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Six Degrees of Separation Paperback – January 5, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (January 5, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822210347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822210344
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Since its inception in 1974, L.A. Theatre Works, a nonprofit radio production company, has built up a sizable catalogue of ensemble-cast productions in which major name actors (including the likes of Richard Dreyfuss, Kelsey Grammer and Jacqueline Bisset) perform classic and contemporary plays. Typical is this famous Guare work, which stars Alan Alda, Swoosie Kurtz and Chuma Hunter-Gault and is directed by Jay Sandrich. Though on tape, the production still sounds more like theater than anything else: it's all in the timing. Recorded before a live audience, in the open-miked fidelity one can sense the ambient space surrounding the actors, the charge of excitement sparking between them. The opening scene, with its New York City society dinner party, sets the overall tone of clever talkiness (here, Alda and Kurtz especially shine). When a young African-American stranger arrives at the door, claiming to be the son of actor Sidney Poitier, the plot takes some wonderfully unexpected turns. As with other L.A. Theatre Works programs, this is especially well suited for would-be actors, as the tape draws attention to the mechanics of Guare's play itselfAand to the role played by a skilled cast in animating that material. Recommended for libraries and general audiences alike. (July)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This new effort is an excellent production of Guare's famous play. When a young man enters the Fifth Avenue home of Flanders and Ouisa Kittredge claiming to be a friend of their children and son of actor Sidney Poitier, the couple is charmed by his manners, wit, and intelligence. When the Kittredges discover that "Paul" isn't all he claims to be, they find themselves stuck between embarrassment and fascination. Alan Alda and Swoosie Kurtz portray the Kittredges convincingly, with Kurtz's performance particularly effective, as she captures Ouisa's empathy and simultaneous desire not to get too involved with an obviously disturbed person. Chuma Hunter-Gault sensitively portrays the con man who manages to change the Kittredges' lives irrevocably. A few moments in which it becomes difficult to distinguish among characters' voices are all that mar a fine production. This will be welcome to students, lovers of the theater, and even more traditional fans of audiobooks. Recommended.
-Adrienne Furness, Genesee Community Coll., Batavia, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Christian Engler on November 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Based on the true story of a wealthy, well-meaning liberal couple in the upper echelons of New York society's upper crust, we have Flan or Flanders Kittredge and his wife Ouisa or Louisa; the former is a standoffish but deep down good-hearted art dealer in the private sector who has a penchant for the works of Kandinsky and Cezanne; the latter is his wife, articulate and intelligent who is in need of something of greater meaning and depth other than money, art, fancy restaurants and wealthy friends.
And so the evening commences with a friend from South Africa; they are discussing poverty, the downtrodden and the oppressed, overblown intellectual banter to elevate the ego and make the evening progress smoothly and divinely. But the night is anything but that, for it is dramatically interrupted by Paul - a young black homosexual flimflammer or Peter Funk man with a penchant for male street hustlers (only when he is happy - his words). He comes into the lives of these two unwitting victims after stabbing and passing himself off as a friend to their children who are at Harvard. And what else does her profess? You guessed it - that he is the son of you-know-who: Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier, the most eminent black actor of his generation, the hero that has been the catalyst for the lives of these socially and politically 'aware' forty-somethings.
Paul charms and bedazzles himself into the lives of those he encounters, using his wit, knowledge, ease and most importantly, his race, more specifically, Sidney Poitier's name. As the play intensifies, Paul promises the Kittredge's and future unsuspecting victims minor roles in the movie version of Cats, for which his 'father' is purportedly directing.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Marc A. Coignard on October 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
John Guare has created a witty, creative, funny, and tragic play with his SIX DEGREES OF SEPERATION, based upon the true story of a wealthy Manhattan couple who are fooled into allowing a con-man who claims to be a friend of their Harvard children, and the son of actor Sideny Potier into their home. Paul, the con-man in question, is a homosexual who has previously seduced a lover into telling him secrets about people in this upper-class Manahatten community. Paul even goes so far as to stabbing himself and claiming that he was mugged for his briefcase.
Mr. guare has adapted this story to the playbook with astoinding creativity and brilliance. His characters grow and learn with each passing scene. Mr. Guare is an incredible author who has built a beautiful world on the stage. I can't imagine how wonderful a sight this must be when seen live. SIX DEGREES OF SEPERATION is essential when studying or performing modern theater. Nothing this decade has stood out as much as this play.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1997
Format: Paperback
this is a brilliant play and the movie adaption goes by the screenplay almost word-for-word, scene-by-scene.

it is about many things, primarily dealing with the nature of social role. but you'll find more than that, you'll find issues in meaning, art, color, dreams, all wrapped up into what can be seen as a social commentary.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lex on December 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
I was introduced to this play about a month ago when I was cast in the role of Kitty, a friend of the Kitteredges. Intending to only skim the script and hilight my lines, I read the entire play in one sitting. From the opening scene to the closing, I felt like I was being included in the characters' experiences.
The characters' personalities are also quite deep. After the first couple of times that I read through the script, I realized that there was so much more to the characters than what was written on the page. Guare does a wonderful job of letting the reader use his imagination and create his own backgrounds and deeper personalities for the characters.
This play is an intellectual-artsy type for those who are willing to examine their trust for strangers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
A wonderful play based on an actual event. Right up there with Equus and Arcadia in quality and depth. Strongly written, but also deftly written. I had the opportunity to see it performed (twice) with Stockard Channing (also in the movie version - which was good, but not exceptional) and Courtney B. Vance (@ Lincoln Center). Definitely read it. Even more definitely - go see it performed if you can.
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By Gwen P. Choate on September 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I never get as much reward from reading a play as a novel, I did find the message awesome, John Guare makes us THINK, and that's important.
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By bigcheese on June 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i have not read the book yet - heard many good things about it - i will update when i am done reading.
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By Jay on September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I forgot to write this review, but this is an amazing play. I read it and re-read it after I received it. This copy seemed as if if came straight from the printer, thats how new it was
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