THEATER: THE ARTIST GETS GRILLED

OSCAR WILDE'S COURTROOM HUMILIATION IS RECOUNTED IN A COMPELLING OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

Even today, in an age that has raised public humiliation to an art form, the downfall of Oscar Wilde is still shocking. He was one of Britain's leading playwrights, wits and public figures of the 1890s. But after his homosexuality was exposed in three scandalous public trials, he wound up disgraced, impoverished, imprisoned and, a few years later, dead. O.J. Simpson just has a little more trouble finding foursomes.

In Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde--a surprise success way-off-Broadway that has just moved to larger quarters--playwright and director Moises Kaufman has dramatized that fall with the sort of rapier...

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