1 man, 1 woman: 2 total
One of the most famous and controversial plays of the modern theater. Detailing an imagined meeting between two legendary figures—Jean Harlow and Billy The Kid—the frank, outspoken language of the play brought a police action that closed its initial production in San Francisco, and resulted in legal charges against the actors. The eventual dismissal of these charges marked an important step in establishing the limits of censorship in the theatre. "Michael McClure's THE BEARD is a mysterious piece of work…almost as if ghosts from two periods of the American past were speaking across decades to each other…" —Norman Mailer. "…a milestone in the history of heterosexual art." —Kenneth Tynan. "…juicy and exuberant…" —Allen Ginsberg.
Book/Item: THE BEARD
Book Type: MS
FEE: $75 per performance. MS.
THE STORY: Examining the nature of seduction—and attraction—the play brings into explosive confrontation two legends of America's recent past: the sultry, platinum blonde movie star, Jean Harlow; and the baby-faced, quick-temperated outlaw, Billy The Kid. Drawn to each other, but constrained from yielding by their towering egos, the two probe each other's weaknesses and uncertainties with cruel precision—she mocking his vaunted masculinity, and he accusing her of envying his beauty. In time, as their obstinacy fades with the knowledge that there is no one watching them—that they are free to slip out from behind the larger-than-life facades with that they have been burdened—the two give way to their true feelings in a rush of unbridled passion, leading to a final scene which is one of the most celebrated and widely discussed of the modern theatre.