American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000 by Thomas S. Hischak

By Thomas S. Hischak

Quantity 4 of the celebrated American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama sequence bargains an intensive, candid, and engaging examine the theater in big apple over the past a long time of the 20th century.

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Sid Caesar and Carol Channing (in a rare non-musical performance) were the designated stars who tried to save the playlets, each one with a surprise ending that surprised no one. In one, Caesar played a man who preys on young girls and discovers at the last moment that his latest intended is his own daughter. In another, Channing was a society lady who decides to bed down with the man painting her lover’s apartment. In the third, they played former lovers who had killed her husband and are now, years later, getting together again.

So the student takes out a gun and demonstrates, accidentally killing himself. A few days later Philip is having a dinner party where Braham (Victor Spinetti), an obnoxious author, is holding court and flirting with Philip’s fiance´e, Celia (Jane Asher). ” The next day Celia arrives, finds Armaminta in the apartment, and tells Philip she has decided to break off their engagement. It is not because of Philip’s infidelity (she has spent the night with Braham and tells Philip so) but because he is too polite and too willing to please; he is an emotional philanthropist.

In the city a gang of frustrated black youths plan a robbery, while in the country one of the gang is seen struggling with a half-mad wife and his forbidding in-laws. As usual Bullins found humor in the most dire situations, but the play was too murky for most and was shown for only a week. Abe Burrows had enjoyed so much success with his previous adaptations of French farces that the utter failure of his Four on a Garden (130-71, Broadhurst) left audiences aghast. The program’s four short plays were based on some oneacts by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Gredy, who had provided Burrows with fodder for his Cactus Flower (12-8-65) and Forty Carats (12-26-68).

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