BROADWAY: In the Gutter

At any well-run funeral for a "beloved" actor or "distinguished" playwright, someone is bound to call the theater a shrine. And so it has been during much of its history. At certain times, it has been a shrine to God, or to the Fates, as the source of meaning in the human drama. Later, it became a shrine mostly to man seeking—vainly—to rule his own destiny.

But today's theater does not even worship man; it lives, precariously, by holding him in contempt.

This notion is beginning to dawn even on hardheaded Broadway professionals...

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