New Plays Revisit the Bad Old Days

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The Columnist
Written by David Auburn
Directed by Daniel Sullivan
Samuel J. Friedman Theater, New York April 25 – June 24, 2012

End of the Rainbow
Written by Peter Quilter
Directed by Terry Johnson
Belasco Theatre, New York

 

DAVID AUBURN’S new play, The Columnist, is a stroll down memory lane for many of us of a certain age. There once was a time when one columnist named Joseph Alsop (1910-1989) was able to manipulate politics and politicians through his syndicated column, which appeared in many hundreds of newspapers. Consummately portrayed by John Lithgow in this production, Alsop was deeply anti-communist—for example, he supported the Vietnam War—while being a staunch New Deal liberal on domestic issues. He was such a Washington insider that JFK stopped by his house after an inaugural ball.

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