2 thoughts on “more kushner

  1. Yeah, but the second scene is like a fluffy companion piece to the first – with the exception of the final long monologue I don’t get anything out of it. I saw the ‘Only We’ material at the ART sometime last academic year, and it was interesting (and much better than the Globe said it was), but frustrating. I mean, Laura Bush doesn’t really get to score a lot of points in that exchange – she’s basically put through the wringer by the Angel (never mind whether the Angel is a somewhat, um, manipulative device), and Kushner grants her only the solace of being Nice, Thoughtful, but Wrong. (But she stands by her convictions!)

    Which frustrates me because by the end I felt like Kushner wanted to provide a stand-in for debate by giving a thoughtful, human Enemy for the audience to pity and wonder at, but he doesn’t seem interested in the possibility that maybe, just maybe, She’s Right and He’s Wrong. (Oooh all these capital letters!) I’m not trying to take that position, nor would I claim it’s his responsibility to offer a moral outlook for discussion that he finds totally reprehensible, but from a work touted as nuanced and thought-provoking I’d like at least the possibility of making up my own mind…

    But but but I know those are unfair expectations to hold. It’s just a play. Just a work of art.

    Perhaps I’d have been more moved if a single person in the audience had appeared, from the question/answer session that followed the performance, to change his or her mind about even a single miniscule thing. But the questions and panel discussion (including the ART’s head Dramaturg [sic?], Laura Ingraham’s [sic?] producer, and a Dostoyevsky [sic?] professor) were a festival of middle-aged liberalism punctuated by splashes of angry conservatism. Still: I don’t mean to judge the work by its reception. But it’s fair to ask why Kushner does what he does, and to judge the work at least in part on the basis of its place in the world…

  2. Kushner talks a big game about changing the world through his art, and this work is pretty sniping to be sure. It lacks the beauty of Angels in America, that sort of theatrical grace.

    I don’t know about the author’s duty to do justice to those things that he/she opposes. I’m certainly not in favor of setting up straw women just in order to kick them in the teeth.

    I think one of the more refreshing things about Kushner’s more overtly political works is that they lack the kind of nuance we want in our lives, the live and let live, and the nice-nice. But I haven’t read everything of his (O for more time!) yet.

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