inspired by…

by kellie abrahamson
The financial crisis is hitting us all, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut back on entertainment. Instead of ponying up for a movie or a stage show, head to the library and pick up the book versions of this month’s lit-based offerings. You can experience the stories in the comfort of your own home (in your PJs if you like) and a library card is completely free. It can’t get much better than that!

on stage

Fiddler on the Roof (March 2- 29, Times-Union Center, 632-3373)
Inspired by: Tevye and his Daughters by Sholem Aleichem
Sholem Aleichem dreamed up the character of devout Jewish milkman Tevye in the late 1800s. The life and times of this hardworking, world-weary man and his family served as the inspiration for the Broadway smash and subsequent film Fiddler on the Roof as well as 1939’s Tevya and a German TV movie. Fans of any form of this story should pick up Alechem’s book, which sheds more light on Tevye and his story.
The latest touring production of Fiddler on the Roof will star Chaim Topol, best known for playing Tevye in the 1971 film version, a role that won him a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination.

The Miracle Worker (March 13- April 5, Limelight Theatre, 904-825-1164)
Inspired by: The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
Helen Keller’s inspirational story is well-known to most but few have taken the time to read her illuminating autobiography. The book tells of this deaf and blind woman’s journey from living a solitary existence to learning how to communicate using sign language. While her story has been told many times on television, in movies and on stage, there’s nothing quite like reading it in Keller’s own words.
The Limelight Theatre will be presenting William Gibson’s adaptation of Keller’s book, which won four Tony Awards when it hit Broadway back in 1959.

on screen

Watchmen (in theaters March 6)
Inspired by: comic series Watchmen by Alan Moore
Alan Moore’s twelve-issue comic series is regarded as a seminal text of the comic book medium, so pick them up before hitting the theater. The books (and the film) take place in an alternate reality where nuclear war with Russia is eminent and superheroes are outlawed. In this tense climate, a group of vigilantes set out to investigate the murder of a former hero.

Race to Witch Mountain (in theaters March 13)
Inspired by: Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key
Alexander Key’s sci-fi tale has been adapted into three movies, the most recent being this month’s Race to Witch Mountain. The film tells the story of twin teens with amazing powers who recruit a cab driver to help them get to safety at Witch Mountain. The book itself is much darker than Disney’s takes and well worth a read.