Theater: Fall of the House of Carney

The death knell of the realistic play is sounded every season, and each season some play refutes it. A Whistle in the Dark is just such a drama. It has the raw, roiling energy of life. It is full of the rude poetry of the commonplace. It states truths about human nature that one would rather forget, and reminds one that being born human is the alltime crisis of every man.

One of the pressure points of that crisis is the family. The Carneys are a pride of Irish gutter lions. The father is a drunkard, a bully and a braggart. When...

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