Name that Play Revealed

Name that Play

Right on to Adalberto Acevedo of Miami’s Alliance Theatre Lab!..

… For correctly identifying the play that contains the line “No one respects a woman who forgives infidelity. It kept Hillary Clinton from becoming president.”

The line is straight from the mouth of Susan, the tough-minded widow in Gina Gionfriddo’s play “Becky Shaw.” This is only one of many memorable, sometimes ironic, sometimes provocative, quips from the play, which premiered at the Humana Festival in 2008 and was subsequently staged in NYC in January 2009. Another line that reverberates throughout the play is this one by Suzanna (which also brings to mind the recent film that glorified lying…what’s the title?): “Sometimes lying is the most humane thing you can do.”

A glance at reviews on Critic-O-Meter from the play’s NYC premiere indicates critics were all over the map regarding the script. Overall I found it an enjoyable read, though quite a contrast to the other plays I’ve read recently (Vogel’s “Mammary Plays”, Ruhl’s “Clean House and Other Plays,” and Kane’s “Blasted” and “Phaedra’ Love.”) The dialogue of “Becky Shaw” is much denser, which is not to say richer, just lots more talking–in a word, it’s naturalism. There is no visuality or theatricality. With that said, the dialogue flows easily and amuses in the process. The title character Becky, who doesn’t appear until the second scene, is quirky enough to be interesting, but so down on her luck and insecure that she’s too pathetic to be all that likeable.

More on the play and Alliance…but for now gotta catch a flight…


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