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The Maderati

The Maderati
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Richard Greenberg
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 65
Pub. Date: 1987
ISBN-10: 0822207133
ISBN-13: 9780822207139
Cast Size: 4 female, 5 male

About the Play:

The Maderati is a full-length satirical comedy by Richard Greenberg. What happened to Charlotte? Come experience a random Sunday with this off-balanced group of friends in the arts, as they struggle to keep their own demons in check while they sift through the conflicting gossip concerning the whereabouts and well-being of a woman who never liked them in the first place. Was her death a suicide? Was it a murder? Is she even dead?

The Maderati follows the misadventures of a self-absorbed group of upper-middle-class urban types with artistic pretensions – the "mad literati," as the call themselves. The action begins the Sunday morning following a party for all the rising young novelists, artists and photographers in Manhattan, when Rena Debutts gets word one of their number, Charlotte Ebbinger, a definitely suicidal unpublished poet with a food fetish, has been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital. Convinced she cannot allow Charlotte to be imprisoned – despite her being crazy – Rena sets off to get her out, while pressing her husband Chuck into the unwanted job of informing their friends. Things blow up almost immediately when Dewy Overlander, an ambitious would-be photographer, hears Charlotte's name and is convinced she's dead, because she had a premonition. Thus, Dewy and her stockbroker husband Ritt are telling everyone Charlotte has died, while Chuck is trying to get the real news out and making a total mess of it. Complications start springing up almost as fast as the laughs as assumptions and misunderstandings are made that lead to everyone talking at once, without realizing they are saying completely different things about the same person. It culminates in an impromptu get-together honouring the "deceased" at which Charlotte herself shows up as a surprise guest! Among the others involved in the antic doings are a literary couple, Chuck and Rena (who first reported Charlotte's absence); a sexually ambivalent publisher who speaks with a pompous English accent; a young poet in love with Charlotte who tends to fall asleep without warning; a loony actress with the unlikely name of Cuddles Molotov; and the current object of her desire, a mumbling method actor, Danton Young, who seems to be the quest of every woman present. The Maderati explores what it really means to be an artist and, certainly more importantly, what it means to be "a well rounded person." Through their hilariously obnoxious antics, the show's characters offer a satirical look at what we really value. Is it fame, artistic merit, or honest human interaction?

The Maderati premiered in 1987 at Playwrights Horizons off-Broadway in New York City and had its West Coast premiere in 1991 at the Tiffany Theatre in West Hollywood. The critically lauded play is regularly performed in high school and college theatre productions as a showcase of student talent.

Cast: 4 female, 5 male

What people say:

"There is wit, visual comedy, and an air of promise." — New York Magazine

"…full of good, funny, exciting things…." — Village Voice

"The Maderati is young and sharp and frisky…." — The New Yorker

"…full of wit and funny characters…." — New York Daily News

About the Playwright:

Richard Greenberg is a Tony Award-winning American playwright and television writer, known for his subversively humorous depictions of middle-class American life. He has had more than 25 plays premiere on and Off-Broadway and 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. He is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and an associate artist of South Coast Repertory.

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