Plays for Two

Vintage. 2014. 656p. ed. by Eric Lane & . ISBN 9780345804549. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9780345804556. THEATER
OrangeReviewStarIndefatigable editors Lane and Shengold (Talk to Me: Monologue Plays) have assembled a truly required volume of 28 new plays for two actors (one man, one woman; two women; two men) and a multiplicity of ethnicities in an astonishing variety of styles. Authors include David Ives, Paul Rudnick, Neil LaBute, and Doug Wright, among others. Four of the plays are full-length; the others take, on average, about 20–30 minutes. Not every work is a shining example of the playwright's craft, but the clunkers are few and far between. Highlights include Frank Higgins's Black Pearl Sings!, which treats the relationship between exploiter and exploited; Anthony Clarvoe's The Art of Sacrifice, a play about chess and roommates that any actor would find enormously satisfying; Pete Barry's Hearing Aid, a rare, well-written comedy that is sure to strike fear in the hearts of baby boomers dealing with aged parents; Mark Harvey Levine's sweet and tender The Kiss; Waking Up, a terrifying short work by Cori Thomas; and Halley Feiffer's hilarious Frankenstein's Amends.
VERDICT Readers won't find a better deal with more pleasurable plays anywhere else. Essential for academic libraries as well as for high school seniors who are serious about going to college and majoring in theater.
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