Complain all you want about Tony Kushner’s latest play. ‘Yes, it’s disorderly, rambling, frequently unconvincing and ultimately frustrating. Heck, even the title — “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures” — is unwieldy. But I walked into New York’s Public Theater, where the play opened Thursday, genuinely excited to find out what was on the author’s mind and left with enough food for thought to last a theatrical winter.
Not many American playwrights provoke such a keen sense of intellectual anticipation. (Or apparently as much unwarranted controversy, as witnessed by the recent City University of New York decision not to award Kushner an honorary degree because of comments he made about Israel.) More often than not we go to the theater to feel rather than to think. We’re gluttons for sentiment, ascetics when it comes to debate.
Kushner, however, has a patented gift for sweeping political and cultural synthesis (“Angels in America”), geopolitical prescience (“Homebody/Kabul)” and ardent historical reflection (“Caroline, or Change”). I attended this New York premiere, directed by Michael Greif, with the same edge-of-the-seat interest of a sporting fan about to watch formidable rivals square off — except that the rivals in this case, I knew, would be hotly contested ideas in a game in which victory and defeat wouldn’t be so easy to sort out.
It was a little disorienting at first to find the action of “Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide” set in territory more familiar to Arthur Miller than Kushner. The dominant locale is a brownstone in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, one of those spacious family-owned houses that investment bankers and blue-chip lawyers are always on the look-out to remodel in their lust for luxurious gentrification. (Remember the residence in the film “Moonstruck”? Similar type, only a couple of neighborhoods away and a few bus stops from the Red Hook of “A View From the Bridge.”)
Complete article at LA Times : http://lat.ms/ljqdcG