From the deep archives: Harry Kondoleon’s SELF TORTURE AND STRENUOUS EXERCISE

March 16, 2011


Adding to the archive I’m creating at HarryKondoleon.com, I’ve just posted online the review that I wrote for the Soho News in 1980 of his one-act play Self Torture and Strenuous Exercise, one of his best and most-produced works.

This was his first full production in New York City (while he was still a student at Yale Drama School), my first exposure to his wicked wit and attention-getting language, and the first attention he got from the New York press.  He wrote the play for a class taught by Arthur Kopit. The assignment was to write a play with three characters named A, B, and C. As I synopsized in my review:

Carl confesses to his best friend Alvin that he’s in love with another woman besides his wife, Adel; Alvin assures him that’s okay for a widower, not knowing that Adel survived her latest suicide attempt and not knowing that Carl’s paramour is his own wife, Beth. Adel arrives in disguise, wrists bound, and swearing vengeance. “Carl is the source of everything evil in the world!” she cries. “Adel, calm down,” soothes Alvin, “you’re beginning to distort things.”

You can read the complete review online here.

Carl confesses to his best friend Alvin that he’s in love with another woman besides his wife, Adel; Alvin assures him that’s okay for a widower, not knowing that Adel survived her latest suicide attempt and not knowing that Carl’s paramour is his own wife, Beth. Adel arrives in disguise, wrists bound, and swearing vengeance. “Carl is the source of everything evil in the world!” she cries. “Adel, calm down,” soothes Alvin, “you’re beginning to distort things.”

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