Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Random Top Ten
Random Top Ten!

Top Ten Plays (non-musicals)

10. M. Butterfly (David Henry Hwang) - How I wish I had had the chance to see John Lithgow in this. A tragic, sparsely beautiful play about the boundaries of love. The Crying Game before The Crying Game.

9. Deathtrap (Ira Levin) - The most ingeniously constructed play I've ever come across. Wonderfully twisty.

8. The Piano Lesson (August Wilson) - I love Wilson, and this is my favorite of his. Beautifully musical and more self-contained and tighter than much of is other work.

7. True West (Sam Shepard) - Shepard's best, a kind of duel for two intense actors. The original production starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise is legendary.

6. Equus (Peter Schaffer) - Intense drama about a horse-obsessed teenager. Wonderfully meaty monologues abound, and the two leads (the boy and his psychiatrist) are two of the best parts in the canon.

5. Love! Valour! Compassion (Terrence McNally) - McNally's play about a group of gay friends and lovers spending three summer holiday weekends together is achingly sad and poignant, joyous and wistful.

4. Angels in America (Tony Kushner) - An epic two-parter about homosexuality, the end of the millennium politics, love, faith, and about a dozen other things.

3. Our Town (Thornton Wilder) - The quintessential school play. So simply constructed, so plain-spoken, and yet in the end such a deep well of profundity.

2. Waiting for Godot (Samuel Becket) - Has a more devastating stage direction ever been written than the famous final one here?

Vladimir: Well, shall we go?
Estragon: Yes, let's go.
They do not move.

1. Death of a Salesman - This play gets under my skin and won't get out. Worth seeking out the filmed stage version with Dustin Hoffman in the lead (and John Malkovich as Biff.

Until Whenever

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