Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Stranger

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Stranger

Article excerpt

Playwright Craig Lucas spins a flawed but provocative tale of rage and revenge By Don Shewey

Stranger * Written by Craig Lucas * Directed by Mark Brokaw * Starring David Strathairn and Kyra Sedgwick * Vineyard Theater, New York City (until November 19)

The playwright Craig Lucas is no stranger to philosophical exploration. His plays have always examined deeply human questions about identity (Reckless), loss (Blue Window), and love (Prelude to a Kiss). But he's usually been sneaky and seductive about it, writing plays with cheerful comic veneers that mask many layers of psychological insight and social commentary. With Lucas's writing you're surprised at the end that so many tender parts of your heart have been touched, because there were so many laughs along the way. This was true even of his screenplay for the landmark AIDS film Longtime Companion, directed by Norman Rene, who collaborated with Lucas on all of his plays and films until his untimely death in 1996.

In recent years Lucas's writing has taken a darker turn, as if the playwright could no longer pretend not to be devastated by the losses of lovers and friends to AIDS. (His 1995 column for The Advocate titled "Postcard From Grief" stands as one of the most powerful expressions of that devastation in our literature.) How love survives after death was the subject of both God's Heart and The Dying Gaul, with the latter play delving honestly into the rage that inevitably accompanies deep grieving. …

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