You’ve Got a Half-century of Mail | Night & Day | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

You’ve Got a Half-century of Mail

Love Letters is as minimalist as plays come. Two aging, moneyed WASPs sit at desks opposite each other on stage, but in different parts of the country, and read from a chronicle of notes and letters they’ve exchanged since second grade. If it sounds as exciting to you as a knitting museum or a drawn-out death-knell, hold your prejudgment. Playwright A.R. Gurney, an entomologist of the WASP, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Love Letters.

Unlike Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities, in which rich WASPs appear just a tad more cultured than cannibals, Gurney’s portrayal of them is mild, but funny and unsympathetic. The grandiloquently-named Andrew Makepeace Ladd III is a king WASP: a Yale man and a senator. His correspondent over fifty years is Melissa Gardner, a wealthy and artistic woman driven toward self-destruction by alcoholism, divorce, and suicidal longings. Their romance consists of nothing but piles of mail.

Love Letters is performed at the Willow Theatre, a community theatre (Sugar Sand Park, 300 S. Military Trail, Boca Raton) today at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and again at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets cost $10. Call 561-347-3948, or visit
Fri., Dec. 4, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 5, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 6, 2 p.m., 2009

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Penn Bullock

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