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The Dazzle

The Dazzle
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Richard Greenberg
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 2003
ISBN-10: 0822219158
ISBN-13: 9780822219156
Cast Size: 1 female, 2 male

About the Play:

Winner of the 2002 Outer Critics Circle Award

The Dazzle is a full-length drama by Richard Greenberg. Drawn from the real-life story of the Collyer brothers who became fabled symbols of cluttermania. New York City. The beginning of the 20th Century. Two brothers sit in their home surrounded by 136 tons of hoarded junk. When a beautiful guest arrives, everybody's lives are thrown into sharp focus. The Dazzle is a contemplation of time: what one does with it, or doesn't, as it passes.

The Dazzle concerns two reclusive New York brothers whose lives are upended by the entrance of a rich young socialite seeking to escape her hated Fifth Avenue family. In their Harlem mansion, during the early years of the twentieth century, the wealthy Collyer brothers share an eccentric life, still within reason. Langley, a talented sometime concert pianist, is almost certainly on the autism spectrum: brilliant, fastidious, too dazzled by the tiniest detail to handle the rough-and-tumble of life. His older brother, Homer, a retired lawyer and an interesting individual who everyone wants to know, maintains the household and dreams of wilder times. The lives of the brothers seem destined for change when the rich young heiress Millie Ashmore enters into their world, bringing with her money, secrets and designs on Langley. As the first act unfolds, there is even the prospect of the forthright yet manipulative Milly marrying the blissfully self-absorbed Langley; as it ends, the wedding is aborted. In the second act, the Collyers and Milly are reunited under vastly altered conditions. Time passes, then destroys them, one by one.

The Dazzle premiered in 2000 at Vassar College's Powerhouse Theatre. It opened at in 2002 at the Gramercy Theater in New York City and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play. The play has been performed in regional repertory and college theatre productions.

Cast: 1 female, 2 male

What people say:

"…lively, brilliant, witty and sad – by far Greenberg's best and the gem of the season…." — New York Post

"…blending the existential landscape of Waiting for Godot with the acid wit of Noel Coward, The Dazzle lives up to its name." — Time Out New York

"…fascinating…daring originality…." — New York Times

"…odd and irresistible…." — New York Newsday

"It's rare enough to see a new play sparkle or haunt, let alone do both, but Richard Greenberg has done just that with The Dazzle. He has turned Homer and Langley Collyer – two eccentric brothers who spent nearly 40 years inside their increasingly overstuffed Harlem home – into characters the likes of which you're not likely to meet again anytime soon. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but in the right hands, fiction can be just as eerie, just as entertaining, and just as beautiful." — Backstage

"The Dazzle remains extraordinarily vivid in my memory: the cluttered townhouse set; the brilliant but off-balance brother Langley; the brilliant but desperately unhappy brother Homer; the literate and cutting dialogue; the eccentric humor of the first act; and the Greek tragedy of the second act." — The Spokesman-Review (Spokane)

About the Playwright:

Richard Greenberg is an American playwright and television writer, known for his subversively humorous depictions of middle-class American life. One of the most produced playwrights of his generation, he has had more than 25 plays premiere on and off-Broadway and has won the Oppenheimer Award for a debuting playwright, the first PEN/Laura Pels Award for a mid-career playwright and has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

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