader will certainly have a premonition that this scientific query with a lack of definite controls, does not have a foregone conclusion.

Meredith Goldstein has come up with a rather crazy idea for a research topic, but a fun little way to write a teen romance. It was nice to read a story for once involving loving parents, good friends, and moderately behaved teens where higher educated is expected and welcome. Perhaps the scenario sounds like a fantasy, but there’s just enough tension to keep the silly plot interesting. Great for fans of the Boston area and Willy Wonka (two words – Whiff Walk).

Three stars and a thank you to Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This review also appears on Goodreads.

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Fraver by Design: Five Decades of Theatre Poster Art from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Beyond by Frank “Fraver” Verlizzo

I had a digital copy of this book to review and I must admit I was disappointed when my privileges allowing me to skim through the pages expired. However, Fraver by Design is a publication which would be better to physically hold so you can more easily skim through the pages. It would be the perfect coffee table book, something which would entice even the most fervent non reader to pick up and browse.

So what is the buzz all about? Basically, Fraver by Design: Five Decades of Theatre Poster Art from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Beyond is a book of art, specifically the theatre poster designs used to advertise various Broadway Shows (and some not so close to Broadway) created by the talented Frank “Fraver” Verlizzo. Just the illustrations would make this mesmerizing book worthy of purchase, but in addition we get the author’s running commentary of the behind the scenes scuttlebutt surrounding each of these renderings. Anyone who is interested in the “business” will be fascinated by it all. A great gift for those who might have seen some of these shows or who would recognize the big league actors from the past as well as those who are currently on stage. Verlizzo’s explanations on how he created these specific pieces will also appeal to those with an artistic bend. Five stars.

A thank you to Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This review also appears on Goodreads.