Landscape of the Body

ISBN-10: 0822206323

ISBN-13: 9780822206323

Edition: N/A

Authors: John Guare

List price: $9.00
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Description:

THE STORY: Moving back and forth in time, the action of the play is a mosaic of short scenes, monologues and original songs, all blending together into a revealing and affecting study of the American Dream gone awry. The play moves on many levels. In one sense it is a murder mystery: a boy is found dead, and his mother is suspected of his killing. But, as the investigation of the crime proceeds, other themes emerge and combine with it. The boy's mother has come to New York to persuade her sister to come back to their home in Maine; the sister is killed in a bizarre accident and her sibling slips easily into her persona, moving into her apartment and taking over her job; and her son loses his country innocence and becomes involved in the often ugly street life of Greenwich Village. In the end all these various strands are drawn together into a shattering climax—a forceful, moving illumination of lives first betrayed and then destroyed by illusions which, inevitably, lie always behind comprehension and control.
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Book details

List price: $9.00
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/1978
Binding: Hardcover
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.198
Language: English

Born of Irish Catholic parents in New York City, Guare was an only child. His parents led intense but somewhat separate lives and young Guare found himself increasingly alone as he grew up. He spent his childhood reading, listening to albums of Broadway musicals, and writing plays. His first play was presented in a neighbor's garage when he was eleven. Guare first came to public attention with his one-act play Muzeeka (1968), a biting social satire about an ambitious man who works for a canned-music company that inflicts its banal arrangements on the entire country. The hero, Jack Argue, is a modern guilt-ridden "Everyman" who has sold himself out to the system. The play was first performed at Connecticut's Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theatre, then at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. On April 28, 1968, it opened off-Broadway at the Provincetown Playhouse on a double bill with Sam Shepard's Red Cross. Muzeeka ran for 65 performances and earned its author an Obie Award that year. The House of Blue Leaves (1971), Guare's first full-length play, is set in a Queens apartment on the day the Pope is making his first visit to New York City. A savage farce, The House of Blue Leaves presents an unrelenting attack on lower middle-class values. It shows the emptiness of the characters' inner lives and the horror of their senseless acts of violence. The play won both an Obie and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1971. In 1986 it enjoyed a highly successful revival at New York's Lincoln Center, which further established Guare as a unique and critically acclaimed American playwright. His more recent plays, such as Six Degrees of Separation (1990), show the playwright turning toward a more tragic outlook. Critics have been almost universal in their praise of Guare's screenplay for Louis Malle's film, Atlantic City (1981). Although not published in book form, the Canadian-French film has been distributed by Paramount in the United States. It is a bittersweet, Runyonesque tale about a small-time numbers runner, played by Burt Lancaster, and a small-town waitress, played by Susan Sarandon. Atlantic City received a number of honors, including best-screenplay awards by the National Society of Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics Society, and the New York Film Critics Circle.

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