The comedy features plenty of humorous moments, but behind the wit lie more serious themes — questions about commitment, fidelity, love and the very meaning of relationships. Well off and possessing exquisite taste and reasonable talent, they inhabit a world in which finding an ideal Italian tomato is a matter of prime importance. They have their tense moments, of course, but they are a loving, mutually respectful pair. Scott Cunningham are ending their marriage, Karen and Gabe are shocked, to say nothing of appalled. More importantly, both she and Gabe feel a creeping insecurity, wondering if perhaps their fail-safe marriage may also be susceptible to such shocks. Unfortunately, Margulies gets distracted from the central issues and bogs this work down with lifestyle critiques.
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January 1, Nicole Well written but a bit old hat, even for something that is now almost two decades old, I feel like there are better takes on this subject, but this is still a good one. This play falls clumsily somewhere between these two camps. Couple A is comprised of Gabe and Karen, food writers with a cliche penchant for infusing their quirks and isms with their careers——tasting here, notating there--perfectly content in their little marital bubble.
Then there are Tom and Beth, in the process of divorcing; two people so strung-out, so inconceivable, so insufferably annoying that no one in their right mind would ever associate with them long-term in real life. It is opaquely revealed that Beth had a fling of her own some ten years prior during her marriage to Tom.
His characters, though fleshed, are weak in their arguments on marriage: "I feel dead inside and miss my collegiate mojo, therefore I will have sex with this person I am attracted to in order to feel alive again" trite , or "I have a duty to the kids, and to my wife, and to the life I have built and the duty of it all" in the right place, but weak. So, what do we have here, then? A fresh look into the psyche of the American marriage, stabbing at newer nuances for a new millennium, worthy of the Pulitzer?
Or just a middle-of-the-road, fairly good play with the same message in re-named vessels? Read on. January 1, Christian Engler The euphoric and blissful bubble that a functioning relationship can father is a wonderful thing.
When two individuals are linked by common interests, shared ideals and beliefs, nothing in respects to a career, money or fame can come close to it; it is a wonderful, natural high to experience true love. However, what happens when a marriage does not work and the foundation that eventually led to that marriage was an erroneous one? In Dinner With Friends, playwright David Margulies explores just s The euphoric and blissful bubble that a functioning relationship can father is a wonderful thing.
We have two couples, Beth and Tom and Karen and Gabe, all somewhere in their forties and all the best of friends; the former couple, Tom in particular, has grown rather weary about his workaday existence as a lawyer.
His energy for life has waned dramatically, and who does he pour his blame on? His artist wife Beth. She in turn blames him for not being open enough. Thus, the blame game starts to take root. It is essentially the story of four baby-boomers who do not like the turn their lives are taking.
An arrogant happiness developes. That artificiality affects Karen and Gabe deeply, because they debate if their friendship was one of a genuine nature. The good times of the past are no more, so what is there to look forward to? And therein is where the power of this play lies: that divorce can happen to anyone. In its own right the play is smartly written: vibrant, sharp, stinging, fast-paced and edgy.
A smart, wry drama about an unpleasant and common issue. January 1, Michelle Summary: Karen and Gabe and Tom and Beth are two couples that have each been married for about twelve years. At a routine dinner, Beth reveals that Tom has left her—sending Karen and Gabe into examinations of their own marriage.
By the final act, Tom and Beth have both told Karen and Gabe that they are happier now that they are separated and t Summary: Karen and Gabe and Tom and Beth are two couples that have each been married for about twelve years. By the final act, Tom and Beth have both told Karen and Gabe that they are happier now that they are separated and that they have found new partners that make them both feel more alive.
This makes Karen and Gabe question the banality of their marriage, but Gabe ultimately says to Tom : "The key to civilization, I think, is fighting the impluse to chuck it all. In a year where the other two nominees were Suzan-Lori Parks and August Wilson, it is perhaps interesting to note that this play is full of the privileged white experience.
January 1, Justin Margulies has the gift of being able to scribe language that sounds exactly like our everyday conversations. However, everything is underneath the surface just begging a fantastic quartet of actors to tease out the unlimited subtleties. Karen and Gabe, however, are not so open a Margulies has the gift of being able to scribe language that sounds exactly like our everyday conversations.
Karen and Gabe, however, are not so open and thus their dialogue rarely talks about the issues that plague the two couples; Margulies shows their relationship and these doubts through simple conversations about food and nodded agreements. But the subtlety of language allows the relationships and characters to be completely different from production to production and be extremely powerful if done well.
This play is a risk that can easily fall flat. But it has the potential to leave an audience weeping. January 1, J I love reading plays. I love how much I have read plays in the past few years - my binge of classics for AP English senior year; 21st Century American Drama a play-reading heaven my first semester here.
And now playwriting, a class I thought would be solely focused on exercises, again assigns me a play a week - YES! They go by so quickly, and a good play is incredibly satisfying and comic in a way that few if any novels achieve. This was such a blast to read, because there was none of the prete I love reading plays. This was such a blast to read, because there was none of the pretentious nonsense that I encountered so often last semester; it was purely sharp, snappy dialogue, and it depicted relationships that were real and honest and worth watching.
The play involved a contrast between two married couples who took different paths--one stayed together and one broke up. The central conflict is a very familiar one The eternal "are humans really monogamous?
Are we really meant to have a series of long-ish term relationships over the course of our lives, rather than just one? If just one, how do you deal with the acceptance of the fact that you will never feel that first rush-of-love feeling again?
Well-trod territory here. But it provoked interesting trains of thought, nonetheless. I enjoyed it. The characters were real without being overly polished. There were barely any moments that I rolled my eyes, which happens a lot when I read or see plays.
Emotion has to be so abundant with live theater, so even written, it comes off as overly loud. It comes off as presentation, not truth. But I love plays. You have to write the majesty of an drama with the accessibility of a romantic comedy in a lot of ways.
This was tremendously easy to follow while maintaining a mature philosophy about life without driving it home or spelling it out.
It was one heck of a balancing act. January 1, Nicki Pulitzer: a deep, inside-look into the married life. There are many interesting ideas raised in this piece and I tip my hat to Donald Margulies for handling issues about being married with such frightening candor.
I feel like many of these ideas must sneak into the heads of every single married couple in America at least and yet it seems like I am hard-pressed to find mate Pulitzer: a deep, inside-look into the married life. I feel like many of these ideas must sneak into the heads of every single married couple in America at least and yet it seems like I am hard-pressed to find material that presents it so honestly and intellectually.
Although its difficult to say I enjoyed reading about a failing marriage, I thoroughly enjoyed this play and would love to see it performed some day. January 1, Eric I missed the chance to see this play, performed and directed by some very talented friends, a few years ago.
But recently, at my acting class, the teacher handed me a monologue from the show. Intrigued, I decided to tackle some of the material as a monologue piece. There are two married couples in the story who are close friends.
The issues I missed the chance to see this play, performed and directed by some very talented friends, a few years ago. The issues dealt with here are universal to marriage, aging, and friendship. January 1, Beth Miller I have now seen this play twice and worked on scenes from it twice and find it so interesting that every time the blocking and action is so. I love it so much because of how realistically striking it is, but there are the dreamlike elements in there, too I have now seen this play twice and worked on scenes from it twice and find it so interesting that every time the blocking and action is so.
I love it so much because of how realistically striking it is, but there are the dreamlike elements in there, too. The old woman in Italy, the weekend at the beach, etc. Marguilies never is demeaning towards his characters and allows them their secrets, while gently revealing these secrets to expose their limitations and flaws. His generosity towards their flawed humanity creates a deep empathy where their struggle to make sense of their choices becomes satisfying dramatic action.
It is a well-told story with dimensional characters that challenged me to dispel with easy judgment while making me consider duty to obligation and duty to self. January 1, Steph p. And I realized Gabe and Karen and Tom and Beth are all flawed individuals. It should not begin as such, but during the course of the exchange it dawns on Gabe subtextually that the friendship is irretrievabl p.
It should not begin as such, but during the course of the exchange it dawns on Gabe subtextually that the friendship is irretrievable. Would like to see it live, to see if that changes my perception. January 1, Alice Great fun! Margulies " Collected Stories" is one of my favorite contemporary plays, at its center a great moral dilemma, to whom does a story belongs?
Needless to say, if you want to have a play reading evening, this is the perfect selection. January 1, Mousumi Singha This is the first time i read a play. The play is written in lucid language and the author is successfull in keeping the interest of the reader alive even though the story line was quite predictable. Every person passes through a phase of life when they feel some vacuum and the necessity of some fresh new episodes in life.
But this is the time we must invent new things in us so that the same world arround us becomes interesting to us. January 1, Buzz Park I enjoyed this play very much, and as a middle-aged married man with 2 kids, I can relate to it directly. This play has some of the most realistic dialogue between couples and friends I have read.
Not a super-encouraging story, but I highly recommend. January 1, Brian Audiobook gave me the next best thing to being able to see it performed live. It was the original cast and everything.
Dinner With Friends
Gabe and Karen, expecting the other couple for a dinner party , receive only Beth, who initially states Tom is away for business. As the dinner winds down, Beth tearfully admits Tom is leaving her for a flight attendant actually a travel agent as he is not happy in their marriage. Beth paints Tom as solely wanting sex from her, pointing to an incident at a movie theatre where he attempted to initiate intercourse. During this, Gabe and Karen demonstrate different approaches to the news, with Karen prompting questions out of Beth while Gabe simply listened.
Dinner with Friends by Donald Margulies - PDF free download eBook
The opening sequence shifts from the offices of Gourmet magazine to the home of food writers Gabe Dennis Quaid and Karen Andie MacDowell , who, having just returned from a trip to Italy, prepare dinner for their best friends. In this case, only Beth Toni Collette shows up, along with her children, and while at first she makes excuses for husband Tom Greg Kinnear , she soon breaks down in tears and confesses Tom has left her for another woman. Later that night, Gabe and Karen mull over the shock of this revelation, while Tom comes home from an aborted trip to find that Beth has established what he considers an unfair advantage by spilling the beans. This scene sets up once and for all that this work is not about narrative drive so much as the fleshing out of the characters and relationships. Cinematographer Roger Deakins gives this extended sequence the sepia tones of an old photograph, and drenches much of it in bright light to enhance both its beach setting and the sense of innocent joy that comes with newfound love. The men and the women separately have lunch a few months after the opening scenes, and everything between them has changed. As Tom and Beth go on with their lives, the lasting effect of their breakup can be seen on Gabe and Karen, who are forced to re-evaluate the last decade of their lives and wonder whether their marriage is as fragile as their now-decaying friendship with folks they had long considered family.
This Pulitzer Prize winner from 14 years ago receives an updated production, but the underlying themes are ones that millions of unhappily wed couples will find painfully familiar. They regularly have their best friends, Beth Heather Burns and Tom Darren Pettie , over for double-date dinner parties. Karen and Gabe are real foodies. One night, as Karen and Gabe are regaling Beth who this night is oddly solo with details of their recent trip to Italy, Beth breaks down into tears: Tom is leaving her for another woman. The marriage, it seems, is beyond saving. Bush and John Paul II. Ah, the early s: a time of baggy cargo shorts, flip phones, and lingering national hysteria about marital infidelity.