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Becky Shaw

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  388 ratings  ·  31 reviews
"I'm also going to give you some advice. Your husband is not the Red Cross. The last time he started consoling a cute, suicidal chick, he married her. "

"Becky Shaw" is an amusing and cleverly constructed comedy about ambition, the cost of being truthful, and the perils of a blind date. The fast and funny dialogue navigates between five distinctively perverse and disingenuo
Paperback, 71 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Dramatists Play Service
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  388 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Lorma Doone
Nov 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, books-i-own
Very dark comedy. I'm still thinking about it over a day later. Really sharp. ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theatre
Great modern manners play - hints of Vanity Fair. Can't wait to costume it! ...more
Nick Barakos
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mind blowing. Had to read this one for Acting 2. Incredible characters and terrifyingly manipulative. It does what every great drama should do while staying innovative and magnetic. A bit upsetting and it's sometimes hard to choose who to root for (which is probably what makes it so wonderful). ...more
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Some great lines in this dialogue and a very vague ending
Juanita Johnson
Nov 07, 2012 rated it liked it
While the plot roams, this is a hilarious short listen about dysfunction at its best!
Mark Johnson
Jul 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: theater
Have you ever read a novel, and realized at some point (usually chapter 3) that what you are reading is a pilot for a movie? Reading 'Becky Shaw', I had the distinct impression that the playwright was auditioning for a gig writing for TV. Not schlock TV, mind you, but good, serious TV that you only get to watch if you can afford premium cable. The dialogue is wonderful: contemporary, sparkling with wit and insight (this play is worth the read for gems like Suzanna's definition of love when Max t ...more
This play took a little while to simmer before it hit a rolling boil, but it finally did. In my opinion, it would make an excellent film or feature length movie and has that kind of sensibility. While it is easy to blame Becky Shaw, the title character, for all the conflict and strife, it is ultimately as the Giofriddo suggests i nth preface not very fair. Truly, "every character in this play manipulates other people to get their own needs met," and watching they ways they own up to this fact is ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
As I have mentioned before, I really stink at reading plays. However, I will give a review based upon what I was able to observe.

Basically, this is a play about awful people doing awful things while also trying to do good things (so they are all essentially human). This play is not for those looking for a feel-good performance. It is offensive, blunt, bittersweet and shocking. Tread carefully.
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The first time I read it, I was underwhelmed but I couldnt stop thinking about it so I read it again and loved it. I love the almost non-ending which is kinda becoming a theme in contemporary theater. It kinda reminds me of Gillian Flynn in a weird way in that it’s one of those stories where no one is the likable protagonist but neither is anyone an evil villian; it is a play of flawed human beings.
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it
This play needs a different ending. MINI SPOILER: It sets itself up to be a tragedy, and everything kind of works out "meh-okay" in the end. A real let-down. And why is the play called Becky Shaw? She's just a catalyst for problems that already exist.

I wish the first 50-odd pages were the same, but the ending be different. It's almost awesome, but it's a letdown.
Michele Bolay
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wickedly "gunny?" Please edit the description! :-/ ...more
Bobby Sullivan
Jan 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
I've read plays before where I thoroughly disliked all the characters, but this play is just pointless. The action is driven by Max, a consummate narcissist who insults just about everyone he meets, constantly. He's way too impressed with himself and his ability to make money, and he makes zero apologies for his stunted emotions. Sociopath. Everyone around him is utterly pathetic. They should all tell him to piss off, but they don't. They deserve what they get by letting him infest their lives. ...more
Steven Brandt
Feb 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dramatic plays are still relatively new to me. I’ve listened to a few that I really liked, and a few that just didn’t do anything for me. Becky Shaw falls into the latter category.

Based on the publisher’s summary, I was skeptical about Becky Shaw from the start. It kind of sounded like one of those romantic comedies that rarely appeal to me. It wasn’t the story, however, that turned me off, it was the rough language and the loose morals of the characters. There were some funny moments in
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: drama
A bracing comedy about relationships with friends or lovers, who may in fact turn out to be complete strangers to us -- and themselves.

The first scene of the play perfectly sets up why the further adventures of a couple of friends and their third wheels will lead to poisonous ends. Outside of not quite sticking the landing, to the point where I couldn't out who precisely the play was about, Gionfriddo entertains throughout and makes you ask hard questions about the people you're closest to, so t
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
I do not understand what I am supposed to come away with here. It felt like the only interesting things happened in the last three pages, and it just wasn't enough to justify reading the whole thing. Also, I can't tell if Gionfriddo is grimly fascinated with conservatism/objectivism, or if she really is positioning herself as an apologist for that point of view? Halting half-measures in every direction but nothing ever lands. Rapture Blister Burn was similarly unsatisfying and uncomfortable. Rem ...more
Tiffany Day
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don't love it, but there's something about it... all of the characters are fantastic -- really developed -- and I can't stop thinking about it (and that's always a good sign) - it has something to say and makes some great points, and while not overly sad, it's not happy, either... I'd like to see it performed by a solid cast - probably around 3 1/2 stars; I rounded to 4, since it definitely merits more than 3 ...more
May 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
Intense relationships and communication but no real storyline. This play felt generic to me and very unmemorable. The lack of character development is probably the reason I have to give it such a low rating. Nobody changes. Everybody is stuck and although this can be intentional there is just so little written here it's hard to say if the static nature of the characters has actually been tested. In the end Max and Becky seem to change toward one another, foreshadowing a change in Max perhaps. ...more
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Smart, crisp and tightly written. Touches on class issues I find interesting. "Don't be racist" is written in there twice and the title character Becky Shaw tells two stories that explain why she fears black men. Racially tone deaf? A bit. There's probably a way to cast this with a non-white ensemble. ...more
Adrian Collins
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This play is a delicious puzzle. With despicable and frustrating characters around every corner, the drama of this play is messy and thick. Histories are tested and questioned. Relationships blur lines between friends of equal status, savior and victim, manipulator and whatever else. This play keeps you guessing and trying to figure out if there is hope for any of these desperate characters.
Sarah Kosar
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
HILARIOUS and Dark! Best kind of combo in a play. Exciting and excellent excellent dialogue! Well worth reading. If you can see, then GO and see it!
Feb 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Most definitely not my thing. I didn't like any of the characters, didn't much care for the plot... Just didn't do anything for me. Thank goodness it was short. ...more
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-15
This is a fantastic play. Excellent commentary on relationships and what we do to keep them or destroy them.
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, american, women, comedy
Acerbic males, borderline females and possibly decent people, although it's hard to tell the difference. ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cassie by: author
Another great piece of theatre from Gionfriddo. She's not afraid of the answers to the tough questions. ...more
Kyle  Wilkinson
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
An underwhelming ending IMO doesn't detract from what is a razor-sharp look into how some relationships can end up being dysfunctional ...more
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Too many tangents and unnecessary background overwhelm this potentially interesting tale of a woman who is either victim of poor circumstance or a con woman adept at exploiting people. The play could lose almost the entirety of the first act as all of that set up could have been squared away in a few sentences. The inciting event at the end of Act One, which propels all of Act Two, is good but insubstantial. I’m surprised the play received as much acclaim as it has. I personally thought that it ...more
Sophie Bloor
May 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was great. About the lies we tell to protect the ones we love. Each character complex and fully developed. Curious if Becky Shaw had a deeper more metaphorical meaning. I wish she left max at the end but there was something nice about the two lost souls uniting. Lots of excellent capitalist commentary and all round interesting story. Minus the arguable incest.
Judith Herman
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun and thought provoking.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A dramedy of the power dynamics of family tension, money, and secrets in one repressed family and one disaster of a helpless outsider who trips everyone up. Funny/dramatic.
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