(Feingold's article appeared in the Village Voice, 2/23.)

Crowley's The Boys in the Band and Shepard's A Lie of the Mind Still Look Fresh

I never understand complaints about plays being "dated." Naturally, all plays that weren't written yesterday are dated: Their diction, their costumes, their stage conventions, and their mores all belong to the time when they were conceived. That's what makes them interesting: the excitement of comparing their view of the world with ours, of seeing how well their sense of humanity still holds up, or doesn't, despite all the obstacles time has piled in between.

Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band is approaching its 41st birthday; Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind premiered 25 years ago. Though both are "dated," neither feels old-hat: The flaws perceivable in them now are the same ones noted when they were born. And thanks to largely effective productions, the life in both seems fresh, a vivid picture of Then that tells us, by comparison, a lot about Now.


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