The 1991 Broadway season has been widely excoriated as the thinnest, the driest, the weakest, the saddest of recent times. The lamentation is part of an annual New York liturgy: with spring in bloom, the dying theatrical winter is reviled and scorned, heaped with ritual abuse, and driven whipped into the desert; then second thoughts are had; a metanoia occurs just in rime for the awarding of parsley crowns and goatskins in late spring. The old man of the winter is hauled back from the wasteland and feted with Tonys.

One ought, though, to beware of too agnostic or disdainful an attitude toward traditional liturgies. They are often expressive of truth. This was a stinker of a season. I have already expressed my reservations about the insufficiently digested topicalities of Six Degrees of Separation, the season’s succès d’estime, and my enthusiasm for the audacious humors of...


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