The Maderatiby Richard Greenberg
Focusing on the self-centered concerns of a rather inbred group of Manhattan "yuppies," the action of the play deals with the ultimately hilarious misunderstandings which arise when one of their number, a frustrated, somewhat overweight and definitely suicidal poet named Charlotte, is temporarily detained in a mental hospital. The news of Charlotte's plight is misunderstood by the couple to whom it is reported (Dewy, an ambitious would-be photographer, and Ritt, her stockbroker husband, who is given to sudden "epiphanies") and assuming that Charlotte has died they eagerly impart this privileged information to the others in their set. This leads to a series of inventive and brightly satiric scenes as the "news" is passed along (with incremental exaggeration) from couple to couple, and culminates in an impromptu get-together honoring the "deceased" at which Charlotte herself shows up as a surprise guest! Among the others involved in the antic doings are a literary couple, Chuck and Rena (who first reported Charlotte's absence); a sexually ambivalent publisher who affects an English accent; a young poet who tends to fall asleep without warning; a man-crazy feminist named Cuddles Molotov; and the current object of her desire, a "hunky" and faithless method actor, Danton, whose primitive grunts apparently have an aphrodisiac effect on the other women present, and whose hilarious obtuseness gives a fine point to the overall irony of the play.
- Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
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