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Laughing Wild and Baby with the Bathwater: Two Plays Paperback – January 12, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; First Edition edition (January 12, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802131301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802131300
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 1997
Format: Paperback
Beyond Therapy is definitely the best play I've ever read by Christopher Durang. Baby With The Bathwater takes a definite second. It's hilarious. Who would have thought I would have so much to laugh about? Especially for something as serious as an identity crisis!
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Format: Paperback
Always fiercely satiric, Christopher Durang fills his plays with outrage and absurdity, creating moods that vary from anger to sadness and from hilarity to the darkest, most mordant humor, sometimes within the same play. In these two plays from the 1980s, Laughing Wild (1988) and Baby with the Bathwater (1984), both said to be semi-autobiographical, Durang features a young man who speaks to the audience directly, instead of appearing in dramatic, interactive scenes with other characters, as in Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All (1979) and in The Marriage of Bette and Boo (1985).

Laughing Wild opens with a monologue by "Woman," recently released from an institution, someone who has had a tantrum because she could not reach the tuna fish in a supermarket--a man was blocking her way. With her raucous laugh, she tells us, among other things, that she has also had an altercation with a taxi driver, has fallen in the gutter, and has not read Bleak House. Act II features a monologue by Man, a writer (played in New York by the author himself), who has recently had a confrontation with a woman in the tuna fish aisle.

As he tells about his own life and problems, his bisexuality, and the Catholic church's attitudes and pronouncements, we see him recognizing life's common absurdities. In Act III, Man and Woman reveal their identical dreams and hopes in parallel monologues. Sad, but hilariously satiric of eighties attitudes and self-help movements, Laughing Wild ultimately shows the loneliness of contemporary 1980s life.

Baby With the Bathwater begins as a farce about parenthood by two people who do not have a clue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Those of you looking for a good play look no further. Christopher Durangs Laughing Wild and Baby With the Bath Water are two of the most comical well written plays i have come across for just the fun of it.Laughing Wild left me in stitches i laughed so hard! If you are an actor looking for monologues or scenes to work with for comedy these two pieces are filled with great work and varieties of character to work with.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Laughing Wild is an extraordinary journey of two people into the thinly crusted underworld of anguish and madness both they - and many of us - are struggling to keep at bay. The catalyst - an aisle in a supermarket - the weapon at hand: a tin of tuna. People negotiating with themselves, and others in a user-unfriendly environment, the overpopulated Metropolis, where normality, or at least the semblance of such, is paramount. What both characters remind us, hopefully, is the absurdity of modern life and the bravery of those social lepers who are "out there" - willing and able to access their feelings, no matter how socially unacceptable. We laugh at "the lunatic woman" - but we also envy her and wish we had the courage to voice those things we only think. The borders of what I think of as sane and loony became very blurred in this play. Thank you, Mr Durang, for that.
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By A Customer on November 11, 1997
Format: Paperback
Baby with Bathwater and Laughing Wild are two of Christopher Durang's most well written plays. Baby with Bathwater, while missing my specific comedic sense, was filled with one-liners and gags that made me laugh uncontrollably. Laughing Wild, however, is Durang's best work since Actor's Nightmare. It perfectly captures the attitude of two post-therapy, pre-intitutionalized loons and their individual quest for happiness. The blending of the two tales masterfully guides the reader, or audience into the neurotic lives of these two people. You find yourself identifing with them and cheering them on. This book is a must read for Durang fans and for anyone who enjoys comedy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "lytlprinse" on October 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
LAUGING WILDE is the best play by Durang that I've read or seen. I usually find his plays sort of sad, with terrible bitterness at the heart of them, that, even though they're usually terribly funny, you sort of leave feeling bad that Durang is so unhappy. I've appeared as George in ACTORTS NIGHTMARE more than once, and, like most of his plays, they have these great lead ups to sort of really sad endings.
LAUGING... on the other hand gives us two characters (two very eighties characters, based on their references to Reagan and the Meese Commition) who's feelings, though in a dated context, are so relevent now to how so many people feel about the world.
The Woman's monolgue at the beginning is so wonderfully crazy and hysterical and sort of touching - this is a great peice for a great actress who understands levels and life - its so perfectly written. The Man's monologue is just so touchingly written, without being sappy, that it makes you really sit there and say - "yes! this is what I feel, too!"... at least I do.
And bringing them together in the second act is so well done - and by the end... well, what do you know, Durang gives us an ending that has hope. No bitterness. Hope. I love it.
Not the best play I've ever read, but really well done.
BABY... has one of the funniest first acts of any play I know, but sort of winds up with that bitter Durang ending that always makes me feel bad for him.
Despite this, he's one of the best absurdist playwrights today, its no wonder his plays are so popular.
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