The Theater: Pinter Patter

DUCK VARIATIONS and SEXUAL PERVERSITY IN CHICAGO by DAVID MAMET

For the past few seasons the Theater of the Absurd has seemed like an endangered dramatic species. Purebred examples of the genre, with their vaudevillian non sequiturs, wryly autumnal philosophizing about existence and wackily disconcerting knee-jerk humor, have become rare. In part, audiences have adjusted to the metaphysical void that permeates absurdist drama, the absence of meaning and purpose that so puzzled and infuriated them when the early Pinter plays appeared.

In Duck Variations, a bright young playwright, David Mamet, 28, displays the Pinter...

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