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The Dazzle

Two promising brothers finish their lives in a house full of junk in this forgettable play

Harlem's legendary Collyer brothers were wealthy eccentrics who left behind a mansion packed to the ceiling with junk; their death was a macabre, '20s-era news story to match Faulkner's A Rose for Emily. Langley Collyer, in playwright Richard Greenberg's fictional treatment, is a talented piano player; his brother Homer manages their finances. Around the turn of the last century they lead a sparkling, irresponsible, bohemian life, and a rich young woman falls in love with Langley. Things fail to work out, in one way or another, and the brothers finish their lives in a dusty junk mausoleum. The play is like Waiting for Godot with a geographically specific set, but it lasts too long. Greenberg has given himself too much plot to unravel, and we get the point well before the play ends. Still, after a mannered opening scene, Steven Anthony Jones delivers a couple of searing speeches as Homer, and Gregory Wallace as well as René Augesen -- as Langley and the rich young woman, Milly -- do witty work. The Dazzle is just somehow forgettable; it burns out of your mind quickly, like a fog.

 
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