“Gifted young playwright Christopher Durang is offering one of the best plays of the season with his brief, complex comedy on parenthood.” Richard Christiansen, Los Angeles Times
Laughing Wild and Baby with the Bathwater
978-0-8021-3130-0 • $14.95 • Paperback • June 1989
“Laughing wild amid severest woe” perfectly describes the fiercely ironic comedy of Christopher Durang’s Laughing Wild (which takes its title from this Thomas Gray quotation via Samuel Beckett) and the previously unpublished Baby with the Bathwater. In Laughing Wild, two comic monologues evolve into a man and a woman’s shared nightmare of modern life and the isolation it creates. From her turf battles at the supermarket to the desperate clichés of self-affirmation he learns at his “personality workshop,” they run the gamut of everyday life’s small brutalizations until they meet, with disastrous inevitability, at the Harmonic Convergence in Central Park.
Daisy, of Baby with the Bathwater, struggles with a singular problem—his parents, too polite to discuss sex, assumed at his birth he was the girl they’d always wanted. Eleven years of wearing dresses did very little for his self-image, but Durang turns his search for identity into a wild allegory of society’s willful blindness toward almost any disturbing truth. And amid all these woes, Durang leaves us laughing wildly—and thoughtfully.