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Has a piece of theatre ever stayed with you?

Years ago I saw a Peter Barnes teleplay about a mentally ill man convinced he was a chicken. His psychiatrist persuades to rejoin society by pretending to believe him, but convinces him to play along with everyone else who thinks he is a man.

I think if it all the time. Identity is a bitch.

by Anonymousreply 58June 22, 2022 7:25 AM


by Anonymousreply 1May 22, 2022 11:44 PM


Who played it best...go!

by Anonymousreply 2May 22, 2022 11:50 PM

OP. A Chorus Line downtown, before it moved to B’way. Jennifer Holiday at the end of Act 1 n Dreamgirls. A Delicate Balance with George Grizzard, Rosemary Harris, Elaine Strich. Lily Tomlin’s first one-woman B’way show. Judi Dench in Night Music. Among many others.

by Anonymousreply 3May 23, 2022 2:00 AM

Do you remember the name of it because no one else does, OP.

My favorite play about a delusional man is Harvey. Charming as all get out but I don't think you should teach kids they might have a real invisible rabbit friend, nor should you indulge the delusions of the mentally ill. You certainly shouldn't encourage furries.

by Anonymousreply 4May 23, 2022 2:06 AM

R3, I asked in the Broadway thread and no one answered.Did you see Whoopie in the her one woman show?

by Anonymousreply 5May 23, 2022 2:13 AM

David Hare's Plenty starring Kate Nelligan and Pam Gems' Piaf starring Jane Lapotaire.

by Anonymousreply 6May 23, 2022 2:21 AM

"Nobody Here But Us Chickens," R4. Can't find a video of it.

by Anonymousreply 7May 23, 2022 3:01 AM

Yes! One time I was acting in a local theater production & sat on a sticky pillow & it sure adhered to my fanny!

by Anonymousreply 8May 23, 2022 3:22 AM

I was at the American premiere of Angels in America. That had some truly interesting staging elements.

My first theatre experience--a community college in rural Oregon did Man of La Mancha outdoors under the stars, which started my interest in such things.

by Anonymousreply 9May 23, 2022 3:24 AM

I am a huge Madeline Khan and addicted to "Happy Birthday, Gemini" which was the movie version of a play, "Gemini".

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by Anonymousreply 10May 23, 2022 3:28 AM

The original Broadway production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses with a few simple gatherings of French Furniture that they light differently to be the different Châteaux during the play and the extra tall chest on chest in the back looming over everything with Rickman and Duncan acting so intensely as if their very lives depended upon it. At the end the chest on chest becomes a guillotine and the blade drops as the final sound.

Diana Rigg’s Medea where the oxidized metal wall plates at the end of the play started to drop to the floor one by one as she gives her final wrath filled speech.

Deaf West’s Spring Awakening when a portal opened up in the back of the stage exposing a lush forest behind, and all the children, even the “lame” one escaped to joyous land.

by Anonymousreply 11May 23, 2022 3:52 AM

Yes, I still have the doorknob that I borrowed from the Lowes Cincinnati.

by Anonymousreply 12May 23, 2022 5:38 AM

The ending of "Steel Magnolias" the play. First time I ever sobbed in the theater. I know, I know: MARY!

by Anonymousreply 13May 23, 2022 6:09 AM

Don’t make fun of me, but I cried at a tour of Miss Saigon. The helicopter!!!

by Anonymousreply 14May 23, 2022 6:13 AM

Pal Joey at the Shubert in Chicago. First time I ever got an embarrassing erection.

by Anonymousreply 15May 23, 2022 6:16 AM

My mother isn’t much of a crier, but she burst into tears during Defying Gravity in the 2nd SF tour of Wicked.

A few years later she also burst out crying at an amusement park Peanuts/Snoopy show, when the characters made their entrance onto the stage. She described both experiences as overwhelming. The first one, yeah, I get it, but the second one was a rinky-dink production & they hadn’t even started singing or dancing yet!

by Anonymousreply 16May 23, 2022 6:40 AM

I saw a regional theater production of Harvey, And the actresses playing Veta Louise and Myrtle Mae played them like Lisa and Mrs. Loopner. I thought what a unique take!

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by Anonymousreply 17May 23, 2022 9:16 AM

Billy Crudup in Pillowman

Mary Martin in Peter Pan

by Anonymousreply 18May 23, 2022 9:38 AM

For some reason most of it was out in Brooklyn. The Ingmar Bergman productions such as Ghosts and Madame DeSade by Yukio Mishima which had me stunned and thinking this is what theater should always be. His The Winter's Tale was the best production of a Shakespeare play I've seen and it was in Swedish. And the opera Atys by Lully which was done by William Christie's(of Buffalo) Les Arts Florissants from Paris. One of the greatest things I ever saw in my life.

by Anonymousreply 19May 23, 2022 9:57 AM

Decades ago I saw "Travels with My Aunt" in NYC. A cast of four men, the show starred Jim Dale and Brian Murray was in the cast. The actors wore white summer suits. I was enthralled by the staging, lighting, and how Dale could portray the Aunt so effortlessly and how the other actors convincingly and so smoothly could change roles. I'd never seen anything like it.

Perhaps the show was as incredible as I remember, but I loved that evening.

by Anonymousreply 20May 23, 2022 9:58 AM

the sad thing is that i have a degree in dramatic art and my answer is "no" lmao

by Anonymousreply 21May 23, 2022 1:49 PM

The last production of Salome at Bayerisches still haunts me. They set it as a play in the basement of a rich Jewish family hiding from the gestapo. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it-especially seeing it in Münich. I think it’s the best piece of theater I’ve ever seen.

by Anonymousreply 22May 23, 2022 1:54 PM

Royal Shakespeare Company Marat Sade with Glenda Jackson. I was in the balcony and they even had actors playing inmates up there. Not sure if it would have the same effect today. It was very 60s.

by Anonymousreply 23May 23, 2022 2:02 PM

Whatever I have seen last usually sticks in my head until I see the next show. Theater is that way.

by Anonymousreply 24May 23, 2022 2:16 PM

the "gas station" musical number in Robert Wilson and Rufus Wainwright's adaptation of Shakespeare's sonnets for the Berliner Ensemble.

by Anonymousreply 25May 23, 2022 2:32 PM

Why do you care about it then, R21?

by Anonymousreply 26May 23, 2022 2:53 PM

Follies with Jan Maxwell and Jayne Houdyshell.

They were both stellar. I'm so, so glad I saw them....but really the whole Broadway cast was perfect. One More Kiss was especially haunting and has stayed with me.

Get some loving now, kids....old age....it's a lonely place.

by Anonymousreply 27May 23, 2022 2:56 PM

R19 There was something other worldly about Atys, it was amazing that something so beautiful could be lost for hundreds of years and then rediscovered.

by Anonymousreply 28May 23, 2022 3:49 PM

[quote] Atys by Lully....from Les Arts Florissants from Paris. One of the greatest things I ever saw in my life.

Saw this on film, was drawn in against my expectation. It really is sumptuous and elegant and captivating. Stéphanie d'Oustrac is beautiful to hear and see.

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by Anonymousreply 29May 23, 2022 4:12 PM

When I first moved to SF ('87) I ushered at the Magic Theater and saw the play. There was not a lot of people on stage, there was different things placed here and there and a lot of voices saying things over the sound system. I guess it was experimental!

In the front of the stage was this narrow vertical screen and at some point there was a woman talking about her ex while a film of a life size man in a suit with his tie blowing in the wind was projected at the screen, and I noticed at the bottom of the screen on the stage was a pair of men's dress shoes pointing out at us, making it look more like the man was standing there.

I thought about how this looked just the other day, so yeah, I guess it stuck with me.

by Anonymousreply 30May 23, 2022 4:15 PM

G in Sunset Blvd. Wow! Absolutely great.

by Anonymousreply 31May 23, 2022 4:17 PM

Einstein on the Beach is mid blowing to begin with, but there’s something particularly about this sequence, and not just the repetition, that stays with you.

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by Anonymousreply 32May 23, 2022 4:55 PM

Yes. PROOF is an excellent play THE HISTORY BOYS. too. THREE DAYS OF RAIN, as well ALL OVER, also.

by Anonymousreply 33May 23, 2022 8:19 PM

Take Me OUT! (Wishful thinking)

by Anonymousreply 34May 23, 2022 8:34 PM

R21, R26 Theatre is ephemeral.

It happened and may not happen again.

by Anonymousreply 35May 23, 2022 10:13 PM

I mean, you're right about that, but that's vague. What's the point of it for you R35?

by Anonymousreply 36May 24, 2022 12:04 AM

R36 We're all taking about perceptions and memory.

And as we all know memory is faulty. We need video recordings to make sensible assessments about things that happened in theatres decades ago.

by Anonymousreply 37May 24, 2022 12:07 AM

Ah, well it's the memory you keep that matters, isn't it?

by Anonymousreply 38May 24, 2022 12:12 AM

Memories are the Technicolor pictures in our minds—

which become increasingly rosier while we become increasingly feeble.

by Anonymousreply 39May 24, 2022 12:34 AM

Thanks, all. This has brought back some wonderful memories.

by Anonymousreply 40May 24, 2022 1:50 AM

I don't trust my memories.

by Anonymousreply 41May 24, 2022 1:52 AM

Great choices on here, wonderful thread.

I'd go with THREE TALL WOMEN, the recent revival. The last bit, uttered by Glenda Jackson, reared up and grabbed me like few moments have. I tear up every time I think of it.

“That's the happiest moment. When it's all done. When we stop. When we can stop.”

by Anonymousreply 42May 24, 2022 1:54 AM

The 2002 revival of The Crucible with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney.

by Anonymousreply 43May 24, 2022 1:57 AM

Playwrights Horizons' production of "Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play." I went to see it three times, and I think about it often.

by Anonymousreply 44May 24, 2022 2:09 AM

David Cromer’s production of Our Town for obvious reasons.

by Anonymousreply 45May 24, 2022 2:25 AM

My most favored remembered production was 4 decades ago.

'As You Desire Me' by Pirandello.

by Anonymousreply 46May 24, 2022 2:50 AM

The Wizard of Oz (movie) will always be with me. I once saw it live on stage, (and I normally prefer life theater over anything recorded) but sadly it is one of the few stage shows that doesn't hold a candle to the movie.

by Anonymousreply 47May 24, 2022 9:12 AM

R10 I just watched the Showtime on Broadway production of Gemini, with Scott Baio ironically playing a young man who is trying to figure out if he's gay. That's how it's written, rather than him just being in the closet. The play switches moods and ideals throughout, seeming pro-gay at one point and homophobic and offensive at others, ending rather bizarrely without resolving anything. Obviously a play that won't be revived even though it ran over 1000 times. It's the Albie's Irish Rose/Tobacco Road of its time.

by Anonymousreply 48June 18, 2022 5:09 AM

The ending of “Great Comet of 181z” when it was produced in the tent on 45th St. - the staging & effect is incredibly simple, and that made it even more moving.

by Anonymousreply 49June 18, 2022 5:28 AM

The notorious musical adaptation LESTAT (from the Anne Rice novel), probably for the wrong reasons and because I have unabashed bad taste.

In between all the schlocky and awkward lyrics, hackneyed repetitive melodies, and histrionic acting, the show did have some lyrical and profound recitatives (lifted almost verbatim from the original book), and a few unique set designs. One wonders if it would have worked better and been more powerful as a straight play with no music—there’s too many heavy existential musings to fit into a light musical score.

Also, the last confrontation between Armand & Lestat reads as pure camp to me. It’s so earnest, and if you squint you can see it as moving and haunting, but really it’s just one angry bitchy gay immortal throwing another one off a roof and it’s so funny.

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by Anonymousreply 50June 21, 2022 2:12 PM

Stephen Daldry’s production of An Inspector Calls.

by Anonymousreply 51June 21, 2022 2:51 PM

Six Degrees of Separation. I worked on a community theater version of it.

The ideas about how we bestow identity and credibility on people, how random it can be in some cases and how deliberate the gates and barriers are in others, has remained with me since.

by Anonymousreply 52June 21, 2022 2:56 PM

Love, Valour and Compassion. I saw this play many years ago and was shocked by all the nudity. I had no idea that someone would be standing in front of me with his penis only a few feet from my face! It was quite shocking. That micro penis still haunts me to this day!

by Anonymousreply 53June 21, 2022 3:12 PM

I stole a gilded cherub from the Eltinge.

by Anonymousreply 54June 21, 2022 3:19 PM

Hamilton. Jealous bitches?!

by Anonymousreply 55June 21, 2022 3:23 PM

RSC doing NIcholas Nickelby in NYC in 1981.

by Anonymousreply 56June 21, 2022 3:27 PM

Kabuki Lady MacBeth. Strangest thing I’ve ever seen and has haunted me—not in a bad way—since.

by Anonymousreply 57June 21, 2022 3:28 PM

Marisol by playwright José Rivera.

by Anonymousreply 58June 22, 2022 7:25 AM
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