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Power Plays

Power Plays
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Elaine May and Alan Arkin
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 108
Pub. Date: 2011
ISBN-10: 0573626987
ISBN-13: 9780573626982
Cast Size: 2 women, 2 men

About the Play:

Power Plays is a trio of one-act comedies by Elaine May and Alan Arkin. Consists of The Way of All Fish, Virtual Reality and In and Out of the Light, three short plays about the collision of wills that were an Off Broadway comedy sensation starring the authors.

The first act is The Way of All Fish about a ping pong power game played between a self absorbed executive and her seemingly drab secretary. Over an impromptu dinner together, the executive's condescending graciousness drains away as the secretary explains her fantasy of gaining immortality by killing someone famous and successful someone like her boss. (Cast: 2 women)

Virtual Reality: Alan Arkin and his son starred Off Broadway as men waiting for equipment to do an unspecified job. The one in charge insists on doing a dry run inventory of the contents of the expected crates. The purely hypothetical assumes a wacky, sinister autonomy that transports them to a frozen wilderness. (Cast: 2 men)

The final act is In and Out of the Light a farcical delight, which revolves around a workaholic Jewish dentist attempting to have a fling with his curvaceous assistant. His plans are set hilariously awry by an after hours patient who is a mega neurotic psychologist with a pain phobia and by a surprise visit from his son who has two heart bursting announcements to make: he is gay (but celibate) and, worse, he doesn't want to be a dentist after all. (Cast: 2 women, 2 men)

The Way of All Fish, Virtual Reality, and In and Out of the Light premiered in 1998 at the Promenade Theatre off-Broadway in New York City under the collective title Power Plays.

What people say:

"Classic comedies...with subversive details that keep catching you off guard....The evening...percolates with actorly inventiveness and a willingness to pursue a warped logic step by step into the land of absurdity. Has a heady sense of discovery, of seeing prototypical situations being twisted and spun to the point of dizziness, of disparate comic minds bouncing off each other." — The New York Times

"A giddy delight." — New York Post

"Hilarious as well as thoughtful." — The New York Daily News

About the Playwright:

Elaine May has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a highly regarded writer, director, and performer. She began her career with the comedy troupe Second City, where she first met Mike Nichols. The duo went on to become one of the most successful comedy teams of the day, headlining a year-long run of An Evening With Nichols and May on Broadway. She has also written plays for the stage and was honoured with an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay for the comedy Heaven Can Wait, which she co-wrote with the film's star Warren Beatty.

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