GIVE MY REGARDS TO NOWHERE
by Richard Engling
Chicago director Dwayne Finnegan has a long shot at the big time and only two obstacles: himself and everyone he knows.
Dwayne's got an idea of how to direct Shakespeare's least-favorite play that could set him on the road to Broadway. We're talking Bob Fosse choreography, Jimi Hendrix guitars, and the hottest cast in the city of Chicago. But when the show's producer cuts out with the cash, Dwayne decides to produce the show himself, putting his marriage and his meager finances at risk. What could go wrong?
"Richard Engling knows Chicago's famously chaotic and glorious storefront theater scene like the back of his hand. It's the perfect setting for absurd comic hi-jinx."
– Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, author of Rise Up! and Bigger, Brighter, Louder
"big-hearted backstage comedy"
"A scrappy, big-hearted backstage comedy layered with mordant wit and full of a deep, abiding love for its characters, which is wholly appropriate for a story set in the scrappy, big-hearted world of Chicago theater."
– Adam Langer, author of Cyclorama
"Entire chapters are laugh-out-loud funny..."
"Hilarious, witty, touching, intelligent, and spot-on. Engling's novel about the many joys and incessant headaches of running a storefront Chicago theater is truth that could only be told as believably as it is, as fiction. The characters pulse with life, conflict, tons of drama, and humanity. Entire chapters are laugh-out-loud funny, and issues of marriage, friendship, loyalty, and the nature of theater and art flow through every sentence. A one-sit read, I promise!"
– Nadeem Zaman, author of The Inheritors and Up in the Main House and Other Stories
"...a magic trick performed in plain view...comic, wise, and riveting."
"Richard Engling is undoubtedly a writer's writer. It's hard not to read him without marveling at the skill of construction. But the technical virtuosity of Give My Regards to Nowhere is performed like prestidigitation: it's a magic trick performed in plain view. The novel is comic, wise, and riveting. It gives us the theatrical world, but also the world of anyone whose ever struggled against the odds. But Engling is also a reader's writer, those who read him without fretting about how these marvels are executed will turn each page with the thrill of discovery and immersion in this richly entertaining novel."
– Liam Heneghan, author of Beasts at Bedtime
"very funny, briskly written, and often touching"
"A meager bank account, a tiny Chicago storefront theater with metal seats flecked with rust, and an enormous dream of a Broadway hit that "no one will never forget." That's the stuff of Richard Engling's engaging new novel. A longtime denizen of Chicago's famed storefront theater scene, Engling vividly captures the disparity between grand artistic ambition and what reality has to offer in this very funny, briskly written, and often touching book. Fans and inhabitants of Chicago's (or any city's) theater scene will feel right at home, but so will any reader who has held tight to a chimerical dream they firmly believe must be within reach."
– Mark Larson, author of Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater
"Insightful, satirical, painful, but joyous"
"Without a doubt, the best examination of the theatre trade I've ever read. Insightful, satirical, painful, but joyous. Richard Engling brings a wonderful cast of characters together in a way theatre kids and non-theatre kids can thoroughly enjoy."
– Darren Callahan, dramatist for the BBC, SyFy, and author of City of Human Remains and The Audrey Green Chronicles
"There's a famous saying that anyone who loves the law or sausages should never watch either being made. You should add theater to that, and Richard Engling's immensely readable book will show you why. His clever tale about the voyage of an idealist trying desperately to get a production onto the stage is a fun backstory for anybody with a love of theater. Like sausages, the production of a play is a blend of elements that have to come together just right before it's ready to be consumed. You'll appreciate that process even more after reading this book!"
– Vicki Quade, Chicago playwright/producer, author of Late Nite Catechism and Close Encounters of a Chicago Kind
"thoroughly entertaining from start to finish"
"Author Richard Engling's hilarious new novel Give My Regards to Nowhere is a deconstruction of the behind-the-scenes insanity of putting together a nascent company in this theatre-crazy city. As Carl Hiaasen does with his Florida-based satirical crime novels, Engling's gloriously silly narrative allows his readers to witness how the sausage gets made, which isn't always pretty but is often eye-opening.
"Engling's satire on storefront theatre is thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. His characters sparkle, his knowledge of the backstage issues of the medium is elucidated with keen insight and comic verve, and he is somehow able to make even the most seemingly unsympathetic characters...into people it's fun to get to know."
– Karen Topham, ChicagoOnStage.com and author of The Cooper Boy
"The rollicking ride through the underbelly of the acting world and the determination of a man who sees this world fall apart and come back together in a new way as the show goes on will attract anyone interested in drama, theater, Chicago backdrops, or a drive to succeed against all odds. However stacked against him they may be."
– D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review