New Plays: I Never Sang for My Father

Unless his name happens to be Sophocles, the best thing a playwright can do with the Oedipus complex is to forget it. Purporting to explain the irreconcilable clash of son with father, the Oedipus complex, dramatically speaking, tends to reduce conflict to impasse. This is both the substance of—and the trouble with—Robert Anderson's new Broadway play, I Never Sang for My Father. Sometimes poignant, sometimes sentimental, always earnest, it essentially presents a static emotional impasse.

Father (Alan Webb) is a curmudgeonly tyrant nearing 80, marching with faltering step and bristling temper into his pitiable dotage. He has sapped the life out...

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