NYS WRITERS INSTITUTE
Nationally known for his award-winning solo performance pieces
NYS Writers Institute, May 3, 2005
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
8:00 p.m. Reading | Page Hall, 135 Western Ave., Downtown Campus
Eric Bogosian, nationally known for his award-winning solo performance pieces, also applies his singular talents to the writing of novels. Like his stage plays, Bogosian's novels feature veritable explosions of language, neurotic monologues, provocative subject matter, sharp observations of contemporary life, and richly imagined characters.
Bogosian's newest novel is "Wasted Beauty" (May 2005), a sprawling portrait of New York City's drug and fashion worlds and a journey into the slithering underbelly of urban life. The novel presents three main characters: Reba, an upstate New York farmgirl-turned-supermodel; Billy, her violent, drug-abusing brother; and Rick, a "happily married" suburban doctor whose life spirals out of control after he falls madly in love with Reba. "Publisher's Weekly" called "Wasted Beauty" a "well-crafted novel" and said, "It's a great guilty pleasure of a story line (brainy schlump meets gorgeous goddess), and Bogosian fills it with fresh, frank turns of phrase."
Bogosian's earlier novel, "Mall" (2002), is the tale of five suburbanites whose lives intersect in one violent and life-altering night- at the local mall. Writing in the "New York Times," Janet Maslin said, "Adapting himself to fiction with… the same garrulous intensity he brings to plays and monologues, Mr. Bogosian sets in motion a suburban nightmare."
Bogosian's acclaimed solo performance pieces include "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" (2000); "Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead" (1994), winner of an Obie Award for playwriting; "Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll" (1988), which received an Obie special citation; "Talk Radio" (1987); and "Drinking in America" (1986), which received an Obie Award for playwriting and the Drama Desk Award for outstanding solo performance. Bogosian is also the author of the plays, "Humpty Dumpty" (2002), "Griller" (1998), and "SubUrbia" (1995).
In a "Boston Herald" review of "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee," Terry Byrne said, "Thank God, or some other higher power, for Eric Bogosian…. he still walks that tightrope between hilariously funny and frighteningly familiar. And this time around, he turns his unfailing crap detector on the all-American lust for fame and fortune."
An in-demand character actor, Bogosian has appeared in more than 30 films, including "Under Siege 2" (1995), "Dolores Claiborne" (1995), "Deconstructing Harry" (1997), "A Bright Shining Lie" (1998), "Wonderland" (2003), "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" (2003), "Blade: Trinity" (2004), "Heights" (2004), and "King of the Corner" (2004).
Bogosian also designed and penned the introduction to "How to Talk Dirty and Influence People" (1992), the re-released 1965 autobiography of Lenny Bruce (with Paul Krassner). More than any contemporary performer, Bogosian is often viewed as the heir to Lenny Bruce's pioneering brand of stand-up and social commentary.
Prior to Bogosian's visit, the film "Talk Radio (United States, 1988, 110 minutes, color, 35mm) will be screened as part of the Writers Institute's Classic Film Series on Friday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Page Hall on the University at Albany's downtown campus. Bogosian, who stars in the film, and who authored both the original play and screenplay, earned a Silver Bear for Single Achievement at the Berlin International Film Festival for his performance and for screenwriting.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620
or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.