The Theater: Black Farce

THE WALTZ OF THE TOREADORS

by JEAN ANOUILH

In this play, first seen in New York in 1957, Jean Anouilh caricatures the romantic attitudes that get men betrayed. It is a black farce with a bitter personal tang, an overprotesting cynicism, a disillusionment so dark as to suggest illusions once far too rosy.

Unfailingly attired in his uniform, General St. Pé (Eli Wallach) faces advancing middle age as if it were a court-martial. He is chained to a vixenish wife (Anne Jackson) who spews venom at him and pretends to be a dying invalid. In his high-romantic...

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