Sep 30, 2011

Music in Its Bones

photo of the Steppenwolf production of The Hot l Baltimore by Michael Brosilow

Isaac Butler kindly asked me to contribute to his blog's awesome Lanford Wilson "issue," and I turned in a consideration of my favorite of his plays, The Hot l Baltimore, which I saw in a marvelous production at the Little Victory Theatre in Burbank in 1996 (I can't find my review, but Phil Brandes' gives an idea), and which Steppenwolf recently staged to mixed acclaim, in a Tina Landau production that seemed to highlight, or make explicit, the thing I took away from a rereading: that Hot L is a piece of music as much as a play. Yes, it's said of a lot of plays that they're "musical," but really—this one has music in its structural bones as well as in its multi-voiced dialogue. The whole post is here. I also recommend 99's look at the Talley trilogy.

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