The Shadow Box

The Shadow Box

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The Shadow Box

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The Shadow Box is a play written by actor Michael Cristofer. The play made its Broadway debut on March 31, 1977. The original cast included Simon Oakland as Joe, Laurence Luckinbill as Brian, Mandy Patinkin as Mark, Geraldine Fitzgerald as Felicity, and Vincent Spano as Steve.

Plot synopsis

The play revolves around a trio of terminally ill patients, each of whom lives in a separate cottage at a hospice facility. Each is being interviewed about the process of dying. For most of the play, the interviewer is unseen, which means that characters speak directly to the audience, as if they were the interviewer.

The first dying person is Joe, a middle-aged, blue-collar family man. Joe seems well-adjusted and has accepted that he is dying. However, his wife Maggie is in denial and has not told their son Steve about his father's condition.

The second dying person is Brian, a bisexual English professor. He is being cared for by his lover, Mark. They receive a visit from Brian's flamboyant, trashy ex-wife Beverly. Beverly's presence lifts Brian's spirits but rankles Mark.

The final dying person is Felicity, an elderly, cantankerous, woman who is suffering from dementia. She is being cared for by her long-struggling, devoted daughter Agnes. Felicity is in great pain but refuses to die because she remains hopeful that her favorite daughter, Claire, will return to her soon.


The show opened on March 31, 1977 at the Morosco Theatre and closed on December 31, 1977, after 315...
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