Marc Acito

Chapter One: Our hero, Edward Zanni, a budding theater queen from Jersey, gets kicked out of drama school—by Marian Seldes, no less—for being “too ‘jazz hands’ for Juilliard.” She advises him to go out and have adventures, like Eugene O’Neill did after he got expelled. Chapter Two onward in Marc Acito’s novel Attack of the Theater People (Broadway, $12.95) relates those adventures: chicanery and gaiety, elaborate disguises and unrequited crushes, in mid-’80s New York City, with just the slightest shimmering gold thread of plot (something about insider trading) and a Broadway backdrop to link them. It all draws on Acito’s own early adulthood before he landed in Portland and began, among other things (and I hadn’t realized this until I checked his Web site), singing comic roles for Seattle Opera. Now there’s a roman-à-clef I’d love to read: Perhaps in the sequel, Acito could find Edward a job at an unnamed Northwest opera company? Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 624-6600, 6 p.m. (Also, Seattle Mystery Bookshop, 117 Cherry t., 587-5737, 12 p.m.) GAVIN BORCHERT

Tue., May 6, 6 p.m., 2008

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