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Terrence McNally, Vol. 1: 15 Short Plays 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1880399347
ISBN-10: 1880399342
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

McNally has proven to be a remarkable playwright with truly enjoyable works that warm the heart, make one chuckle, and even touch one's soul. His book for the musical Kiss of the Spider Woman has become a cult work, and the film version of Frankie and Johnny at the Clair de Lune starred Al Pacino. The 15 short plays here act as snapshots of this remarkable man's long career and deserve a place in the archives of his achievements. They include Bringing It All Back Home; The Ritz (which was filmed in the 1970s); Prelude and Liebestod; Andres's Mother (which was made into a TV movie); and Hidden Agendas. Though one wishes to see the actual productions, these plays are a delight to read. Indeed, they deserve to be read and re-read; their eloquence clears the mind of day-to-day clutter. Highly recommended for all libraries.
H. Robert Malinowsky, Univ of Illinois at Chicago. Lib.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

As anyone who follows theater knows, McNally, for the last decade or so, has been on a roll, turning out one witty, well-crafted off-Broadway comedy after another--Lisbon Traviata; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; and Frankie and Johnnie in the Clair de Lune, not to mention the Tony-winning book to the Broadway musical Kiss of the Spiderwoman. Less well known is the fact that McNally is a writer of remarkable breadth and depth, equally adept at one-act and full-evening plays, and equally at home writing satire, farce, or tragicomedy. This collection of his shorter works provides a fascinating overview of a master whose career began in the New York off-off-Broadway boom of the late 1960s. Some of the plays haven't aged well--the 1968 antiwar satire, Next, seems particularly irrelevant now--but a lot are still quite funny, even biting, after all these years. Notably included are two of McNally's most popular 1970s plays, Whiskey and his farce set in New York's disco-era gay bathhouse scene, The Ritz. Jack Helbig

Product Details

  • Series: Plays for Actors
  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Smith & Kraus Pub Inc; 1st edition (June 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880399342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880399347
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,188,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
"The plays in this collection represent some of my earliest work as well as the most recent. It is good to have them all in print together. I usually think my plays are dead, or at least comatose, unless they are being performed somewhere. But when they're not in print, it's as if they never even existed. Not a good feeling. I can assure you." This quotation comes from Terrence McNally's own preface to this brilliant collection of short plays. I first stumbled across this book in my college library. "Hm. Terrence McNally," I thought. "He's good." Little did I know then that I would be completely overtaken by the LIFE that is in this collection. As a bad, young actor, I am always on the frantic look-out for things that do justice to human nature. I think McNally is capable of just that: doing justice without exploiting. Some of you may recognize McNally's name from some of his more popular plays, perhaps the most popular being "Frankie and Johnny In The Clair De Lune." However, upon reading this book, you will find that McNally's brilliant hand touches all of his work, especially in the brief piece "Andre's Mother." Because of this, this book would be of great aid to actors and directors alike looking for something new and yet somehow familiar to work on. Although McNally himself declares that he hates reading plays, this collection serves a a beautiful piece of literature to not only actors, but even the "traditional reader." I highly recommend this book to any person interested in human nature - why we do what we do, what causes us to do it, and what happens when things don't go our way. As the title suggests, these plays are for actors, but in the grand scheme of things (pardon my cliche, I'm wrapping this up now)these plays are about all of us, for all of us.
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Format: Paperback
After putting up a trio of shows that just don't quite seem ready for the stage in recent seasons, it is easy to question how Terrence McNally really rose to such a high level of acclaim. Here's your answer. Filled with a variety of works ranging from full-lenght plays like "The Ritz" (which, as I write, is currently enjoying a higly-lauded revival on Broadway with Rosie Perez) and the outstanding two-parter "Bad Habits" to shorter dramatic sketches like the gut-wrenching "Andre's Mother," this compilation reminds us just how good McNally can really be. McNally avoids all of his sentimental tendencies here and presents 15 plays that tickle the funny bone while going for the jugular. If you are not a McNally fan, I would encourage you to read this book and reevaluate your stance. A thouroughly enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Is everything about gay men?
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