To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Three Plays by Terrence Mcnally (Plume) Paperback – August 31, 1990
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
This Lisbon Traviata
“I don’t know when I have heard such scaldingly intimate dialogue in the New York theater.”—Rex Reed, New York Post
“A savagely amusing and empathetic study of two men whose lives have been lost in opera.”—Frank Rich, The New York Times
“A highly entertaining, amusing, touching, compelling play.”—New York Observer
Frankie and Johnnie in the Clair de Lune
“A very sweet, extraordinarily funny, romantic, ribald comedy.”—Clive Barnes, New York Post
“Fresh, illuminating… the most serious play yet about intimacy in the age of AIDS.”—Frank Rich, The New York Times
“Among the best plays he has written.”—Edith Oliver, The New Yorker
It’s Only a Play
“Charged with an energy that leaps and zigzags from the merely frantic to the hysterical.”—Brendan Gill, The New Yorker
“Frequently uproarious!”—Frank Rich, The New York Times
About the Author
Terrence McNally is the author of numerous plays, including Love! Valour! Compassion! (winner of the Tony Award for best play), The Ritz, and Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, which was made into a feature film starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer, and the books for the musicals The Rink, and Kiss of the Spider Woman (winner of the Tony Award for the best book of a musical). Other successes include Lips Together, Teeth Apart and The Lisbon Traviata. McNally has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He also serves as vice president for the Dramatists Guild, the national orgainzation of playwrights, composers, and lyricists. He lives in New York City.
Top customer reviews
McNally's greatest strength in all three works are the unparalleled depth of character. There are no cliches, there are no stock characters, there are no moments of reliance on tired or established conventions. He has done what should be considered the pinnacle of any creative writing: created living breathing people with their own wants, desires, histories and futures. Where the plays fall short as pieces designed to be produced is in their lack of relatability. This is less palpalbe with Franie and Johnny, which is a love story at heart and as such will always be relatable on a basic level. But all three are so unapologitically east coast, undeniably new york and unmistakably 80's that it makes them incredibly hard to relate to if you don't have a familiarity or connection to those three things. I dare say that "It's only a Play", a comedy about the 1980's NY theatre seen using real people as characters, would be unproducable today outside of NYC and even then only as a "period piece" for an aging crowd.
In short, any devotee of the theatre and any student of playwriting should read the Lisbon Traviata and Frankie and Johnny (It's Only a Play can wait until you've got extra time). They are marvels of character development and a benchmark that we all should strive for. Just take care when thinking about producing.
Meanwhile the theater's meanest critic, Ira Drew, is circulating, wondering why people don't appreciate his bon mots. The drugged up leading lady, Virginia, is so high she can rarely recognize the people she's speaking to. And the poor author, Peter, is waiting biting his nails, hoping for a favorable New York Times review from Frank Rich for that, after all, is what determines if any particular play closes or stays afloat. There's a wannabe actor, Gus, whose job is to haul all the mink coats upstairs and plop them on the bed. The funniest bit of business he has is dragging in an enormously elongated full-length mink that prompts another character to guess (correctly) that Tommy Tune is in the house! James Coco starred in this play and I assume that people just didn't buy him in the part. Christine Baranski, at the beginning of her career, played the adorable Julia, and Joanna Gleason the stoner actress.
Buy this book, or better yet, if this play is revived anytime, go and see it. It is a moody suspense comedy that, should the roller coaster at Coney Island ever disappear, thrill seekers could mount in its place.