Theater: The Guillotine Complex

Poor Bitos, by Jean Anouilh. A game played for real is either war or murder. In France, the game of politics is a visceral sport. Poor Bitos hinges on this sport, but American playgoers may respond more to its fascinating intellectuality than to its somewhat alien passions.

Anouilh puts his characters into wigs, and they traverse the centuries back to the French Terror of 1793. The play begins ten years after the end of World War II. Maxime (Charles D. Gray), a rich aristocratic rightist, decides to hold a wig party in a Gothic catacomb of a cellar. All his guests are...

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