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Dinner with Friends

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  923 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for drama, DINNER WITH FRIENDS examines the lives of two couples 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.
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by LA Theatre Works (first published June 1st 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,467)
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Cherie
I listened to this audio performance this evening. Well done with some real insights about how people and couples react and talk to each other. Funny and heartbreaking with passion on the side!
Mad Dog
This play works well for as a stimulant for conversation or as an evocative little story about the passing of 'friendships'. The losses of 'friendship' (or perhaps the lost opportunity for a real friendship) in this story was sad to me. It makes you think about what really is a friendship and what is just a 'prolonged acquaintance'. It seems like the author is 'poking pins' at superficial friendships among married couples. It is also interesting that the author seems to demonstrate that Tom and...more
Sherry (sethurner)
Two sets of friends in their 40s - Gabe and Karen (who love to cook), and Tom and Beth. When one couple splits, there is sadness, anger, alliances are made, rethought. This interesting play has moments of both drama and humor, and it examines just how friendships and marriages are forged, and how they are damaged. Believable characters and thought-provoking dialog.
Michelle
I think seeing this as a play would have been better. The intracaticies of 2 couples relationships were laid bare for all to see, for better for worse. Some of it was endearing and some of it very sad. It make me think about what it means to have a successful relationship, what it takes to have one, and more importantly, the variety of definitions of "successful".
Jake
This play was fantastic, but it wasn't as jaw-dropping flooring as I anticipated. That's the problem with hype, not with this two-act play. 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. It's my problem with plays, and it's not the problem wi...more
Tovah
I can't wait for middle-age so that I can be in this play.
Lauren
2.5

Whatever it was that earned this play a Pulitzer clearly eluded me.

Yes, there were places where it made me pause to reread the character's thought-provoking words and reflect. And I appreciate the play's candid look at the sacrifices of marriage and family life, sacrifices that those who enter into it blindly or with little consideration fail to recognize until much later when they are faced with insurmountable disappointments or irreconcilable differences and bitterness toward their partner...more
Justin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Justin
Margulies has the gift of being able to scribe language that sounds exactly like our everyday conversations. As a quick read, his naturalness can deceptively seem like a shallow take on marriage/divorce. However, everything is underneath the surface just begging a fantastic quartet of actors to tease out the unlimited subtleties. Both Tom and Beth are quite vocal about their thoughts, and their dialogue is presented quite directly in Margulies' writing. Karen and Gabe, however, are not so open a...more
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...more
Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jil
Feb 05, 2009 Jil rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: play readers and playwrights; August: Osage County fans
Recommended to Jil by: G. Moss, teacher extraordinaire
Shelves: school, play
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...more
Katie
I don't usually read plays, so this was a newish experience! 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... almost TOO familiar (I feel like every Woody Allen movie I've ever seen has addressed this conflict): how do you deal with the dying of the passion over the course of a long relationship. The eternal "are humans really monogamous?" question. Are we really meant to have a...more
Buzz Park
I enjoyed this play very much, and as a middle-aged married man with 2 kids, I can relate to it directly.

Marguilies' gift is not just with the topics, but in the dialogue. This play has some of the most realistic dialogue between couples and friends I have read. These characters are very relatable as real people, it's not caricatures as is so common with modern plays.

Not a super-encouraging story, but I highly recommend.
Micaela
You know when you go back and watch a classic movie, and you say, man, it is so cliche! And then you realize, that everything else you have ever seen was the thing that was cliche, and not the original? That is the feeling I get from this. At the time it was probably very pertinent and new and creative, but now......it has been done.
Tezden
I listened to a dramatized version of this play, and I loved it. It's like theater in your ear. I recommend the experience. And this book was good. Modern relationships, trials and tribulations, the 'square' of people that is created when two couples are friends for years, and one breaks up. I enjoyed it.
Darius
Even though the play is sort of set up in the beginning to feel like there are good guys and bad guy(s) I don't think I ever felt at ease while reading it-- this play has you worrying about everyone's judgement pretty much all the time. It's also interesting to be constantly reevaluating why I think a couple isn't working out at any given point in the play/history, and yet to still have such a clear sense of who the protagonists are because we witness them asking the same questions about how to...more
Eric Kibler
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. But when one of the couples divorces, the friendship is thrown for a loop and the intact couple must confront some of the more unpleasant of life's realities.

The issues...more
Nicki
2000 Pulitzer: a deep, inside-look into the married life. Tom and Beth's marriage is falling apart in front of best friends Gabe and Karen, a seemingly happily married couple. 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...more
Ann Freeman
Short play, easily read in an hour or so. I enjoyed the exploration of the effect on a stable relationship from a breakup of the relationship of close friends. Delightful.
Tom Romig
Saw this play a couple of weeks ago in New York and thought I'd get the script and give it a read. A subtle, nuanced, and moving view of what happens over time to the marriages of two couples.
sla
p. 68
...And I realized... I don't love him anymore.

p. 75 Author's Notes
There are no villains in this play. Gabe and Karen and Tom and Beth are all flawed individuals. It's important that the audience's perceptions and sympathies shift in subtle ways from revelation to revelation.

p. 76 Author's Notes
The scene between Gabe and Tom that follows is a farewell scene. It should not begin as such, but during the course of the exchange it dawns on Gabe (subtextually) that the friendship is irretrievabl
...more
Chuck O'Connor
The familiarity of the setting and theme of this play, white upper middle class friendship and mid-life crisis, make the writing's insights all the more fresh. 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...more
Thomas Ogilvie
Very pleased with purchase

our theater recently performed this and it helped with knowing with our publicity needs. simple style and easy to follow
Momof2Monsters
Riveting listen - what an outstanding performance! The dialogue is great, and pulls you right into the story - actually it grabs you and doesn't let you go until the curtain falls at the end. Lots of food for thought here, and the story leaves you with lots of unanswered questions, and the ending is not a happily ever after (the way I read it). So, bit of a downer. Oh well, I love my HEA's... but still. This is superb in audio! The actors who performed this were stellar. Bravo!
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.
Stinkydiver
Although I don't find the writing to be particularly spectacular, I felt as if this was the first and possibly only time that I have ever really related to a fictional character. I appreciate that for once, a story about relationships, isn't written from the troubled couple's point of view, but rather their friends who get frustrated with their nonsense, and still try to remain faithful friends.
Elizabeth Pietrangelo
Margulies is good. This is one of those plays written so well that it does not need the jump from page to stage to give you the "just punched in the gut" feeling. As in Time Stands Still, Margulies portrays his skill for messing with time and space. Incredible, sharp, witty dialogue, delightful monologues, rich characters. Would love to be in this play someday.
Brian
Audiobook gave me the next best thing to being able to see it performed live. It was the original cast and everything. This is only the second play I've "seen" by Margulies (the first was Time Stands Still which I did get to see on Broadway and was amazing) but I look forward to listening to the other audiobook available of his and reading even more of his plays.
Melissa
The story follows two married couples in their 40s. Gabe and Karen, happily married with kids, and Tom and Beth, who are in the midst of getting a divorce. The play paints an intimate portrait of marriage and friendship. The play is really well done, giving glimpses of each of the characters' true feelings, which aren't always pretty.
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150805
Born in Brooklyn in 1954, Donald Margulies grew up in Trump Village, a Coney Island housing project built by Donald Trump's father. Margulies was exposed early to the theatre. His father, a wallpaper salesman, played show tunes on the family hi-fi and, despite a limited income, often took his children to Manhattan to attend Broadway plays and musicals.

Margulies studied visual arts at the Pratt Ins...more
More about Donald Margulies...
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