Michael Phillips, formerly theater critic for the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune (and a bunch of other papers before that) and presently film critic for the Trib in Chi, told me three weeks ago in Pasadena that *August: Osage County* by Tracy Letts (*Bug*) is "just the sort of play that tends to win the Pulitzer." And the man's words carry some weight: He was on the Pulitzer jury three times, chairing it once.
*Osage* is a three-hour examination of a dysfunctional Oklahoma family whose patriarch has gone missing. Terry Teachout in the WSJ called its entire first act a pretentious piece of exposition that could and should have been cut.
One of Bobo's L.A. writing instructors: Charles McNulty of the L.A. Times, formerly of the Village Voice; really insightful and meticulous; chaired the Pulitzer committee this year (I remember his saying that David Lindsay-Abaire was one of the five). He brushed off my oh-so-clever question about revealing this year's winner, but did say that there was "quite a bit of divergence of opinion" among the five jurors this year. Hmmm ...
Other stuff Bobo wants to read. (Can he borrow your copies?)
Conor MacPherson, The Seafarer -- guys get drunk on Christmas Eve; since it turns into a Faustian bargain, can you guess the identity of the bad guy?
Christopher Shinn, Dying City -- the twin brother of an Iraq war widow's dead husband shows up, unannounced, at her door; two actors play three roles
Sarah Ruhl, Eurydice -- an elevator with rain is the only way to travel to and from the underworld; a retelling of the Orpheus myth, only this time Eurydice isn't so sure she's like to return with him -- she might prefer staying with her dead father instead. Inspired in part by the death of Ruhl's own father from cancer.
David Harrower, Blackbird -- Ray sexually abused Una when he was 40 and she was 12; 15 years later, they meet again (Edinburgh Fringe, Aug 05; London's Albery Theatre, Feb 06; Manhattan Theater Club, April 07)
Charles Busch, Our Leading Lady -- about the actress who was onstage the night JWB assassinated AL at Ford's Theater
John Patrick Shanley, Defiance -- part 2 of the trilogy that began with Doubt: now we're at Camp Lejeune in N.C. in 1971 -- racial tension during the Vietnam War
Caryl Churchill, A Number -- What if you found out you'd been cloned and there were more of you? (opened at the Royal Court in Oct.)