THEATER: PLAYS: STILL THE THING

IN THE AGE OF MOVIES AND TV, THREE DRAMAS OPT FOR THAT EVER ELUSIVE QUALITY--STAGE PRESENCE

Have the movies and TV spoiled us for theater? Splashy Broadway musicals still provide an experience that can't be duplicated on the screen. But straight plays these days too often seem like sitcom episodes padded out for an entire evening or like rough drafts for the Hollywood movies that will (if a play runs) surely follow. The surprise is that so many talented American playwrights--most of whom make their real money churning out screenplays--keep coming back to the stage, proving that theater can still, on those occasions when the stars and stage lights align, provide a magical experience.

Psychopathia Sexualis, the...

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