We get not only the female orgasm (a given, in light of the subtitle) but childbirth, lactation, lesbianism, the discontent Betty Friedan called the feminine mystique, the loss of children, the way medicine approaches the female body, and the contents and discontents of heterosexual intercourse. And thrown in for good measure are many aspects of the social relations of men and women. The whole discourse is carefully disguised as a drawing-room comedy shot through, particularly at the end, with Marquezian magical realism.
Posts Tagged ‘Lorraine Hansberry’
We can all agree that the conclusions of Beneatha’s Place, both dramatic and thematic, make the play as a whole a satisfying contrast with Clybourne Park, if not yet its equal. The jury is still out on this coupling, however. I predict much greater success for it if Kwei-Armah, a man who seems incredibly busy on two continents, can find the time to work the kinks out his half of the pair. Paradoxically, the less slavish his adherence to Norris’s template, the greater the likelihood his play will be invited along on Clybourne Park’s victory lap.
To the audiences thronging recent New York productions of The Common Pursuit and Clybourne Park, any effort by the playwrights to make a “just distribution of good and evil” would surely have seemed both unpalatable and dishonest. And the revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man [sic] shows the dangers of labeling choices and characters too confidently.