The Marriage of Bette and Boo
THE STORY: As the play begins Bette and Boo are being united in matrimony, surrounded by their beaming families. But as the further progress of their marriage is chronicled it becomes increasingly clear that things are not working out quite as hoped for. The birth of their son is followed by a succession of stillborns; Boo takes to drink; and their respective families are odd lots to say the least: His father is a sadistic tyrant, who refers to his wife as the dumbest woman in the world; while Bette’s side includes a psychotic sister who endures lifelong agonies over her imagined transgressions and a senile father who mutters in unintelligible gibberish. For solace and counsel they all turn to Father Donnally, a Roman Catholic priest who dodges their questions by impersonating (hilariously) a strip of frying bacon. Conveyed in a series of dazzlingly inventive interconnected scenes, the play moves wickedly on through three decades of divorce, alcoholism, madness and fatal illness—all treated with a farcical brilliance which, through the author’s unique talent, mines the unlikely lodes of irony and humor residing in these ostensibly unhappy events.
Winner of the Obie Award. A brilliant and coruscatingly funny dissection of marriage and the family in contemporary—and Catholic—America, by our theatre’s master satirist. A critical and popular success in its production by New York’s Public Theatre, the play is both devastatingly perceptive and wildly comic as it skewers its assorted victims with joyfully relentless precision. “THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE AND BOO is the best play of a depressing season, but it would be an adornment to any season.” —Village Voice. “Once more he is demonstrating his special knack for wrapping life’s horrors in the primary colors of absurdist comedy.” —NY Times. “…Durang has the ability of making the real absurd and the absurd real.” —NY Post. “Christopher Durang, the humorist and satirist, has rarely written anything funnier or more serious than his mordant comedy THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE AND BOO…a brimming cornucopia of brilliant lines.” —The New Yorker.