Starting this Thursday, September 15, Cherry Manhattan Presents is bringing the stage adaptation of Ann Bannon‘s iconic lesbian pulp fiction novels, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles to the Re-Bar‘s stage for a four-week run. This is the Seattle premier of the Chronicles, but the play enjoyed a sold-out off-Broadway debut in 2008 (with none other than Lily Tomlin co-producing) and won the 2008 GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award.
Who is this Beebo Brinker you ask? Beebo made her debut in Ann Bannon’s 1959 pulp-novel ‘I Am A Woman‘ which finds main character Laura London, having to choose between a bi-curious straight woman and Beebo. Beebo was the embodiment of the “butch” lesbian – tall, handsome, smart, with an impressive physique. Beebo was also a treasured creation of Bannon’s. She said, “I put Beebo together just as I wanted her, in my heart and mind…She was just, quite literally, the butch of my dreams.”
Ann Bannon wrote the Chronicles from 1957 to 1962 as a young American housewife who was coming to terms with her own sexuality. She was 22 when she wrote her first novel and early lesbian fiction such as ‘The Well of Loneliness‘ by Radclyffe Hall and Vin Packer‘s 1952 novel ‘Spring Fire‘, had a deep impact on her. She said, “Both books obsessed me for the better part of two years” and she found that they struck a chord with her, despite being newly married and soon to be a mother of two children.