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Apple Pie

Apple Pie
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Terrence McNally
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 62
Pub. Date: 1969
ISBN-10: 0822200619
ISBN-13: 9780822200611

About the Play:

The volume Apple Pie is the collective title for three one-act comedies by Terrence McNally. An evening of three one-act plays that touches on the headline issues of overseas travel, the draft system and the Vietnam War. Tour and Next and Botticelli are a trio of biting, satirical, but always amusing vignettes, that comprises an imaginative and telling comment on contemporary society. The plays may be presented separately, but omnibus title Apple Pie can only be used if they are performed together as an evening of entertainment.

In Tour, we encounter an American couple being chauffeured through Italy, imagining themselves to be ambassadors of goodwill despite their fatuous, patronizing chatter. Mixed in with their inane comments, to their driver and others, are references to their son in Vietnam and to the carnage there; but somehow they remain unable to comprehend the reality of the world they live in – and to be comfortable with the sense of privilege their money and freedom provide. (Cast: 1 woman, 2 men, 2 extras.)

In the second play, Next is set in an Army Induction Center, where an overweight, overage and overwrought draftee has reluctantly reported for his physical. Confronted by an Amazon-like female sergeant, he tries every evasion he can think of to disqualify himself, but is ultimately shattered by the realization that nothing will stave off the inevitable. His final monologue, a harrowing exposure of bitterness and confusion, reveals the dilemma of a man to whom the meaning and purpose of his country have become unclear. (Cast: 1 woman, 1 man, 3 extras.)

In the third play, Botticelli finds two American soldiers in the wilds of Vietnam (or any battle area) playing an intellectual guessing game while waiting for a trapped enemy soldier to show himself. They smoke, reminisce, play their game and wait. When the enemy soldier appears they coolly shoot him down and then go on reciting the great names of literature, philosophy and music; their total lack of reverence and concern for the man they have killed, the life they have taken, contrasting starkly with the humanistic concepts and erudition to which they have been exposed. (Cast: 2 men, 1 extra).

Next premiered in 1967 (on a double bill with Adaptation, by Elaine May) at the White Barn Theatre in Westport, Connecticut. Next was then presented in 1969 (again on a double bill with Adaptation) at the Greenwich Mews Theatre in New York City and became one of off-Broadway's all-time successes running for over 700 performances.

Apple Pie is the collective title for three early short plays (Tour and Next and Botticelli) that were broadcast in 1968 by Channel Thirteen on the television show New York Television Theatre.

What people say:

"…a bitingly original look at some American attitudes." — The New York Times

"…a powerful satire on American callousness toward the Vietnam war and its implications for the country." — WCBS Radio

About the Playwright:

Terrence McNally (1938-2020) was an American playwright whose career has spanned six decades. Initially active in the burgeoning Off-Broadway theatre movement in the 1960s, he is one of the few playwrights of his generation to have successfully made the transition to Broadway, and, in the process, passed from avant-garde to mainstream acclaim. In addition to four Tony Awards for his plays, he received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller grant, and was a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Tony Awards' Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Honor. He is considered one of America's great playwrights.

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