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The Subject Was Roses
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The Subject Was Roses

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  57 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Drama / 2m, 1f / Interior / Winner! 1965 Pulitzer Prize for Drama It is May of 1946 and Timmy Cleary has come home from the war to his estranged parents, John and Nettie, in the Bronx apartment where he grew up. As their reunion promises a return to life as it never was, John, giving up a lucrative business opportunity, attends a ball game with his son and grudgingly, at T ...more
Paperback, 77 pages
Published 1990 by Samuel French (first published June 1965)
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Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written, with exquisite dialogue but very, very sad.

I see why it won the Pulitzer, the writing is so clear and lyrical. But the play itself is now so dated.
Magdalena Rahn
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think that if I were to see this play on stage, I would cry, it's that powerful.
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
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Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a bitter play, about a marriage barely held together by the son neither parent wants to relinquish. Mr. Gilroy accurately penned what goes on behind the closed doors of a house when men, women and children struggle for dominance and independence within the bounds of routine, marriage and family. In harsh simple language, only occasionally tempered by kindness, we see what happens when a man and a woman fall out of love with each other and the adult son who is unfortunately caught in the ...more
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
This is like All My Sons, but I liked it better. Sure you don't have the dead people and the downed planes. Instead you have alcoholism, punching and roses! What's not fun about that? Most of this edition is actually the playwrite's diary about getting the production of the play to Broadway. Great for all you arts admin nerds out there. He also put in the budget for the show, so I know how much the LD made and how much they paid the stage hands. It's kind of interesting.
Feb 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Maybe it’s because, fifty years after this play premiered, dysfunctional family drama is de rigueur for theatre, but, for me, The Subject was Roses was just blah. The storyline is pretty much “families are dysfunctional.” It’s a bunch of scenes with people arguing or crying or being passive aggressive. Maybe it was groundbreaking when it premiered, but in 2014, it doesn’t stand out amidst the sea of dramatic plays about messed-up families who like to argue. Not recommended.
Chris Gager
Nov 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I worked for a while as an unpaid volunteer tech. assistant at Theater By the Sea in Portsmouth, NH back in the fall of 1969. This was the play I worked on and I'm pretty sure I read it. Saw the movie too which was pretty good. Date read is approximate.
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite play at all.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, american
Excellent play portraying the difficult relationships and allegiances in a bitterly divided family.
Brittany Petruzzi
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: tony-winners, plays
Excellent pacing, moving towards the tragic, but with an abrupt, happyish ending.
Nov 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Subject was Roses. I loved this play and felt I knew all the characters. We are all one in the big scheme of things or something like that.
Bobby Sullivan
This play is almost half a century old, but it's not really dated at all. It could easily be staged today. Three really rich characters, all of whom would be very satisfying to perform.
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David Fraser
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Dec 25, 2013
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Nov 03, 2011
Kathleen Hughes
Drawn from the diary of the playwright, this book gives interesting insight into the process of mounting a new Broadway play in the 1960s.
Shane Howard
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Aug 16, 2017
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