Pall in the Family

In fairness, Glory doesn't much care for the Freudian aspect of things either, though the accuracy of Gilman's writing captures more than the political quarry she's after. Paquin deftly renders Lisa's dead affect, neither sentimentalizing nor distorting the girl's eviscerated soul. But she fails to link the experience of being raised by a prostitute to the murderous actions that follow. There's never any clarifying interpretation of her character's ability to block out what she can't change or know. That Lisa obediently pulls the trigger (and subsequently takes the rap) for Clint is merely the fact of the play—it's never made personally credible.

Anna Paquin and Jeffrey Donovan in The Glory of Living: esprit de corpse
photo: Joan Marcus
Anna Paquin and Jeffrey Donovan in The Glory of Living: esprit de corpse

Details

Everett Beekin
By Richard Greenberg
Newhouse Theater, Lincoln Center
212-239-6200

The Glory of Living
By Rebecca Gilman
MCC Theater
120 West 28th Street
212-206-1515

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The ensemble compounds Gilman's failure to elucidate the tragedy of her story, which is patly summed up in a final image of Lisa behind bars hitting the keys of her beloved toy piano. Clearly, the wasted human potential challenges not only our moral systems, but our theatrical ones as well.

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