FOLLOWING THE RABBIT TO WAR
As a kid growing up in one of the fog shrouded districts of San Francisco, I spent a lot of time by myself. Our two-story stucco house supported on each side by the adjoining homes had one great
redeeming factor, a large back yard. It was there I spent many hours lost in
a world of imagination and fantasy. There were creatures to be caught, princesses
to save and wars to be fought. Like Alice following the rabbit through the Wonderland
woods, I was curious about war. My back yard battles consisted of taking a well-armed
castle constructed of an abandoned deck of playing cards. It was surrounded by
a watery moat, hand-dug in the soft dirt and guarded by my mixed collection of plastic G.I. figures. I would always wonder how they could shoot straight with those curved rifle barrels. Even my stepfather’s
anger about the holes in the back yard did not deter me from staging battle after battle.
I was preparing myself because I knew that one day I would be going to war. I
even knew how I would act the very first time I was under fire and could hear the shells exploding around me. It was almost a calming realization that I would not be afraid. I
was nine years old at that time.
Years later, walking alone down an airfield in Vietnam past a row of Huey helicopters tucked in for the
night, I thought about those lost days of my youth. I had followed the mysterious
rabbit, and true to the tale, I had encountered the realm of marvel and madness. Sights
that to this day haunt me, visions of greatness and sacrifice that humble me.
Unlike Alice, there is no awaking from the dream, no relief in sanity, just the harsh reality of life;
plastic soldiers melt, card castles collapse
and boys march off to war.
I discovered what drove the rabbit mad.
|"When people tell me I do a lot of things, I reply, there are a lot of things to do."
San Francisco born, Tony Lazzarini is a prize-winning playwright (Tale of the
Toy Soldier) and an award-winning writer (Never Trust A Man In Curlers & Highest Traditions). He currently resides in
Novato, California. In 1985, his Christmas musical production, Tale of the Toy Soldier, was selected nationally as the best
new stage production using a cast of children and adults. Since its production by the Young Performers Theater that year,
it has been produced numerous times by various theater organizations throughout California. His first book, Never Trust A
Man In Curlers, received a "Best Book of the Year" award from the North American Booksellers Exchange in the category of General
Interest. He became involved with filmmaking several years ago writing dialogue for the independent film, Critical
Mass, produced by Gypsy Moth Productions. He wrote and directed the film short Highest Traditions
in 2007 and received the Outstanding Short Film Award from the Military Writers Society of America. His direction of Arabian
Silk-Horses of Endurance, (Gypsy Moth Productions) help win the "Audience Choice
Award" at the 2009 Reno Film Festival. He is currently writing and directing a four-episode mini-series to be aired on "youtube"
beginning February 6th, 2010.
HIGHEST TRADITIONS - Memories of War, Lazzarini's book on the Vietnam War was released in May of 2003.
2003 Best Military Nonfiction
American Authors Association
2003 Best Memoir
|2007 MWSA Awards. Eddie Beasley, Tony Lazzarini, Hodge Wood
Tale of the Toy Soldier
|First meeting of the Clown and Ballerina-
Tale of the Toy Soldier was produced professionally
for the first time at the Marin Community Playhouse in San Anselmo, California, and ran 21 performances over a
5- week period. Twelve original new songs with lyrics by Lazzarini and music composed by Elaine Lang and Donald Hanson
made the production an enjoyable family experience. The reviewers loved it too.
"A compliment to the Nutcracker." San Francisco Chronicle
"A bright and bubbly good time." Marin Independent Journal
"The entire family will embrace this well-conceived production." San Mateo
"Holiday fun - a moral as well as a romantic tale." Tiburon Ark
Lazzarini's other stage productions include Company
Stock (another musical), Buddies, and premiering in the first quarter of 2010, Looking for.....
Never Trust A Man In Curlers
Never Trust A Man In Curlers was published in 1998 by Voyager Publishing in Larkspur, California. Consisting of 16 short
stories, fiction and non-fiction, it takes readers through a short tour of Lazzarini's mind. He states, "Writing
for live theater means you have to be aware of the theater and directors' capabilities. Too many characters and complicated
scenes will make the difference between getting produced or getting passed over. The one thing I really enjoyed about
writing my first book was I could get as crazy or off the wall as I wanted to be and not have anyone tell me these situations
can not be done."
Never Trust A Man In Curlers-$9.95 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 paperback,109 pgs.
In 1998, Never Trust A Man In Curlers received a "Best Book of the Year" award, in its category from the North American
Booksellers Exchange, based in Cottage Grove, Oregon.