Aristotle, that first theater critic of record, insisted that all plays include six elements. He named plot the most important, followed by character, diction, and thought. Spectacle and song he rather disdained, noting: "The spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry." (Those who have suffered through the worst excesses of the Broadway musical may find themselves agreeing. That chandelier, that helicopter. . . .) Of course, a generation of avant-garde artists have somewhat redeemed the spectacular. The best works by Robert Wilson, Richard Foreman, or Mabou Mines are showy and artistic—complex, eloquent, deeply felt. Two new plays, though, suggest Aristotle may have been on to something after all. Bread... More >>>