The voice, normally tinged with complaint or suspicion, softens and slows into an almost hypnotic purr; the eyes gleam with youthful excitement and vivid pain as she recalls the highs and lows. Lavin invests the words with a piercing truth. Among the best jokes is a gag about The New Yorker magazine.
She could profitably blend in a few more suggestions of the canny operator beneath the surface ingenuousness, however, particularly in the second act. Although the roles are roughly equal, the balance of sympathy will always favor Ruth, who dominates the play with her bone-dry humor and aggrieved dignity.
Lavin, who has played the role twice onstage and has also filmed it for PBS, knows this woman down to her fingertips.
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View all New York Times newsletters. The great Uta Hagen, who played Ruth in the Off Broadway production, was perhaps more ferocious and emotionally raw. Underneath her burning righteousness Ms.
Lavin makes clear how great is the emotional cost Ruth will pay for it. By the end of the scene she is shaken and spent, a collapsed shell of the crisp, commanding figure we met when the play began. The moral high ground can be lonely terrain. Presented by the Manhattan Theater Club, Ms.
Meadow, artistic director; Barry Grove, executive producer. At the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, West 47th Street, Manhattan; Through June Running time: 2 hours. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles.
Collected Stories (Play) Plot & Characters | StageAgent
Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the main story Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box. Invalid email address. But that's not quite right, because like all great literature, they are life. Her strange voices linger in the mind. Part of the pleasure of reading Williams is you have no idea what's coming next. Don't fret. These marvelous stories do have a beginning, middle and an end—just not necessarily in that order. For any writer, an omnibus collection is a triumph.
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To see years of Ms. There are no first sentences full of orienting details, no dramatic dialogue, no neat epiphanies in a story's final lines.
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A concluding sentence is more likely to open up a story than to resolve it. The experience is often unsettling, but her mini-roller-coasters offer a hell of a ride.
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- The Collected Stories of Diane Williams;
- Collected Stories;
And there is something equally wonderful about the dissonance between the sheer size of the megalithic [The] Collected Stories of Diane Williams and the conciseness of the perplexing, beautiful texts within. I have always been drawn to books that can be opened at random and still provide a full reading experience.
This volume is that and more. You don't have to read all three hundred and five stories to get the point Though you should. Williams can do more with two sentences than most writers can do with two hundred pages. Readers who love the arresting phrase, the surprising word, will gravitate to her.