What is clear, is that all of the plays in this new collection by Kushner are poetic masterpieces. An exploration in form and style, from comedy to farce to what can easily be called hip-hop theatre, Kushner makes each style his own, writing with the mind of a great social reformer and the heart of a poet. This collection is proof that his masterwork, Angels in America was just the beginning.
Reverse Transcription: Six Playwrights Bury a Seventh
Hydriotaphia or The Death of Doctor Browne
G. David Schine in Hell
Notes on Akiba
Terminating or Sonnet LXXV
East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis
Based on a true story that stunned the world, M. Butterfly opens in the cramped prison cell where diplomat Rene Gallimard is being held captive by the French government—and by his own illusions. In the darkness of his cell he recalls a time when desire seemed to give him wings. A time when Song Liling, the beautiful Chinese diva, touched him with a love as vivid, as seductive—and as elusive—as a butterfly.
How could he have known, then, that his ideal woman was, in fact, a spy for the Chinese government—and a man disguised as a woman? In a series of flashbacks, the diplomat relives the twenty-year affair from the temptation to the seduction, from its consummation to the scandal that ultimately consumed them both. But in the end, there remains only one truth: Whether or not Gallimard's passion was a flight of fancy, it sparked the most vigorous emotions of his life.
Only in real life could love become so unreal. And only in such a dramatic tour de force do we learn how a fantasy can become a man's mistress—as well as his jailer. M. Butterfly is one of the most compelling, explosive, and slyly humorous dramas ever to light the Broadway stage, a work of unrivaled brilliance, illuminating the conflict between men and women, the differences between East and West, racial stereotypes—and the shadows we cast around our most cherished illusions.
M. Butterfly remains one of the most influential romantic plays of contemporary literature, and in 1993 was made into a film by David Cronenberg starring Jeremy Irons and John Lone.
Louisiana, 1963: A nation reeling from the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement and the Kennedy assassination. Caroline, a black maid, and Noah, the son of the Jewish family she works for, struggle to find an identity for their friendship. Through their intimate story, this beautiful new musical portrays the changing rhythms of a nation. Tony Kushner and composer Jeanine Tesori have created a story that addresses contemporary questions of culture, community, race and class through the lens and musical pulse of the 1960s.
Tony Kushner is best known for the two-part masterwork, Angels in America, recently produced by HBO as a six-hour television event, directed by Mike Nichols to universal acclaim. His other plays include Homebody/Kabul, A Bright Room Called Day and Slavs!; as well as adaptations of Corneille’s The Illusion, Ansky’s The Dybbuk, Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechuan and Goethe’s Stella. Current projects include: Henry Box Brown or The Mirror of Slavery and St. Cecilia or The Power of Music. He recently collaborated with Maurice Sendak on an American version of the children’s opera, Brundibar. He grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and he lives in New York.
Jeanine Tesori wrote the score for Thoroughly Modern Millie, which won the 2002 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical and the multiple-award-winning Violet.