Theater: Cartesian Dentist

Cactus Flower. Humor is often the puckish shadow cast by national character. English comedy is a running display of oneupmanship, reflecting an indelible class system. The Teutonic cast-ironies of Brecht seem manufactured by Krupp. The classic American comic event is the chase, a drolly tangible version of the pursuit of happiness and the American Dream. And the French sex farce is logic run rampant, reason carried to an unreasonable and absurd extremity. That is why French sex farces are innately sexless: Descartes wrote them all. They begin with cogito ergo sum, and they...

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