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The Marriage of Bette and Boo

The Marriage of Bette and Boo
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Christopher Durang
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 95
Pub. Date: 1985
ISBN-10: 0822207362
ISBN-13: 9780822207368
Cast Size: 5 women, 5 men

About the Play:

Winner of the 1985 Obie Award for Playwriting

The Marriage of Bette and Boo is a full-length comedy by Christopher Durang. Beginning at the altar with the marriage ceremony, the play follows the young couple as they grow and learn more about each other, all while surrounded by an assortment of odd characters from both sides of the family. Though it is a funny play told in 33 (mostly) quick scenes, the play is known for the mixture of seriousness and comedy in its tone. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

The Marriage of Bette and Boo is considered by many to be Christopher Durang's best play. It begins Bette and Boo are being united in matrimony, surrounded by their beaming families. But as the further progress of their marriage is chronicled it becomes increasingly clear that things are not working out quite as hoped for. The birth of their son is followed by a succession of stillborns; Boo takes to drink; and their respective families are odd lots to say the least: His father is a sadistic tyrant, who refers to his wife as the dumbest woman in the world; while Bette's side includes a psychotic sister who endures lifelong agonies over her imagined transgressions and a senile father who mutters in unintelligible gibberish. For solace and counsel they all turn to Father Donnally, a Roman Catholic priest who dodges their questions by impersonating (hilariously) a strip of frying bacon. Conveyed in a series of dazzlingly inventive interconnected scenes, the play moves wickedly on through three decades of divorce, alcoholism, madness and fatal illness – all treated with a farcical brilliance which, through the author's unique talent, mines the unlikely lodes of irony and humour residing in these ostensibly unhappy events.

The Marriage of Bette and Boo was first presented in 1985 by the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Public/Newman Theatre in New York City. It won a large number of Obie awards and later that year also won the prestigious Dramatists Guild Hull Warriner Award for the best play. It has become a popular choice for school and community theatre productions.

Cast: 5 women, 5 men

What people say:

"The Marriage of Bette and Boo is the best play of a depressing season, but it would be an adornment to any season." — Village Voice

"Once more he is demonstrating his special knack for wrapping life's horrors in the primary colors of absurdist comedy." — The New York Times

"…Durang has the ability of making the real absurd and the absurd real." — New York Post

"Christopher Durang, the humorist and satirist, has rarely written anything funnier or more serious than his mordant comedy The Marriage of Bette and Boo … a brimming cornucopia of brilliant lines." — The New Yorker

About the Playwright:

Christopher Durang is an award-winning American playwright and actor whose plays have been produced on and off- Broadway, in regional theatres around the US and abroad. He has a B.A. from Harvard College, and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Yale School of Drama. Since 1994 he has been co-chair of the Playwriting Program at the Juilliard School in Manhattan.