Don Juan in Hankey, PA by Gale Martin(4 out of 5)
Wow, this is a great little read. It’s got a little bit of everything- and if like me, you know nothing about opera, not only do you walk away with a little bit of knowledge, but you gain some appreciation for the genre, those who are fans as well as those who earn a living and a passion in it.
The best way I can describe it is like this- if you’re seen the film BEST IN SHOW- imagine that- but with opera. Everytime I read another chapter and a new character was woven into the tapestry, it felt more and more like that movie. You didn’t know what to expect, but you loved the characters, the mania, the passion, and the humor. Same goes here.
It starts with theheads of the Hankey, PA, trying to cast their latest production Don Giovanni. They’re also trying to save the sinking company from completely sinking into the river- hoping, instead, to turn it into the next Lincoln Center. Their leading man pulls the fast one, so they bet on an Argentinian who has a reputation as a “Don Juan”(hello title) and has an almost obsessive need to get laid, to use his charisma and talent to pull in the masses and save their opera house. Will the almost obsessive need to get some interfere or add to the leading man’s mystery and help them make the opera a success, saving them from imminent ruin? Or will he steal the hearts of several of the board members, stirring up the pot and bringing about jealous catfights? Will the director begin to pick up the pieces from the death of his recently deceased wife? Or is she hanging around in ghostly form, to urge him to move on? So many questions… you must read to get the answers. More importantly, to get others to pick up this book and laugh. I highly recommend it to those who have a lot going on and need a quick, good-humored book that will make them laugh.