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Hurt, serving salad from a Lucite bowl "big enough to take a bath in," delivers a wonderfully demented aria about the secret life of plants and vegetables, and eventually indulges in a one-sided food fight that recalls Ms. That's where her spineless son, Royal Jack Gilpin , has deposited her while he goes about his busy career teaching at Columbia. One other difference between the plays is worth noting.

DeMunn, reduced to begging a job from the director who may have cuckolded him, offers an affecting portrait of a drowning man, and his brief visitations to Leonard's long-ago stage triumphs in "Richard II" and "Cyrano" leave a surprisingly deep aftertaste.

Tina Howe's 'Chasing Manet' is no Broadway masterpiece

Kerwin, whose slightly bloated and spoiled Hollywood bearishness is just right, turn a routine extramarital groping into low farce. Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the main story Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box. The always classy Alexander has a distinguished career that stretches from stage and film to the NEA.

Dinah, who keeps popping manically in and out of her bedroom closet in search of the mode juste, is, as her husband puts it, "one of life's ironies, the costume designer who can't dress herself.

Free Performance by M&M Productions of 'PAINTING CHURCHES' at the Somers Library

The play deals sensitively with a mother's need to release herself from a most difficult marital dilemma. View all New York Times newsletters. See next articles. You will receive emails containing news content , updates and promotions from The New York Times.

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You are already subscribed to this email. Greenberg's satiric comedy studies a New York circle in which, as the playwright suggests, writers pursue ''new pieties'' along with large advances and movie sales.


You may opt-out at any time. Gerroll is as light a heavy as possible as the self-important editor in chief of a house darkly named Raven Books. Sterile marriages, bankrupt friendships, empty bank accounts, vanished children, grotesque highway accidents, kitchen fiascos, bad weather and show-biz chicanery are just some of the calamities facing her characters and their dinner party.

Each year there are discoveries. An innovation at this week's awards ceremony was the reading of a scene from each of the two prize-winning plays. In 1997, she used "old lady rage" her term to propel "Pride's Crossing," a drama about a 90-year-old woman wading through memories. In her spotty new play, "Chasing Manet," that same sort of fury fuels the story of an octogenarian facing her future.

Review/Theater; Combine Characters, Toss Madly And Serve

Though there is some similarity in the territory in ''The Common Pursuit'' and ''The Maderati'' - especially in terms of internecine competitiveness and jealousy - the plays are widely disparate in their points of view and authorial approach. Jennifer Tilly Tate. View all New York Times newsletters.