(Joshua Barone’s article appeared in The New York Times, 7/31; via Pam Green.)
Sam Shepard, who died last Thursday at age 73, was a polymathic writer who collected acclaim and accolades as a playwright, actor and author. The New York Times has covered Mr. Shepard’s career since the mid-1960s. Below are highlights from our reviews.
“Buried Child” (1978) won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and remains Mr. Shepard’s best-known work. It arrived on Broadway in 1996 and has been revived many times since — the most recent staging, by the New Group Off Broadway in 2016, starred Ed Harris. Richard Eder reviewed the premiere, at the small Theater for the New City downtown:
Sam Shepard does not merely denounce chaos and anomie in American life, he mourns over them. His corrosive images and scenes of absurdity never soften to concede the presence of a lament, but it is there all the same.
Denunciation that has no pity in it is pamphleteering at best and a striking of fashionable attitudes at worst, and it is fairly common on the contemporary stage. Mr. Shepard is an uncommon playwright and uncommonly gifted and he does not take denouncing for granted. He wrestles with it at the risk of being thrown.
Mr. Harris also starred in the New York premiere of “Fool for Love,” in 1983. Here is what Frank Rich had to say:
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