Tobacco Road, Based on the Controversial Novel, at La Jolla Playhouse
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The last date listed for Tobacco Road was Sunday October 12, 2008 / 7:00pm.
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Descended from a family of sharecroppers, Jeeter and Ada are barely surviving on their ramshackle, destitute farm. Even without fuel, seed, money or credit, Jeeter maintains a stubborn dedication to the land despite the hopelessness of their situation. Disconnected from her children, Ada’s remaining wish is for a decent calico dress and her favorite child Pearl’s happiness. Trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, Pearl longs to make a new life for herself in the city. A traveling female preacher, Bessie—who fiercely proselytizes despite her penchant for sin—falls for the Lesters’ son Dude, who agrees to marry her when she offers to buy him a car. In a desperate end game that is both darkly humorous and disturbing, everyone’s lives are changed forever. But a final act of love outshines the meanness of their lives.
First dramatized for the stage in 1933 by Jack Kirkland and rarely performed since, Erskine Caldwell’s Tobacco Road ran on Broadway for a remarkable seven and a half years. Its abrasive humor, lewd religiosity and savage sexuality shocked Depression-era audiences and critics alike. This searing and modern production promises to astound a new generation with its emotionally gripping and glaringly truthful look at humanity.
Erskine Caldwell (author), born in Moreland, Georgia, is a significant figure in America’s literary and social history. The author of 25 novels, 150 short stories and 12 nonfiction works, he is best known for his novels Tobacco Road (1932) and God’s Little Acre (1933). A fierce advocate for social justice, his controversial work presented the heated issues of class, race and gender. Despite repeated efforts to ban his work, Caldwell’s novels struck a chord with the American public, ultimately selling more than 80 million copies.
Directed by David Schweizer.