Dog & Pony Show will present Filth, the second offering in its provocative Page-to-Stage Series, this Friday and Saturday night at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, NC. Produced as part of Manbites Dog’s “Other Voices” series, Filth features an all-star cast of Triangle theater veterans and promising newcomers who will read choice monologues, and reenact selected scenes, from challenged and censored books, such as Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, Go Ask Alice by Anonymous, and Rights of Man by Thomas Paine.

“Can you guess what [those four] books have in common?” asks Dog & Pony Show founder Lissa Brennan. They are, she writes, “a children’s story celebrating nontraditional families; an unflinching look at life during wartime; the chronicle of a teenage girl’s descent into drug addiction; [and] a political manifesto on the responsibilities and restrictions of government.

“This disparate group is bound by a single strangling thread,” Brennan claims. “[All four books] have at some point in their histories been removed from public libraries, refused transit by the United States Postal Service, or barred from entering the country by federal customs authorities due to what some deemed objectionable content.”

Brennan says she launched Dog & Pony Show’s Page-to-Stage Series, “to introduce audiences to characters and texts that have captivated us as readers and inspired us as performers.” The first installment of this new series, Gothic (Oct. 31-Nov. 1), featured a spooky selection of “gothic” tales, ranging from “affectionate parody to grave tales of terror, giving glimpses into other worlds populated by malevolent nuns, tempting demons, disembodied voices, psychotic preachers, altered scientists, giant helmets, persistent birds, and ghostly monkeys,” Brennan says.

Besides the controversial quartet of books mentioned above, the texts for Filth will include: A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Family Limitation by Margaret Sanger, Forever by Judy Blume, Howl by Allen Ginsberg, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault, Native Son by Richard A. Wright, and Ulysses by James Joyce.

Performers scheduled to appear include: Lissa Brennan, Anthony Caporale, Sarah Erickson, Katja Hill, John Honeycutt, Hope Hynes, Byron Jennings, Gina Kelly, Mac Monroe, Nicole Quenelle, Kendall Rileigh, Adam Sampieri, Christian Sineath, and Barbette Taylor.

Dog & Pony Show presents Filth Friday-Saturday, Dec. 19-20, at 8:15 p.m. at Manbites Dog Theater, 703 Foster St., Durham, North Carolina. $10. 919/682-3343 or Manbites Dog Theater: [inactive 5/04]. Banned Books (American Library Association List):… [complete link suppressed(!) due to its great length…; & inactive 6/04].