Ain Gordon's A Disaster Begins explores our appetite for cataclysm through a lecture by a woman writer (Veanne Cox), whose bestselling book deals with the Galveston flood of 1900. Like her lecture itself, her career and her personal life are soon revealed to be, in their various scales, disasters of equally gigantic proportions. Dismembering rational sequence the way Mamet dismembers his characters' syntax, Gordon teasingly weaves his heroine's distresses into a multi-leveled metaphor till the tidal wave that hit Galveston engulfs her unforgettably. Cox's gift for the nuances of neurasthenia has rarely been put to such effective use.

Swashbucklers at home: The Royal Family
Joan Marcus
Swashbucklers at home: The Royal Family


The Royal Family
By George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber
Friedman Theatre
261 West 47th Street, 212-239-6200

By David Mamet
Golden Theatre
252 West 45th Street, 212-239-6200

A Disaster Begins
By Ain Gordon
Here Arts Center
145 Sixth Avenue, 212-352-3101

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