by Yasmina Reza
ABOUT THE PLAY
Yasmina Reza’s play takes place in a train compartment, its two characters bound for Frankfurt. It proceeds as a series of monologues representing their internal thoughts. He’s a famous writer, known for being antisocial and even bitter; she’s an enormous admirer of his work and has his latest novel, “The Unexpected Man,” in her handbag. She desperately wants to talk to him, but is paralyzed by a combination of awed fear and a sense that her fantasies of who he is might prove far superior to the reality. He, meanwhile, retreats into his own world, contemplating his family problems and a friend’s less-than-enthusiastic response to his latest publication.
“It’s one thing to write dialogue that works; Reza has managed to write thoughts that work — the characters’ streams of words share an in-and-out-of-focus quality, and yet are as crucially unalike and individual as keys that look the same but open different doors.” – Nancy Franklin, The New Yorker
“Man” is a play about nothing and everything, a comic-poignant drama of missed or possible connections negotiated through the trenchant, dyspeptic, profound and banal musings of two strangers on a train. Reza’s text is rich in unexpectedly low-key delights. Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Examiner
“The beauty of Yasmina Reza’s play The Unexpected Man is the skill with which she builds and reveals her characters before they are allowed to speak to each other. That takes guts.” Steven Oxman, Curtain Up