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

“Raisin in the Sun” at the Public

The first grown-up straight play I remember seeing was Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun in Chicago. I didn’t see it the first time it played Chicago, when it stopped there on its way to Broadway in February 1959 … Continue reading

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A New “1776”

I’m going to guess I’m not the only person who learned about the triangle trade from a musical. Late in the action of the show of 1776, a delegate to the Continental Congress from South Carolina named Edward Rutledge reacts … Continue reading

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As You Kink It

Because of serendipitous scheduling, I saw Kinky Boots on a matinee and the New York Shakespeare production of As You Like It that night. Kinky Boots is about a guy who gets to say and do some things because he … Continue reading

Posted in Broadway, Chicago theater, drama, improvisation, musicals, New York, off-Broadway, theater, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


I remember someone bringing up Whose Line Is It Anyway? to Del Close, the Chicago improvisational theater master. A student said something to Del about the players on the show flying without a net. Del retorted, “They may be flying … Continue reading

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Watching a TV series reminds me of a play I saw in 2007

Watched an oddball but extremely affecting British miniseries on Britbox tonight called Don’t Forget the Driver starring Toby Jones (in two roles) and co-written by Jones and Tim Crouch. The plot concerns a bus driver in Bognor Regis who discovers, … Continue reading

Posted in Chicago theater, improvisation, movies, New York, off-Broadway, playwriting, Second City, television | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Review: “Heart” with Jade Anouka

If you saw Phyllida Lloyd’s series of Shakespeare productions set in a women’s prison you likely remember what an arresting impression Jade Anouka made as Mark Antony and Hotspur. She has returned to New York in a solo piece called … Continue reading

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“Winter Adé”

On an impulse, I watched Helke Misselwitz’ documentary, Winter Adé on Mubi streaming. The film is mostly a collection of interviews by the director of women in East Germany. The interviewees are of various ages. Two teenagers who don’t want … Continue reading

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“The Bedwetter” and “Mr. Saturday Night”

Two new musicals are co-written by people who came to fame via stand-up comedy. Mr. Saturday Night, the Billy Crystal vehicle (which he co-wrote with Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, composer Jason Robert Brown and lyricist Amanda Green) is about … Continue reading

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Telling it Clearly — “Macbeth” vs. “Cyrano”

I’m a story guy. I think the roots of the theater lie in people sharing stories. I’ve written before about a conversation I had in the mid-Seventies with novelist Louis L’Amour that influenced my thinking. He described how Native Americans, … Continue reading

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“American Buffalo” on Broadway

In 2001, I served on a grand jury. At one point, an ADA played for us a recording from a wiretap. It was a conversation between two members of a violent drug gang. One was assigning the other to kill … Continue reading

Posted in Broadway, Chicago theater, drama, improvisation, playwriting, Second City, theater, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments