Theater: The Designated Mourner

By Wallace Shawn

Only 30 people a night can see this three-hour play, being performed for 10 weeks in a decrepit former men's club near Wall Street. You climb three flights of stairs to find the stage, where Shawn (one of three actors) and director Andre Gregory greet you; after an intermission (snacks provided) you climb another flight for the second act. This too-New-York-for-words theater happening is actually less pretentious than one might fear, and the play--a series of monologues set in a totalitarian society where intellectuals have fallen victim to the masses--nicely combines Pinterian menace with caustic political commentary. Maybe someday the masses...

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