Theater: Lonesome Lovers

The Ballad of the Sad Café, adapted by Edward Albee from Carson McCullers' story, finds the playwright in the role of ventriloquist's dummy. In echoing another voice, Albee has temporarily lost his own. In misconceived fidelity, the playwright has subordinated the dramatic to the novella form. He has relinquished a shapely, abrasive precision of language for mistily inflated poeticizing. As a play-to-play progression, the effect is dismaying; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is to The Ballad of the Sad Café what an icicle is to its melted puddle.

Sad Café is a ballad...

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