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"This is an odd assemblage of plays, for which gathering-together there is no overarching thematic justification. Because several of the plays deal with death, and one of the death-plays deals as well with money, and the last play deals with taxation, we're calling the book Death & Taxes. But all plays, directly or indirectly, are about death and taxes, so this title expla "This is an odd assemblage of plays, for which gathering-together there is no overarching thematic justification. Because several of the plays deal with death, and one of the death-plays deals as well with money, and the last play deals with taxation, we're calling the book Death & Taxes. But all plays, directly or indirectly, are about death and taxes, so this title explains little..." –Tony Kushner This stunning new collection by Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angels in America, showcases his masterful explorations of form and style. A rich and vibrant collection from one of our greatest American playwrights, Death & Taxes includes the following treasure trove of works: In Reverse Transcription: Six Playwrights Bury a Seventh, six playwrights come together to bury their contemporary and friend, Ding. They discuss and brood on their lives, writings, and loves. Theatre critic Dr. David Nowlan calls Reverse Transcription “rich in allusion, elegant in language and satirically funny” (Irish Times). Hydriotaphia or The Death of Dr. Browne begins at one man’s deathbed and becomes an epic farce spanning Heaven and Earth. “Karl Marx said that history occurs first as tragedy and then as farce. In Hydriotaphia, Tony Kushner says that history is tragedy and farce at once. Ben Jonson meets Bertolt Brecht in this brilliantly funny and dark knockabout play of the rise of the entrepreneurial spirit. As in all of Kushner’s work, the play teems with ideas.” –Robert Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate “The play flourishes Kushner’s trademark ability to mix up wildly diverse tonalities and ideas — bawdy humor, theological and class warfare debate, fourth-wall-breaking, dizzying monologues, fantasy and domestic intrigue all whirl like a juggler’s pins.” -Variety Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 75,” Terminating or Sonnet LXXV “is a delirious, scatological encounter between a psychotherapist, her madly besotted patient and their lovers, which contains some dizzyingly fine writing” (Variety). “Tony Kushner at his most fanciful and eclectic ... fierce, strange and clever theatre.” –Evening Standard East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis is a one-man show featuring two dozen characters’ involvement in a tax evasion scheme. “Surreal, confrontational and funny.” –Prospect Magazine (UK) "There is such clarity conveyed not just in the language but in the rhythm and the nuance. Ideas and phrases honey drip from the script. Listening is an indulgence.” –The Stage Notes on Akiba has been performed at The Jewish Museum and other venues during Passover. Fictionalized versions of playwright Tony Kushner and director Michael Mayer reimagine aspects of Jewish history, tradition and myth. G. David Schine in Hell was originally published in New York Times Magazine. Featuring an appearance by Kushner’s fictionalized Roy Cohn of Angels in America, this short play revisits Cohn and several other American Conservatives of the McCarthy era as they adjust to an afterlife in Hell.


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"This is an odd assemblage of plays, for which gathering-together there is no overarching thematic justification. Because several of the plays deal with death, and one of the death-plays deals as well with money, and the last play deals with taxation, we're calling the book Death & Taxes. But all plays, directly or indirectly, are about death and taxes, so this title expla "This is an odd assemblage of plays, for which gathering-together there is no overarching thematic justification. Because several of the plays deal with death, and one of the death-plays deals as well with money, and the last play deals with taxation, we're calling the book Death & Taxes. But all plays, directly or indirectly, are about death and taxes, so this title explains little..." –Tony Kushner This stunning new collection by Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angels in America, showcases his masterful explorations of form and style. A rich and vibrant collection from one of our greatest American playwrights, Death & Taxes includes the following treasure trove of works: In Reverse Transcription: Six Playwrights Bury a Seventh, six playwrights come together to bury their contemporary and friend, Ding. They discuss and brood on their lives, writings, and loves. Theatre critic Dr. David Nowlan calls Reverse Transcription “rich in allusion, elegant in language and satirically funny” (Irish Times). Hydriotaphia or The Death of Dr. Browne begins at one man’s deathbed and becomes an epic farce spanning Heaven and Earth. “Karl Marx said that history occurs first as tragedy and then as farce. In Hydriotaphia, Tony Kushner says that history is tragedy and farce at once. Ben Jonson meets Bertolt Brecht in this brilliantly funny and dark knockabout play of the rise of the entrepreneurial spirit. As in all of Kushner’s work, the play teems with ideas.” –Robert Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate “The play flourishes Kushner’s trademark ability to mix up wildly diverse tonalities and ideas — bawdy humor, theological and class warfare debate, fourth-wall-breaking, dizzying monologues, fantasy and domestic intrigue all whirl like a juggler’s pins.” -Variety Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 75,” Terminating or Sonnet LXXV “is a delirious, scatological encounter between a psychotherapist, her madly besotted patient and their lovers, which contains some dizzyingly fine writing” (Variety). “Tony Kushner at his most fanciful and eclectic ... fierce, strange and clever theatre.” –Evening Standard East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis is a one-man show featuring two dozen characters’ involvement in a tax evasion scheme. “Surreal, confrontational and funny.” –Prospect Magazine (UK) "There is such clarity conveyed not just in the language but in the rhythm and the nuance. Ideas and phrases honey drip from the script. Listening is an indulgence.” –The Stage Notes on Akiba has been performed at The Jewish Museum and other venues during Passover. Fictionalized versions of playwright Tony Kushner and director Michael Mayer reimagine aspects of Jewish history, tradition and myth. G. David Schine in Hell was originally published in New York Times Magazine. Featuring an appearance by Kushner’s fictionalized Roy Cohn of Angels in America, this short play revisits Cohn and several other American Conservatives of the McCarthy era as they adjust to an afterlife in Hell.

30 review for Death and Taxes: Hydriotaphia and Other Plays

  1. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    This, I suppose, is a collection of minor works – early plays, ten-minute plays, one acts for special occasions, etc. These are often experimental playlets written for small theaters and odd acting companies. So one should manage their expectations. Hydriotaphia felt tedious and overwrought. The odd accents and verbal tics were a barrier to understanding characters (and the play). In the intro Kushner says the play is about language, but to me it’s more about strange accents than language. And i This, I suppose, is a collection of minor works – early plays, ten-minute plays, one acts for special occasions, etc. These are often experimental playlets written for small theaters and odd acting companies. So one should manage their expectations. Hydriotaphia felt tedious and overwrought. The odd accents and verbal tics were a barrier to understanding characters (and the play). In the intro Kushner says the play is about language, but to me it’s more about strange accents than language. And it is very long. It’s a long play. The length of this play is exceedingly long. Did I mention it is very long? And the longer the play, the greater the payoff needs to be at the end. I was left feeling shortchanged. Of the other short pieces, G. David Schine in Hell was the best. The others were full of chaos and farce and talking and absurdity. There is a sense of play and experimentation in this set which I enjoyed. But if you are looking for something heftier, I’d pass on this set. P.S. What, by the way, are considered Kushner’s other major works besides Angels in America?

  2. 5 out of 5

    A

    I was very excited to find this deep cut from the Kushner oeuvre on the shelf of a local theater’s library, but the plays within failed to thrill me. If not for Kushner’s signature wordsmithing I would have flat-out hated it. I can’t imagine many of these staged.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    Am probably one of the few people who saw Hydrotaphia as a play. Need to read it again to keep track of all the bits and pieces.

  4. 5 out of 5

    McKenzie Tozan

    There's something to be said about the beauty that goes on in Kushner's plays. While not as highly valued as ANGELS IN AMERICA, HYDRIOTAPHIA is something of a comparison, in the way the world opens up, and though angels do not appear, the hint of them--the most beautiful of qualities found in these characters--is, by the end, released. While still greatly mirroring that of the Restoration Period (and offering some hint of the oncoming, the Neo-classical), Kushner's plays remain, at least, relati There's something to be said about the beauty that goes on in Kushner's plays. While not as highly valued as ANGELS IN AMERICA, HYDRIOTAPHIA is something of a comparison, in the way the world opens up, and though angels do not appear, the hint of them--the most beautiful of qualities found in these characters--is, by the end, released. While still greatly mirroring that of the Restoration Period (and offering some hint of the oncoming, the Neo-classical), Kushner's plays remain, at least, relatively timeless. These are real people will real concerns about death and money and happiness--about the two "truths"--death and taxes. And though Kushner warns that the play "is very long," it NEEDS that sort of length to build these characters, and allow them room to breathe and be real and be realized, which become three very different things in his work. And the ideas, and the longing, involved in waiting is just so grounding, so humbling, in the way death and life can take their time. Kushner's onto something here, whether or not each of his works are consistently recognized for that progress. He's onto something quite beautiful.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    There's no greater irony than a miser dying of constipation. That's the central plot point of Tony Kushner's Hydriotaphia. A motley gaggle of absurdist characters bring their ulterior motives to a dying rich man's deathbed, to make for what's now my favorite play.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    Favorites: Reverse Transcription: Six Playwrights Bury a Seventh, Terminating or Sonnet LXXV, and East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Mccalpin

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erik Otterberg

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brian Carney

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cody

  14. 5 out of 5

    Id Bookworm

  15. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rose

  17. 4 out of 5

    Arwen Miller

  18. 5 out of 5

    Arne

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kn8317

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Goebel

  21. 4 out of 5

    Florian Alatorre

  22. 5 out of 5

    John Howrey

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  24. 4 out of 5

    Justin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cat Bramhall

  27. 5 out of 5

    H H

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ericstiens

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Harrington

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