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A Bright Room Called Day

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  684 ratings  ·  33 reviews
“One of the things that makes Kushner such a vibrant writer is the way he luxuriates in exuberance and sorrow, emotions that these intense Berliners have in spades. His intellectual characters are tremendously passionate and expressive, so it's hard not to care about what they care about, and what happens to them.” –Washington Post

“A juggernaut of a play.” -San Francisco W
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Paperback, 200 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by Theatre Communications Group
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  684 ratings  ·  33 reviews


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Carac Allison
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it

I used to have a rule when I argued with my political friends. It was simple enough: the first person to make a comparison to the Nazis generally or Hitler specifically lost the argument.
I refer to it as a "rule". I had no clout to enforce it. But you get the idea. People are so quick to make those comparisons and they are almost always ridiculous.

In "A Bright Room Called Day" Tony Kushner juxtaposes a group of friends living in Germany as the Weimar Republic falls with a Long Ilsander in the 80
...more
Michael
Apr 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of Kushner's Angels in America, and I'm a gigantic nerd when it comes to the politics and culture of Weimar Era and World War II Era Germany. I can't get enough of it. The abrupt and bizarre shift from decadent liberalism to genocidal fascism, I find it all extremely fascinating. So needless to say when I picked up A Bright Room Called Day and read the back I was immediately interested to read it, something that brought Kushner and Hirschfeld's Berlin together.

I find A Bright Roo
...more
Mary
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
Brilliant production at Swarthmore directed by my daughter Elizabeth Stevens.
Setting is Berlin 1932-33. A group of actors and artists as they are affected by the rise of Hitler. Commentary woven in on Fascism in present day USA.
Chelsea
Jul 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, favorites
It must be nice to be Tony Kushner and have something this amazing look kind of eh because you also wrote Angels in America.
Greg Heaton
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's really easy
to quickly finish a book
when half of it
is written in blank verse

and is also almost
entirely dialogue.

So much white space on every page.
Daniel
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s a terrifying warning cry to progressives to wake up and agitate as an already untenable world (our American Weimar Republic) stands on the verge of falling completely apart.

Its Reagan era fear and anger feels entirely relevant in the age of Trump.
Stephen Fife
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Tony Kushner is a brilliant person, but this is a very boring play with tedious scenes that make the same point over and over again. Simply too didactic and not dramatically compelling. It is a much better "read" than it is as a play. A play exists in time and space, and this work fails to hold the stage. But as an exploration of ideas and themes, it works much better and is worth checking out. For me it functions like Milton's "Samson Agonistes," which is compelling on the page but works only a ...more
Jessica
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, plays, 2019
Starting just prior to Hitler taking control, A Bright Room Called Day focuses on Agnes as Germany changes more or less over night. With interruptions by a woman called Zillah during the Reagan administration. This is a painful play. Seeing the beginning of the 3rd Reich from the perspective of people inside Berlin who stand (at least morally) against facism. I would love to see it performed.
Kamela
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kushner...I am ever humbled.
Louise Tripp
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tony Kushner's plays are seamless and perfect. This is no exception.
James Wilson
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brilliant. Excited to get to work on this play.
Joseph
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every reviewer who panned this play as "immature" or "hysterical" should take a good look at the current state of the world and vow to quit theater criticism.
Richie Loria
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quite simply - the most terrifying play I've read.
McKenzie Tozan
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am super-madly-in-love with this play. Though I have read quite a few plays in my life, never once can I say that a play absolutely consumed me like a work of fiction or moved me like my favorite poetry. Tony Kushner is a new writer to my life, but “A Bright Room Called Day” will hardly be the last of his works that I will read (unless, of course, that means that I’ve read so many of his works and returned to this one, again, last and then suddenly died—then, yes, I suppose that would be a pos ...more
Rea Bailey
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-read this!!! And loved it even more than the first time!!!
Leigh
"I mean just because a certain ex-actor-turned-President who shall go nameless sat idly by and watched tens of thousands die of a plague and he couldn't even bother to say he felt bad about it, much less try to help, does this mean he merits comparison to a certain fascist-dictator anti-Semitic mass-murdering psychopath who shall also remain nameless? OF COURSE NOT!

[. . .]

Moral exuberance. Hallucination, revelation, gut-flutters in the night--the internal intestinal night bats, their panicky l
...more
Morgan
Sep 27, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: theatre
It was interesting. I enjoyed the parallels between Zillah and Agnes and the really old lady, whatshername . . . anyway. Kushner really amazes me with his language, how he jumps from poetry to prose in dialogue, and can then throw in songs and other rhymes and children's poems. Unbelievable. And though I think it would've interested me more, storywise at any rate, I felt a little too distanced, as if the characters were little more than paper dolls. I would like to see this one performed, see it ...more
Kaysy Ostrom
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
GREAT play. I really enjoyed the premise, the dialogue, and the obvious passion that was behind the words. My favorite parts were Zillah's interruptions. I didn't really know who she was but her words were sooo powerful and I liked the slow discovery of her character's place in the story.
p.s. my reviews are all very ambiguous. if you want to know the plot of a book I assume you can visit that book's page.
Brian
Sep 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
A great ensemble play filled with increasingly powerful ensemble themes. He is one of the few playwrights out there who blends realism with poetic lyricism in a way that I both buy and am moved buy.

Oh yeah, and he's a self-proclaimed immature person, for writing a play that attempts to parallel Reagon with Hitler... I love immature people.
Bronwyn
I am a huge theatre person and this is honestly the best play I have ever read. It made me cry, something no other play, book, or movie has ever done. After about a minute of just sinking in the brilliance that I had just read, I wanted to reread it again (and plan to do so soon).
stephanie
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, drama, wwii
my good friend's sister played zillah in an off broadway production.

brilliantly creepy play. i need to read it, and i want to read it, and that means something.
Thorne Clark
May 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Political fiction/theater is very, very rarely enjoyable for me. But this is gorgeous.
Rose Anderson
Kushner thinks Reagan was evil, not nearly to the degree of Hitler, but still evil.
Mark Mezadourian
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I directed this play in 1996. It is a deeply passionate and smart play, full of beautiful language.
Amanda
May 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
ok so I know its a play but I LOVE this one. sharp political edgy and such intense charecters
kathryn
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I would enjoy seeing this performed on stage, but it is easily visualized in reading only. Highly recommended
Anna Keating
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Poetry! This man is a genius.
Katie
Dec 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
we are reading it in school and i love it!!!!!
Cecilia
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This has a compelling depiction of the devil as evil personified, as a small, non-descript businessman. It's a fierce moral challenge to our complacency in the face of evil in our own times.
Mary
Feb 18, 2012 marked it as to-read
I need to reread this.
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Tony Kushner is an award-winning American playwright most famous for his play Angels in America, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He is also co-author, along with Eric Roth, of the screenplay of the 2005 film Munich, which was directed by Steven Spielberg and earned Kushner (along with Roth) an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
“What makes the voice pathetic
is that it doesn't know
what kind of people it's reaching.
Us.
No one hears it, except us.
This Age wanted heroes.
It got us instead:
carefully constructed, but
immobile.
Subtle but,
unfit
to take up
the burden of the times.
It happens.
A whole generation of washouts.
History says stand up,
and we totter and collapse,
weeping, moved, but not
sufficient.”
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“Opium is the perfect drug for people who want to remain articulate while being completely trivial.” 6 likes
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