Thursday, April 22, 2010
A Pulitzer Prize doesn't guarantee eternity, as Frank D. Gilroy's The Subject Was Roses, now being revived by the Pearl Theatre Company, proves.
Interestingly, only six Pulitzers for drama were handed out in the 1960s, and two of those went to musicals, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Fiorello!, the driest decade ever for the award honoring the best American play of the year. Was there really such a dearth of great new plays, or was the cultural divide creeping into the equation? Is it, as Ben Brantley points out in this New York Times piece about 2010 recipient Next to Normal, one shouldn't expect cutting-edge honorees from the Pulitzer board?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I was quite surprised to be asked to review The Irish Curse, Martin Casella's quirky and endearing comedy about the tribulations of being small down there. But Matt Lenz's production is a delight, thanks in large part to a terrific cast led by Dan Butler and Austin Peck.
Coincidentally, my theatergoing highlight of last week was another new play featuring a cast of five men -- Jon Marans' The Temperamentals. The story of gay rights pioneer Harry Hay and the men who founded Mattachine Society in 1950, it is incredibly moving and provocative, both as both a love story and a historical drama. Thomas Jay Ryan and Michael Urie give performances that shouldn't be missed.
Something else that shouldn't be missed (but I will have to) is the upcoming post-show discussion with Barney Frank on May 3. Still, the politician I'd most like to see respond to the play is former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey, who's listed as a future guest. Hay begins the play as married father sneaking off to clandestine meetings with his group and his lover. McGreevey should be able to relate.