The Theater: Exit a Simple Soul

THE BASIC TRAINING OF PAVLO HUMMEL by DAVID RABE

The harsh irony of war is that it makes men and kills boys. In The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, the first play in David Rabe's Viet Nam trilogy, the playwright concentrates on the death of a boy who has scarcely formed any notion of what living might be about. Now that the Viet Nam War is over and shamelessly and shamefully forgotten, the stress of the play has been shifted by history from outrage to pathos.

Pavlo Hummel (Al Pacino) is a simple soul, human kelp roiled by the shark fins of combat. He wants...

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