Lizzie's Reviews > Stay

Stay by Lucy Thurber
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's review
Jul 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, recurring-characters, theater, script, fantasy-or-something, own
Read on July 07, 2011

Finally used an ancient Drama Book Store gift that Shannon gave me.

I liked this so much. I read it immediately after the later play Scarcity (which is a story that chronologically comes earlier). Doing this was interesting, because I think there are some deliberate links in what is said in each of them.

I liked this play more, because I think there's more thinking in it, more trying for something. The pieces are sort of jaggedy, but. Julia is so weird, but weird that works. (Are you annoyed by her? Scared of her? Sorry for her?) Billy's misogynist threats and stories about violence are a little overprepared, but they play out thematically. The angel doesn't do quite enough, but it's not really about her anyway.

There were so many scenes when I was just really excited by what was going on. When Julia touches Rachel, when Billy and Tommy have breakfast in the office, when Rachel is drunk and the angel explains the rules. In a good play, a scene being exciting is often just as simple as "I can't believe these two people are together, talking about this!" Because it's that good that those people are together, talking about that.

All the scenes here have something good like that happen in them, so I think there's a lot of care inside the writing. Which I think is somehow the thing that ultimately holds the language back from being revelatory -- everything that's said is a touch too declarative, too on the nose. And some of those lines are beautiful, but, it sounds like a play. But like a play that's aiming to sound powerful. Which in the end sounds kind of disappointing.

4.5 stars, but.

It's interesting that an alternate ending is included. In my opinion it isn't necessary; the regular ending's dialogue is more tightly edited, and the scene's conclusion more elegant. It's quite a good end.

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