The Theater: Kook in a Candy Store

THE SECRET AFFAIRS OF MILDRED WILD

by PAUL ZINDEL

The role of the kook in American drama is rather like that of the circus freak. He or she represents nature gone awry, a creature of bizarre habits, obsessive appetites, crazy compulsions. The kook has no claim on our common humanity unless he can be made endearing in some way as, for example, Elwood P. Dowd was through his affection for his invisible companion, the 6-ft. rabbit, Harvey.

The kook should not be confused with the person who has become strange through violations of the heart or the cruelty of others, the kind...

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