It’s always a pleasure to experience a well-written, expertly staged and sensitively acted play that is both provocative and off the beaten path. The current Off-Broadway revival of How I Learned to Drive, Paula Vogel’s 1998 critical blockbuster about incest, child abuse and destructive sexual empowerment, is such a play. Its excellent, limited run at Second Stage on West 43rd Street (through March 11, but don’t be surprised if packed houses and good reviews lead to an extension) is a must-see, and with the marvelous two-time Tony-winner Norbert Leo Butz taking a break from musicals to portray the tragic role of a pedophile with an oily charm that makes him understandable if not entirely forgivable, missing such an opportunity is out of the question.
I’m not sure I understand why this slight, 90-minute, one-act play won the Pulitzer Prize in a year that also produced the unforgettable musical sensation Side Show and the savage Irish drama The Beauty Queen of Leenane, but it does hold up well in retrospect. Read More