Theater: Atrocity Stories

Andorra and The Firebugs. Swiss Dramatist Max Frisch dropped a couple of tons of irony on the New York theater last week, but the only one who got crushed was the playwright. Advance fanfare had it that Frisch, highly regarded and much produced in Europe, was the equal of his fellow countryman Friedrich Duerrenmatt (The Visit). Rarely has anticipation been so swiftly disabused.

Andorra, which closed at week's end, was about antiSemitism, chauvinism, responsibility, guilt, and identity. The Firebugs, still flickering, is about action, appeasement, war, and middle-class morality. Like Duerrenmatt, Frisch has...

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