THEATER: True Minds That Don't Meet A.R.

Gurney's tribute to John Cheever misses the elegant pain

In his 1968 Journal, John Cheever wrote, "I dream a movie in full color. It begins on a deceptively decorous note and then moves gradually into a bloody Bedouin war. The audience is rapt until the Bedouins leave the screen and behead all those in the front row. 'Why, it's real!' the survivors scream as they run into the street."

Take that dream down a couple of notches, and you have the desired effect of A Cheever Evening, a series of sketches fashioned from Cheever stories by A.R. Gurney, now at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. It begins with cocktail...

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