So what are your special-memory plays? Do write in with your witty reminiscences.
OK, I'll go. The Music Man and Damn Yankees, because I saw them in Anaheim when I was 10 and couldn't believe that real live actors could strut across a (circular) stage so colorfully — and lie and flirt and be naughty, all while I was seated right next to my parents.
Romeo and Juliet, because I took a lot of crap from other jocks for liking it when I was 14, and because I had a crush on my English teacher (so I imagined her sort of being like Juliet when she's all standoffish at the Capulets' ball), and because I had no idea what they were talking about, but I could tell it had to do with a teenage girl really, really liking a boy, and I wanted some girl (frankly, any girl -- I was hormonal and rather desperate) to really, really like me.
[See also this brilliant idea for a play, in which the Nature Theater of Oklahoma asks people for their (partial, completely wrong) memories of R&J and then turned them into a play.
We could totally imitate them: Everybody's forced to read Julius Caesar, or Hamlet, or A Midsummer Night's Dream. Anybody want to join my interview squad? We pick a play or musical, then tape the responses, then put on a show. C'mon, kids, get out your tape recorders...]
The plays of Christopher Durang, especially Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You and The Marriage of Bette and Boo, because clearly he and I shared the guilty Catholic schoolboy thing, and because he blended touching sentiment with rage against these mediocrities that we settle for.
And Tom Stoppard, because in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and The Real Inspector Hound, he took literary monuments and twisted them inside-out in ways that taught me more about them while still making me giggle with surprise.
OK, so again: Your memories of stand-out plays?
[ photo: Paula Vogel, who teaches playwriting at Yale, wrote the introduction for this book, mentors young playwrights, and has written a few plays herself; from broadwayworld.com ]