HOW MUCH LAND DOES A MAN NEED?

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Author, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Illustrator
Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Author, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Illustrator . Globalstage $27 (888) ISBN 1-892045-11-7
Reviewed on: 08/06/2001
Release date: 00/00/0000
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Globalstage's ninth live-theater production features the vast prairie and rocky hills of Montana as the setting for an Americanized adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's short story about a man's consumption by greed. Honest, hardworking sharecropper Buck believes that a piece of land to call his own will make him truly happy. He and his wife eventually procure some acreage, but when Buck learns that other farmers have more than he does, he becomes obsessed with improving his lot. A never-ending quest to acquire still more land leads him to make a deal that will test his greed and his physical strength like never before. He literally dies trying to claim a huge parcel of territory and ultimately ends up with "as much land as he'll ever need—six feet from his head to his heels." Members of the small, talented ensemble known as the Perskey Ridge Players give crisp and humorous performances in this clever interpretation of the tale. A narrator in pink tutu who can envision both the past and the future accompanies Buck through his travels (a la the ghosts in A Christmas Carol) and is the catalyst for many funny remarks. Kids will easily grasp the memorable themes here and may even come away inspired to explore Tolstoy's other works. Ages 8-up. (Aug.)

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