1st Edition

Terrence McNally A Casebook

Edited By Toby Silverman Zinman Copyright 1997
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    210 Pages
    by Routledge

    This collection of essays and interviews is the first book about the drama of American playwright Terrence McNally; it examines his career to date (30-plus years), focusing particularly on the two plays for which McNally won Tony Awards for Best Play of 1995, Love! Valour! Compassion!, and Best Play of 1996, Master Class.
    Toby Zinman, a distinguished scholar and critic, has invited none respected authorities to write about McNally's work, and has included records of the long conversations she had with the playwright about his work, his love of opera, his ideas about acting and education, and life in general. Also included are two interviews she conducted with two of his leading actors: one with the legendary Zoe Caldwell, who played the even more legendary Maria Callas in Master Class, a performance that earned her the Tony Award for Best Actress in 1996, a role McNally wrote for her, and another with the great American comic actor, Nathan Lane, whom McNally considers his foremost interpreter.
    The collection moves chronologically, beginning with Howard Stein's essay on the promise of the plays of the first decade, through to Cary Mazer's essay on the diva in Master Class , a play about Maria Callas' master classes at Juilliard; that essay is preceded by an essay on those famous master classes by John Ardoin, the world's foremost authority on Maria Callas.
    In between there are two essays debating McNally's position as a gay playwright, one by John Clum and one by Steven Drukman, both centering on the firestorm of controversy generated by Love! Valour! Compassion! In addition, there is an essay on The Lisbon Traviata by Sam Abel which discusses the play's much-revised conclusion (to murder or not to murder) and another on McNally's screenplays of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and The Ritz, by Helen Buttel, a film critic. This is followed by Stephen Watt's examination of McNally as a postmodernist, using Lips Together, Teeth Apart as his focus, and Benilde Montgomery's essay on Indian myth as it informs McNally's play (soon to be a film) A Perfect Ganesh
    The volume also includes in its introduction the latest information on McNally's newest projects, an extensive bibliography, and a chronology of the playwright's career.

    Chapter 1 Interview with Terrence McNally, Toby Silverman Zinman; Chapter 2 The Early Plays of Terrence McNally, Howard Stein; Chapter 3 Uneasy Transitions: Reassessing The Lisbon Traviata and Its Critics, Sam Abel; Chapter 4 Lips Together, Teeth Apart : Bodies in Search of a Dramatic Form, Stephen Watt; Chapter 5 McNally’s Films of His Broadway Plays, Helen T. Buttel; Chapter 6 Interview with Nathan Lane, Toby Silverman Zinman; Chapter 7 Where We Are Now: Love! Valour! Compassion! and Contemporary Gay Drama, John M. Clum; Chapter 8 You Got to Have Friends: Gay Reception of Love! Valour! Compassion!, Steven Drukman; Chapter 9 A Perfect Ganesh: McNally’s Carnival in India, Benilde Montgomery; Chapter 10 Terrence McNally on Master Class, Toby Silverman Zinman; Chapter 11 Interview with Zoe Caldwell, Toby Silverman Zinman; Chapter 12 Callas and the Juilliard Master Classes, John Ardoin; Chapter 13 Master Class and the Paradox of the Diva, Cary M. Mazer;


    Toby Silverman Zinman