THEATER: THE KINDNESS OF FOREIGNERS

IN LONDON, THREE POSTWAR AMERICAN CLASSICS ARE ENJOYING DEFT, INCISIVE--AND RESPECTFUL--REVIVALS

As an associate director at the Royal Shakespeare Company back in the early '80s, Howard Davies earned his stripes by staging such Bard classics as Macbeth and Troilus and Cressida, along with occasional modernist ventures like Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Good. But whenever he suggested doing the work of American playwrights like Tennessee Williams, he was out of luck. "Nobody wanted to revive them," says Davies. "I was banging on doors, and no one was interested."

How times have changed. While theatergoers on this side of the Atlantic still lament that Broadway is overdependent on British imports, London seems to be...

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