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January 22 , 2010

Joy Ride: Show People and Their Shows


A collection of John Lahr’s New Yorker profiles and reviews that are “the nearest we get to modern theatre history” (The Spectator).

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Joy Ride throws open the stage door and introduces readers to such makers of contemporary drama as Arthur Miller, Tony Kushner, Wallace Shawn, Harold Pinter, David Rabe, David Mamet, Mike Nichols, and August Wilson. Lahr takes us to the cabin in the woods that Arthur Miller built in order to write Death of a Salesman; we walk with August Wilson through the Pittsburgh ghetto where we encounter the inspiration for his great cycle; we sit with Ingmar Bergman at the Kunglinga Theatre in Stockholm, where he attended his first play; we visit with Harold Pinter at his London home and learn the source of the feisty David Mamet’s legendary ear for dialogue.

In its juxtaposition of biographical detail and critical analysis, Joy Ride explores with insight and panache not only the lives of the theatricals but the liveliness of the stage worlds they have created.

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