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A delicious evening out with Dinner With Friends

By Kate Rowland

It might have been called A Tale of Two Marriages. Whatever the title, Donald Margulies’ Dinner With Friends, merits its status as the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2000.

Dinner With Friends, by Donald Margulies
Wed, Nov 14 & Thu, Nov 15, 7:30pm
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
20 pesos donation

Dinner With Friends examines the lives of two couples who have been best friends for years, and the repercussions of divorce on their friendships. With wit, compassion, and consummate skill, playwright Donald Margulies weighs the cost of breaking up and of staying together. It evolves into an examination of duty to obligation and duty to self, and ultimately to an examination of the nature of friendship itself.

Fresh from their brilliant performances in the recent hit, Other Desert Cities, Playreaders is happy to announce that the cast of Dinner With Friends includes visiting New York actress Carrie Hough, and our very own David Galitzky. The cast is rounded out with local favorites Eli Hans and Clara Dunham, and is directed by newcomer Kate Rowland.

True to its title, most of the action centers on food – at a dinner table, in a kitchen, preparing a meal, or gobbling up the leftovers. In their Connecticut home, Karen and Gabe, international food writers, are giving a dinner for Beth and Tom, which Tom doesn’t attend. It emerges from the heartbroken Beth that he has left her for another woman. Gabe and Karen are almost as crushed as Beth, having expected “to grow old and fat together, the four of us.”

The Wall Street Journal reviewer, Debra Jo Immergut, wrote of the play, “Donald Margulies has drawn one of the most complex and convincing portraits of a marriage in recent memory.” Dinner with Friends was written, Margulies says, like all his works, “to reflect observations I’m having at that time in my life … All around us, relationships are changing, marriages are breaking up. It’s those notions of impermanence, the yearning for something else that I’m tapping into.’’

Over the past decade, Donald Margulies has written some of the most insightful works in contemporary American drama. His body of work includes The Loman Family Picnic, Sight Unseen, The Model Apartment, Collected Stories, and Time Stands Still. As with all of Margulies’ work, he is a master of observing what might be considered the ordinary moments of life and its foibles with fresh ears.

Dinner With Friends is a smart and subtle play that understands there are no easy answers as people evolve and relationships settle into routine.

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