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Broadway Melody of 1975

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Lost in the praise is a real flaw in Norris’s work, an unhelpful sense that he’s straining for allegory. The focal character’s brother is too conveniently Republican, his girlfriend too handily Russian, an innocent bystander too tidily Arabic. It is certainly the case that well-to-do lefty narcissism can make people insufferable (and co-exist with decadent behavior), but I wouldn’t name it as the source of the woes visited upon innocent hardworking immigrants or the developing world, which seems to be Norris’s reductive view. He’d have a better play without the reach: The suffering his characters visit on their nearest relations is satisfying enough.

A Chorus Line
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

Nixon’s Nixon
By Russell Lees. Lucille Lortel Theatre. Through October 28.

The Pain and the Itch
By Bruce Norris. Plawrights Horizons/Mainstage Theater. Through October 15.


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