Author Archives: dgsweet

About dgsweet

I write for and about theater. I spent a number of years as a resident playwright of a theater in Chicago which put up 14 of my plays, and I still think of Chicago as my primary theatrical home, though I actually live in New York. I serve on the Council of the Dramatists Guild. Between plays, I write books, most notably SOMETHING WONDERFUL RIGHT AWAY (about Second City), THE O'NEILL (about the O'Neill Center) and THE DRAMATIST'S TOOLKIT (a text on playwriting craft). I also occasionally perform a solo show called YOU ONLY SHOOT THE ONES YOU LOVE. I enjoy visiting theaters outside of New York. I can be reached at

Thoughts Triggered by “Next Stop, Greenwich Village”

I’ve been working on a revised edition of Something Wonderful Right Away, my oral history of the founding and early days of Second City. It was originally published in 1978 and, inevitably, many of the people I interviewed for the … Continue reading

Posted in improvisation, movies, New York, off-Broadway, playwriting, Pulitzer Prize, Second City, theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Returning to the Scene

To be simultaneously separated by masks (I wear two) and joined in responding with laughter with hundreds of others is to experience the contradictions of going to the theater these days.  Of course, you can’t see the mouths, but maybe … Continue reading

Posted in Broadway, drama, New York, off-Broadway, playwriting, theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Review: “Sanctuary City”

Movie trailers today mostly are constructed the same way – a line or two of characters yelling or a violent incident quick cuts to another violent incident or line or two of characters yelling. And accompanying each cut is a … Continue reading

Posted in drama, New York, off-Broadway, playwriting, theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“People on Sunday”–a film of pre-Nazi Berlin

Have started reading Joseph McBride’s new book, Billy Wilder: Dancing on the Edge, which naturally led to my watching People on Sunday, a silent film co-directed by Robert Siodmak and Edgar Ulmer (with assists from Curt Siodmak, Fred Zinnemann and … Continue reading

Posted in Berlin, movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Men in White, Sidney Kingsley, and Ancillary Thoughts

I recently read Sidney Kingsley’s play, Men in White (1933), and last night I watched the 1934 film adaptation directed by Richard Boleslawski. (Interesting that Boleslawski directed the film version of a work that had been directed on Broadway by … Continue reading

Posted in Broadway, drama, film adaptation, movies, playwriting, Pulitzer Prize, television | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Forgotten Play Yields Treasure

One of the pleasures of trawling the depths of the Broadway HD streaming channel is digging up obscurities. Often, they are obscure for good reason. I can’t say that Don Appell’s Lullaby is any great shakes as a piece of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New York Through Kids’ Eyes

One of the benefits of marrying Kristine twelve years ago (July 15 was our anniversary) is that I acquired, with no effort, six grandchildren. Four of them visited us this past week.  Whenever you host visitors, you can’t help but … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

From “Crime in the Streets” to “West Side Story”

Watched a clumsy but fascinating film called Crime in the Streets. It started as a 1955 live TV play by Reginald Rose presented by the Elgin Hour, directed by Sidney Lumet. A young John Cassavetes starred as Frankie, a member … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s TV Drama, Broadway, film adaptation, Golden Age of Television, movies, New York | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ride Share

In 1992, a former cab driver named Will Kern drew on his experience to whip up a bracing entertainment called Hellcab. An actor played the driver and an ensemble of six played something in the neighborhood of 30 passengers who … Continue reading

Posted in Chicago theater, drama, film adaptation, playwriting, television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Living Up to the Dream

I’m close to the end of Bauhaus – A New Era, a German TV miniseries that tells a story of Walter Gropius and his relationship with a student, Dörte Helm, against the background of the arts school Gropius founded in … Continue reading

Posted in television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment