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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outstanding (04/21/11)

TITLE: All The World Is A Stage
By Barbara Miller


Come on in Nell. And thanks for picking those up for me. Gloria said as she stepped aside to let in her best friend. How many did you get? I'm so nervous. I've been up since three. Do you want some coffee? I've already drank a whole pot, but I can make another one if you want. Oh forget the coffee. I'll make it after I read them. No, I can't. Please, could you read them to me?

Nell gently took Gloria by the hand and led her to the couch and, as requested, began to read the first review. This one is from Variety. "I saw no prodigy in last nights Broadway play Prodigy of Baker Street. Along with this play's lack of depth or continuity, lead actor Jason Arlen, and supporting actress Gloria Holden's performances were as unremarkable as the play itself." Forget this one. Nell said as she non-chalantly placed the paper on the floor behind her. Don't let that bother you Glo, I heard a lot of these critics don't even go to the plays they write about anyway. They just thrive on being nasty.

Nell pulled up from the stack the next paper. Here, The New York Daily News has a much better reputation; let's see what they have to say. "Prodigy of Baker Street opened last night with expectations of another hit from writer, director Matthew Holloway. But unfortunately the plot line and drab script of this play left me only to realize that, unlike Holloway's last play, Hit and a Miss, this was one is definitely a miss." Yada, yada, yada, okay, here…"Gloria Holden who played supporting actress to lead actor Jason Arlen, tried her best to deliver her lines, but between the two of them this three act play dragged on rendering it mildly entertaining at best." Now see, he saw that you tried. It's not your fault the writing sucked.

How many more are there? Gloria questioned Nell as she closed her eyes, tipped her head back, and squinted with reserved anticipation.

There are just two more. Hang in there Gloria. I was there and thought you did great. This one is from the Chicago Times. "Broadway saw the opening of a new play by Matthew Holloway last night called Prodigy of Baker Street. Quite frankly, this play should be running in some little theatre/bowling alley on Baker Street in Small Town USA, not on Broadway in New York City. The weak and flimsy story line was matched only by mediocre acting." Nell quickly tried to salvage any dignity left from that last statement by saying: I'm sure that he didn't mention your name because he thought that even the best of actors couldn't have saved this play. But Gloria still couldn't help but hang her head and sigh.

Gloria, this is the last one. Do you want me to read it?

Go ahead. If it isn't any better than the others, I have an emergency bag of M&M's in the cupboard if we need them. Gloria said as she held back her tears.

Nell began to read from the last paper. This review is on the front cover! "The play Prodigy of Baker Street opened last night on Broadway. From the moment the curtains opened my breath was taken away by the outstanding performance of this plays supporting actress Gloria Holden. I could not take my eyes off of her as she delivered every line with dramatic passion and sincerity." Gloria, this guy really loves you! Wait, there's more. "This beautiful young woman possesses great creativity and truly has a God given talent. The writing and story of this play had much to be desired. But Gloria gave such life to her character; I left with a longing to see this play over and over again."

Gloria looked up and paused for a moment before speaking. Wow! What paper is that from?

Looking straight at Gloria Nell answered: I didn't pick it out; some guy at the stand just handed it to me as I was leaving.

You're kidding? Gloria took a deep breath in, and even though she had a grin on her face; tears were falling down her cheeks. What's the name of the paper? She asked. And what's the writer's name?

The paper is called Abba's Bragging Rights Review, and the writer just goes by the initials J.C.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst04/30/11
The title drew me in as I enjoy things theatrical. I really liked the gist of this story and I can see a gift for story telling. Had trouble following the dialogue, as to who was saying what. But itís an easy fix with the proper use of quotation marks and a few commas.
Nancy Bucca05/03/11
You kept my attention hoping for Gloria to get at least one good review. Loved the ending. Good job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/27/11
This is a sweet story-Ifound myself holding my breath hoping she'd get at least a constructive critique. Even if others don't like our work, if we learn from it we still walk away a winner.

On that note I do have some red ink for you, make sure you put quotation marks around the speaker's words and you could put the critics' words in italics.

You did a nice, job with this story I'm sure many writers can relate.