Theater: Scraping Away the Sentiment OUR TOWN

by Thornton Wilder

Of the plays that tower over American drama -- Thornton Wilder's Our Town, Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night -- Our Town is at once the most universally familiar and the most widely misunderstood. Audiences tend to recall Wilder's glimpse of small-town, turn-of-the-century New Hampshire as sweet, sentimental, nostalgic and funny. It was all those things. But it was also -- and remains, 50 years after its first public performances in January 1938 -- groundbreakingly unconventional in form and chafingly unsettling in its view of human nature. More...

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