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Playwrights Sheila Callaghan and Jason Grote recently saw the Undermain Theaters production of Jeffrey M. Joness play A Mans Best Friend, and they discussed the play in Sheilas Brooklyn kitchen.
Merdre! The audience at the premiere of Alfred Jarrys Ubu roi wouldnt let the performance get beyond its scatological opening word before a riot broke loose, making December 20, 1896 (the night the play premiered at the Théâtre de lOeuvre in Paris) the birth date of the theatrical avant-garde.
Candide, Voltaires classic satire skewering optimism in a corrupt world, is one of those dark, wild, and politically savvy rides thatperhaps due to our, well, overly optimistic faith in progresswe dont expect to find in the dusty tracts of history.