PLAYBILL PICKS: The Five Greatest Plays About Hollywood
10 May 2013
It's a tale nearly as old as Broadway and Hollywood. The successful playwright is lured to California with promises of riches and sunshine, hates the experience, then returns to New York to write an eviscerating portrait of the movie business.
In the history of show business, no one has bitten the hand that feeds it harder that the dramatists moonlighting in Tinseltown. Feeling their talents and dignity have been affronted by a colony of shallow, megalomaniacal egomaniacs, they reach for their trustiest weapon—the pen. The tradition goes back as far as the 1920s, when George S. Kaufman—who would see many of his stage successes made into film—mercilessly sent up the film world in Merton of the Movies. He offered up a second helping of abuse in 1930 with Once in a Lifetime. His satiric sword has since been taken up by the likes of Clifford Odets, David Mamet, David Rabe and many, many more.
Here are Playbill.com's picks for the five best Hollywood hatchet jobs.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.