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Dan Butler

Travesties

May 8, 2018

The play is narrated by Carr through his memories as an doddering 80-year-old man, returning him (and us) to his days as a 30-year-old resident of Zurich. As such he both unreliable, altering his story as he narrates his life, with “time turns” allowing us to see the same scene in an alternate form. Travesties is set in both his apartment as well as the then new Zurich Public Library simultaneously, while scenes from "The Importance of Being Earnest" keep intruding into his story both in literally as well as satirical form with Tzara as Ernest Worthing, Joyce as Lady Bracknell and Carr playing his original stage role of Algernon Moncrieff. Shades of Oscar Wilde, his sister named Gwendolyn is Joyce’s secretary as he writes his novel "Ulysses," while the librarian who is helping Lenin on his book is named Cecily. Gwendolyn and Cecily also play out the breakfast scenes from Wilde’s play around the tea table. A knowledge of Wilde’s comedy is mandatory. [more]

The Insurgents

February 24, 2015

Playwright Lucy Thurber is angry about the state of things in America today. As a result she has written an angry play about her feelings and given them to her heroine Sally Wright in "The Insurgents, "now having its New York premiere courtesy of Labyrinth Theater Company. Unfortunately, while her heart may be in the right place, and who would disagree with her about the state of things today, Thurber has not written a play so much as a series of rants which basically say the same thing: no one is doing anything to help the poor and disenfranchised who continue to lose their footing on a downward slope. While the audience is asked to sing a hymn of hope at the end of the evening (the words are provided in the program), the play has no ending and is totally lacking in hope. [more]