M.Z. Ribalow has had 24 of his plays receive some 180 productions worldwide, including at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and numerous times in London and NY. They have won awards in London, New York, and regionally.
He has also won national awards for fiction, his widely published poetry, and musical lyrics; cowritten ten children’s books; and published articles on sports, music, theatre, literature, film, travel, and chess. He is co-author of three books on sports, and is Director of an award-winning sports website.
Several of his screenplays have been optioned; he was film columnist for The Sciences magazine, and has appeared as a film historian on The Discovery Channel and on special feature documentaries of several DVD releases of classic films including High Noon and Sergeant York.
M.Z. Ribalow is Artistic Director of New River, which in the past decade has developed some 400 new plays and screenplays, almost half of which have already been produced or optioned worldwide. New River writers have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Medal of Arts, the August Wilson Prize and the $100,000 Simonovitch Prize, among numerous other honors. He is Director of The New River Radio Show on Art International Radio, and series editor of the anthologies Plays from New River and Currents: New River Fiction.
He has directed numerous plays in London and New York, was Joseph Papp’s Production Associate at the NY Shakespeare Festival for several years, and founded The American Repertory Company of London.
Meir was co-founder and Vice-President of The Creative Coalition as well as International Arts Coordinator of The Global Forum, where he worked with The Dalai Lama, Robert Redford and Mikhail Gorbachev. He has for 15 years been full-time Artist-in-Residence at Fordham University.
"Equal parts Billy the Kid and Lucinda Williams, Casey Cassidy is an iconic American heroine in the classical mode—wide-eyed, hopeful, wise, wounded, reckless, savvy, and really, really good with her weapon—or she would be, if there was a precedent for her. Redheaded Blues may be a Tall Tale, but the story it’s telling is closer to your own than you might expect, and it will hurt you—sweetly—and it will make you laugh—often, and it will remind you why we tell tales, tall or otherwise, in the first place."
- Glen Hirshberg, author of American Morons and The Book of Bunk
ISBN 978-09832747-9-7 368 pages $18.95 5.5”x8.5” perfect bound, paper
In REDHEADED BLUES, you will meet one of the most extraordinary, appealing heroines in modern fiction. Casey Cassidy is a sexy, smart, tough little redheaded girl whose picaresque, exotic odyssey is as flamboyant and fascinating as TOM JONES. From the sultry summer day she is born in Dallas with a bullet in her back (courtesy of a berserk mass murderer who guns down her pregnant mom), trouble follows her trail like her own personal, portable black cloud. With readability and excitement, REDHEADED BLUES chronicles the dazzling, tender, erotic events that greet her in her travels.
Her spellbinding adventures as she wanders over America evoke the hilariously irreverent humor of EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES; the wildly imaginative leaps of THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP; the mockingly ironic charm of Vonnegut; the epic complexity and strange twists of fate of THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN; the intensely romantic glow of your favorite love story. Readers will follow with eager anticipation as she flees foster homes; survives kidnappings, muggings and hijackings; rides the rodeo circuit and encounters the meanest bull alive; and, during the course of her first twenty-one years, finds enough compelling, bizarre adventure to fill half-a-dozen ordinary lives as she wanders from California to New Hampshire, Wyoming mountains to Ivy League campuses, Carolina farms to Oklahoma rodeos.
The characters she meets are as memorable as any you have ever encountered. There is Old Tom, the whiskery, boozy old bum in South Dakota who becomes her first true friend, guide and mentor. There is Beau Buck, the cowboy stud whom the fourteen year-old Casey seduces so she can find out what this celebrated sex business is all about. There is wistful Wendy, Casey's languid, elegant mirror image. There is Calamity Jane, the scruffiest excuse for a tattered, one-eyed kitten that ever clawed her way out of an alleyway garbage can. And there are the two best friends who each love her in their different ways: Luke, handsome, rich, lucky and blessed, a golden boy who has everything he could want, but wants nothing he has; and Jungle Jim, the fiercely jubilant, life-loving pro football player whose reckless escapades constantly defy his own life and limb.
Casey is shot in the womb. Born in the saddle. Slapped and held by strangers before she draws her first breath. Thrown in jail when she is five years old. She is knocked down by every pummeling blow the fickle fates hold in store for her; but she always somehow scrapes herself off the ground, pulls herself together, and comes back for more. She never gives up or loses faith. She expects anything, wants everything, and takes what she can get.
You will love Casey Cassidy, as she loves the world. You will want to read her story, and then read it again. You will never forget her.
REDHEADED BLUES was written with the help of an award from the Rinehart Foundation and a fellowship at the UCross Artists Colony.
"Meir Ribalow understands women! Redheaded Blues is a terrific ride with a compelling, complicated female who will wrangle your heart. Don't miss it."
- Sharon Pomerantz, author of Rich Boy
“Redheaded Blues is a witty, whimsical “picaresque” in the grand tradition of Fielding and Defoe, but with a thoroughly modern sensibility and a kickass, yet eminently lovable and utterly unforgettable heroine who will break your heart as fast as she steals it. M.Z. Ribalow is one of the great voices of American literature today.”
- Juliet Grey, author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy for Random House