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    2008-2009 reviews:
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    Door Wide Open

    In January, 1957 Allen Ginsberg set up a blind date between 34 year-old Jack Kerouac and 21 year-old Joyce Johnson. The two began a stormy love affair that lasted for 22 months — a period which included the publishing of Kerouac's seminal work On The Road. Kerouac spent much of his time drinking and traveling — roaming Africa with William Burroughs, visiting his mother in Florida, and on a national publicity tour — writing to Johnson throughout. Door Wide Open uses Jack and Joyce's actual letters to chronicle an ill-fated, tempestuous relationship between two writers. Joyce Johnson's "Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958" was published by Viking in 2000. The title comes from a cable that Joyce sent in response to Jack's request to stay in her 13th Street apartment. She wrote about her experiences with Kerouac and others in the novel Minor Characters which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1984. Johnson was the inspiration for a character in Kerouac's 1965 novel Desolation Angels. Her other novels include What Lisa Knew: The Truths and Lies of the Steinberg Case (1990), In the Night Cafe (1989), Bad Connections (1978) and Come and Join the Dance (1962). The play stars Amy Wright as Joyce Johnson, Adira Amram, Meg Brooker and The Sopranos' John Ventimiglia as Jack. It is directed by Tony Torn featuring a musical score written and performed live by legendary composer David Amram.

    Dates:  May 7, 2003 - June 8, 2003
    Schedule:  Sat.-Sun. 7:30 p.m.
    Venue:  Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery (btw. Houston and Bleecker)
    Price:  $15
    Tickets/info:  (212) 614-0505


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