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The Hanslick Girls

"Three is company, safe and cheery" -Stephen Sondheim

Joy Of The Chase: E.L. Konigsburg’s “From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”

The cover image, with the two photographed children standing at the steps of a pen drawing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was too iconic to be mistaken for any other. Dania’s heart skipped to see it in Gwen’s hands.

“The Mixed-Up Files” had been a formative book for Dania –– a testament to the power of art and history, the need to let facts affect you rather than simply accumulate in your mind. Since first reading Konigsburg’s book as a child, Dania had returned to it periodically. Each pass through Claudia and Jamie’s tale provided more details, including humor at the comparatively cheap prices in the New York of the 1960s.

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Book By Its Cover: Broken Nose Theatre’s “Plainclothes”

“What is this new trend of plays with projected title cards?” Dania asked, pointing at the projected footage of Chicago. Moments before the bows, the words “THE END” had flashed onto the screen –– complimenting the projected “PLAINCLOTHES” that had followed the first scene in the play.

“Is it a trend?” Gwen asked. “In The Canyon did that, but I can’t think of another.”

Indecent had a title projection. So did Hir last summer.”

“I believe Indecent‘s projections are in the script.”

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And Everything Nice: Dana Simpson’s “Phoebe And Her Unicorn in The Magic Storm”

Normally, Gwen’s parents would hire a babysitter to take care of Hazel when they wanted to go out. But things had come up suddenly, and they knew that Gwen would be home at her apartment that evening. Besides, Eleanor and Dania had always expressed a fondness for Gwen’s younger sister –– “more than Gwen, sometimes,” her mother had joked.

It was for this reason that Hazel found herself standing in the living room of Gwen’s apartment, wrapped up in her thermal coat and scarf, with a backpack full of activities.

“Hey Hazel!” Dania said, jumping up from the couch. “How have you been!”

“Doin’ good,” Hazel said. She shuffled into the room, with Gwen close behind her.

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Taking It With You: Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery

The first grave visible from the entrance, straight up the main pathway, was an obelisk of at least fifteen feet. Standing atop it, in a patch of sky between two trees, was a statue of a woman with a cross clutched close to the chest.

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“Does that say ‘Villains?'” Eleanor asked. She squinted, attempting to read the name at the base.

“It’s ‘Williams,'” Gwen corrected. “You should start wearing your glasses regularly.”

“I know, I know,” Eleanor said. “I just don’t want to keep carrying them around.”

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