While Broadway delusionally feted itself with its barely watched Tony awards... a quiet US premiere opened on the other side of the continent, in that supposed cultural wasteland, Los Angeles, of David Hare's Stuff Happens. In case you don't follow the London scene, Stuff is an epic play denouncing the war in Iraq. Its characters are Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell, etc. Their real names, not fictionalized, and often quoted verbatim. This play opened at the Royal National Theatre last fall. The reviews were mixed, and even some liberals don't go for Hare's heady preaching and unsubtle polemics.
But can you imagine any theatre in New York (let alone on B'way) staging at the current time a play where actors--impersonating our leaders--stand downstage center and criticize the US Government and the war? So bravo to the Marc Taper Forum's Gordon Davidson, who has chosen this sure-to-be controversial play as his grand send-off. In his words:
"Initially, I wanted to 'retreat' into the world of the classics to say goodbye, but I could not escape my feelings about our society, about where we are now and how we got there.”I dare say, a Profile in Theatrical Courage?