Thursday, May 05, 2005

REV: Doubt and Pillowman

Stories that Tell or Storytelling from The New York Times


CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK
Stories That Tell vs. Storytelling
By CHARLES ISHERWOOD
Published: May 6, 2005


MAYBE this spring we can mothball the annual laments for the death of the straight play on Broadway.

Significant new works by August Wilson, Michael Frayn and Donald Margulies were produced on the Great White Way this season, and the two new plays still on the boards, John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt" and Martin McDonagh's "Pillowman," are causing the kind of excitement among audiences that is usually reserved for overproduced and overhyped musicals.

It seems appropriate, too, that "Doubt" and "The Pillowman" are considered the top contenders for the Tony Award for best new play. (The nominations are to be announced on Tuesday.) Although they share a dark view of human behavior that reflects our anxious age, the plays represent radically different outlooks on the purposes and priorities of theatrical writing. To put it casually, Mr. McDonagh wants merely to tell a story, while Mr. Shanley is interested in saying something.

Read the rest here. . .

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