r290, there were plenty of articles during Jane Fonda's recent Bway appearance about how she'd charmed the theater community. Her play raised more money for Broadway Fights AIDS than anyone else, and she apparently made that victory part of her personal mission. And she did that little parody of herself and got a prize.
r298, I totally agree with you about the content of DHP's monologue in the Durang play. It's politically retrograde, and pitched specifically to flatter an audience of affluent white 50-somethings and older (which was what the audience consisted of the night I saw the show).
Of course, the play is named for Chekhov characters, and it references Chekhov in various other ways, and it's possible that Durang is giving DHP the kind of monologue that one of the characters in THE CHERRY ORCHARD might have delivered:
Affluent members of the dying aristocracy complain about how things have changed; meanwhile, in their paralyzing nostalgia, they let their beautiful estate and orchard fall into the hands of the nasty bourgeoisie, who are themselves of course about to be vanquished by the peasants.
So maybe with DHP's monologue, Durang is commenting on the self-defeating nostalgia that immobilizes the baby boomer generation.
Of course, Durang both loves and loathes what he criticizes.
I found the play, on the whole, kind of messy and reactionary, and I had a problem with the minstrel-show-type characterization of the black maid as voodoo wizard. Somebody needs to send Durang a copy of Toni Morrison's PLAYING IN THE DARK, so he can read about how it's problematic that African characters show up in American literature only in order to facilitate some necessary change in the lives of the white characters.
I thought DHP did a great job with that monologue. He delivered it beautifully. All the moreso because his character had had nothing much to do up to that point, and so the monologue sort of came out of nowhere. But DHP made you see where it came from, and he gave a beautiful, musical delivery, it had rhythm and variation and silences and shifts in tone and intention, and you felt the humanity behind it. He did a lovely job.