Download Anglo-American Interplay in Recent Drama by Ruby Cohn PDF

By Ruby Cohn

The inspiration of a modern cross-cultural trade in the medium of theater is the following imposed on a dozen modern Anglo-American dramatists: Alan Ayckbourn and Neil Simon, Edward Bond and Sam Shepard, David Mamet and Harold Pinter, Caryl Churchill and Maria Irene Forn?s, David Hare and David Rabe, Christopher Hampton and Richard Nelson. In every one pairing, Ruby Cohn unites a British with an American playwright, exploring similarities that function a springboard for the publicity of a extra profound, culturally-based distinction.

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In spite of a brilliant evocation of 1960s sordid sensuality, teeming with "miscellaneous debris," rock songs, guitar and drums, cowboy pictures, French literary references, and a dead crow "old black tooth," the cowboy and the rock-star myths do not quite mesh in Cowboy Mouth. , American Dreams, p. 198). "What it means" is dramatized in a tense duel between two musical artists. The reigning rock star Hoss is challenged by an upstart Crow. Hoss is at once a blocked composer and the tool of the media, but the punk rocker Crow is new on Shepard's stage.

The Referee declares a draw. In round 3 Crow sneers in rhyme that Hoss's music is obsolete, imitative, impotent. As Jeanette Malkin aptly summarizes: "It is the effect of Crow's attack, not its essence, which counts: and the effect is to force Hoss's deviation from the 'neutral field state'" {Verbal Violence, p. 217). When the Ref calls a TKO, he is shot by the decidedly unneutral Hoss. " Crow has something to crow about, but Hoss cannot adopt Crow's style: "Pitiless. Indifferent and riding a state of grace.

Bella runs away, but she returns to her Yonkers home when her swain cannot bring himself to leave his parents. Eddie returns to Yonkers to reclaim his sons, while lawless Louie enlists in the Pacific War. A final victory belongs to Bella, who calmly informs her mother that she would like to invite a girlfriend to dinner, and the friend has a brother. Simon's characters resemble other American prototypes - the harsh matriarch of Hellman's Little Foxes, the loving braindamaged women of Shepard's A Lie of the Mind, the good-hearted gangster of Grade-B movies, the vivacious boys of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn - but Simon's material is invested with a feeling of lived experience.

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