Thursday, December 25, 2008

RIP Harold Pinter (1930 - 2008)

RIP Harold Pinter (1930 - 2008)

After a long battle with cancer, British playwright and director Harold Pinter died yesterday.

Nominated four times for the Tony Award and winning for 1967's searing, enigmatic The Homecoming , Pinter also was named a Nobel Prize Laureate in 2005 for his body of work and his mastery of the pause. Seven of his plays were produced on Broadway, beginning with 1961's The Caretaker -- a show that's since been revived twice on the Main Stem.

While I was completely repulsed by The Homecoming, I admit to being shaken to my core by the play when I finally caught the Great White Way revival earlier this year. The Homecoming essentially haunted my thoughts and dreams for over two weeks, burrowing deep into my soul. Perhaps that's the mark of an excellent playwright.

My personal favorite Pinter work is the non-linear Betrayal. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed the recent 2007 Steppenwolf revival starring an absolutely brilliant, slow-burning Tracy Letts (yes, that Pulitzer Prize-winning Tracy Letts) opposite a pitch-perfect Amy Morton as married couple Robert and Emma, whose relationship is come undone thanks to her affair with his best friend Jerry (a sharp Ian Barford).

Will there be renewed interest in resurrecting other Pinter works now that he's gone? Given the spate of recent mountings to reexamine his genius in his native United Kingdom, expect more of the same stateside. Not only will Pinter's works live on, but so will his name, which was forever immortalized in Stephen Sondheim's lyrics to "Ladies Who Lunch" from 1970's Company.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 25 December, 2008, Blogger gay CME guy said...

How sad. Betrayal is one of the performances that made me a fan of Amy Morton. I love her and Tracy playing against each other. They have such great chemistry with each other.


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