If you’re going to write a play called ”Burn This,” as Lanford Wilson now has, Mr. In ”Burn This,” Mr. Malkovich makes a show of his dangerousness – an. It’s Lanford Wilson’s turn to be rediscovered. Like his great precursors, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, his dramatic reputation rests on a. Lanford Wilson’s “Burn This” explores the pain involved in both grieving and loving, but much of the play’s emotional tinder has gone up in.
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Set in the bohemian art world of downtown New York, this vivid and challenging drama explores the spiritual and emotional isolation of Anna and Pale, two outcasts who meet in the wake of the accidental death by drowning of a mutual Commissioned by the Circle Repertory Company, Burn This first appeared at the Mark Taper Forum in Los angeles in to near-universal praise. Set in the bohemian art world of downtown New York, this vivid and challenging drama explores the spiritual and emotional isolation of Anna and Pale, two outcasts who meet in the wake of the accidental death by drowning of a mutual friend.
Their determined struggle toward emotional honesty and liberation–by no means guaranteed at the play’s ambiguous end–exemplifies the strength, humor, and complexity of all of Lanford Wilson’s work and confirms his standing as one of America’s greatest living playwrights. A founding member of the Circle Repertory Company in New York, he has seen many of his plays produced in theaters all over the United States and abroad.
Paperback99 pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Burn Thisplease sign up. Lists with This Book. May 24, Tim Pinckney rated it it was amazing. Dec 16, Tim rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was a very fine play – just the kind of thing that I like to see – a realistic, taut, contemporary drama with comic elements and interesting characters. This begins shortly after the funeral of a character who does not appear on stage, but whose presence is felt throughout the play.
The main characters are the deceased’s roommate and best friend a womanlover, brother, and a screenwriter who is seeing the woman. Everybody is in a blue state at the beginning, and lanforx dead dancer’s brother This was a very fine play – just the kind of thing that I like to see – a realistic, taut, contemporary drama with comic elements burrn interesting characters.
Everybody is in a blue state at the beginning, and the dead dancer’s brother, named Pale, shows up drunk at their apartment. Despite htis horrible behavior or maybe because of it he ends up sleeping with Anna, who is distraught over her friend’s death and allows budn to feel some passion for his brother.
Larry, a witty gay man who lives in the apartment seems less upset even tho he has lost his lover. Burton also makes an appearance – an imaginative, trust-funded screenwriter, he goes off on brief picturesque rants about his writing ideas that I found quite entertaining. Pale shows up again on New Year’s Eve, drunk as can be.
There is a showdown wileon him and Burton, and Anna, interestingly enough, throws out her well-off boyfriend and spends the night with the drunken, passionate Pale. A spark has clearly been struck between the two, but Anna is unable to deal with it and shows him the door the next morning. There follows a surprise ending engineered by Larry, who seems to understand Anna’s heart a little better than she does.
There are some wonderful moments and lines.
The Dancer Upstairs
Wilson never overdoes it; the humor and passion are usually restrained enough to be both believable and interesting. The title comes from a speech of Lanfird Believe me, you can’t imagine a feeling everyone hasn’t had.
Make it personal, tell the truth, and then write ‘Burn this” on it. Jan 29, Bob rated it really liked it. Never thought much about this playwright but I can easily envision paying money to see this especially for its debut with John Malkovich as the somewhat emotionally complex but also thuggish Pale – plainly wlison opportunity unlikely to recur.
The opening stage directions say “the time is the present” but there’s a lot that is quite period-specific cocaine, Tribeca as wasteland for only brave artists and so on. Not really central to the play, but I enjoyed a speech he puts in the mouth of a c Never thought much about this playwright but I can easily envision paying money to see this especially ,anford its debut with John Malkovich as the somewhat emotionally complex but also thuggish Pale – plainly an opportunity unlikely to recur.
Not really central to the play, but I enjoyed a speech he puts in the mouth of a cynical character who is a film screen writer “There are no good movies. wilsonn
When a good movie happens, on a roll of the dice, once in five years, it’s like this total aberration, a freak of nature like the Grand Canyon, they’re ashamed thiss it. They can’t wait to remake it wilsson ten years and fuck it up the way it’s supposed to be. Dec 02, amy rated it it was amazing Shelves: We had a Romanian guy here that designed the set.
I had no idea he was paying attention at our rehearsals until he walked me to class one day and lectured me on how I was portraying Anna as a diva.
Burn This – Lanford Wilson
He was right; from that moment on, I viewed her differently which influenced the way I moved and delivered lines. I loved thid, memorizing, and working on this play.
It was such an emotional experience for me. Just thinking about it tugs at my heart strings. A must read for anyone who is passionate, has experienced loss, and has ever fallen in love with the wrong guy at the right time.
Aug 20, Agatha Donkar rated it it was amazing Shelves: My senior thesis show — uneven and heavily dependent on having an actor yhis can carry Pale who reads terribly on the page; his long speeches, which are completely spell-binding with a good actor, are awkward and hard to readbut with moments of utter transcendence.
Probably doesn’t deserve four stars, but holds a soft spot in my heart. Jan 25, Kate rated it it was amazing Shelves: But, I loved this. And the plot is simple, yet intriguing, and Larry, Burton and Pale are all interesting characters and they each have a clear sense of purpose in the development of the play. I I loved this. If I was compiling a wishlist of characters to play despite not at all being a serious actorAnna might top that list. Maybe I can convince a local theater class to use this play for a semester: Wilsoon 02, Patrick Grizzard rated it liked it.
But on the page, it felt a little flat.
Burn This – Variety
Overall, though, this play has aged well. It feels relevant to the lives of artists living and working in New York anytime in the wilsson 30 years hence the revival.
But there are also moments, lines of dialogue, vernacular styles – that evoke the downtown art scene in a way that was surely the epitome of cool inbut now feels a bit self-consciously try-hard. Aug 18, Ed Dougherty rated it it was amazing. What a great play. At first I thought, yes this is pretty good, but is it great? But the final two scenes, when Pale shows up and Burton is like oh no this guy, and then you come to understand what’s going on I don’t know, I had a lot of eloquent thoughts about this but I’ve forgotten them all.
But the fucked up relationship felt so real to me! May 08, Kara rated it it was amazing. Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. Mar 22, Kristina added it. Certainly struck a chord. Aug 17, Stuart rated it it was amazing. Poetic and witty, the dialogue is fast and furious and nails each of the four characters exsquisitely- from the first line you know who these people are, where they are, and why they are there.
No sequence feels wasted, no moment extraneous. It’s a lean text but a rich one, with much to mine for each actor in the piece, and an unsettling but satisfying ending that sells you on a relationship which, just as it is for heroine Anna, seems like it should be wrong, but feels utterly inevitable and deeply, satisfyingly right. I like this play. I was introduced to it in a yhis by Adrian Pasdar and it was hard to get a real sense of who the characters were from the snippits we read, so I wanted to read the whole thing wolson understand why he loves this play so much.
And it’s pretty good. The way Pale speaks is really awkward. I get that it’s stylized, but I can’t actualy imagine an actor reciting it as written It’s just hard to picture. Nov 29, Nick K rated it really liked it Shelves: I feel like Lanvord understood this play.
The internal struggle of lamford to feel alive and free yet wanting safety and companionship. Moving into comfort and routine vs passion and uncertainty. The pros and cons of both lifestyles kind of bleed together depending on the day or hour hell, even the moment. We are constantly evolving. And unless a person is evolving with us, they fall away. Aug 05, Valerie rated it liked it Recommends it for: I didn’t actually read this, Bjrn saw it performed at Shakespeare Santa Cruz.
I thought it was very good in places had some lovely linesbut I never really bought the lanforf between some of the characters. I’m not sure if that has to do with the play or the performance. Nov 14, Maria rated it it was ok Shelves: I think this play was probably really relevant 20 years ago.
But to my modern San Francisco sensibilities, it just seemed dated.