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By Thomas S. Hischak

Quantity 4 of the celebrated American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama sequence deals a radical, candid, and interesting examine the theater in ny over the last many years of the 20th century.

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He gained widespread recognition for his striking designs for the Public Theatre and the New York Shakespeare Festival, in particular his settings for the outdoor Delacorte Theatre. Unlike most top designers, he would usually eschew musical productions throughout his career. ing techniques that had actors shifting from character to narrator in midsentence. The stories were mostly familiar (Henny Penny, the Bremen Town Musicians, and so on), and the writing was bluntly unliterary, but the style intrigued everyone.

Donald Madden was applauded for his exacting Torvald. The expert scenery, lighting, and costumes by John Bury were also extolled. The limited run of 111 performances quickly sold out. Critics were less pleased with Bloom’s Hedda Gabler when it was added to the Ibsen repertory on February 17. Where her transformation in A Doll’s House was luminous, she was considered too detached and mannered as Hedda Tesman. Again Garland directed, and again Bloom got strong support from Madden as the selfdestructive Lovborg.

Except for Bronson Howard’s adaptation entitled Wives in 1879, this was the play’s first English version on Broadway. Stephen Porter directed an expert cast headed by Brian Bedford, who won a Tony Award for his scheming Arnolphe, and reviews were uniformly enthusiastic. The sprightly comedy ran for 120 performances, spurred new interest in the neglected script, and encouraged Wilbur to do further translations of Molie`re’s plays. Slag (2-21-71, Public: Anspacher) was an allegorical play that introduced New Yorkers to David Hare, a young British playwright who would become very well known in future decades.

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