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Six Degrees of Separation Paperback – January 5, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
From Library Journal
-Adrienne Furness, Genesee Community Coll., Batavia, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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. The victims salivate over the prospect of being in a Poitier film, and they let their guards down, for their humdrum existence now has that depth and meaning that was missing at the beginning of the play; it has that structure that their kids, their careers, their money and their friends could not provide. It has a purpose. An assumed black actor's son is mugged in Central Park. And the kind Kittredges help him out. When life is not all that we want it to be, it is easy to have the wool pulled over our eyes. We believe because we want to believe. That is the meat of this play.
This play is complex because of the issues that are addressed; it is not just about race and economics, but it is about the purpose of existance in life. This work evolves and reveals so many layers, layers that are eventually reached, and thus, a truer gift of insight gained. Ironically, in the environment of the wealthy elite and the established intelligentsia, it was a sharpie who made this couple and others similar to them see the gift that life and living really is.
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.
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.
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.