A Nice Pizza

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Release date: November 19, 1969
Venue: The Experimental Theatre of Vassar College
Directed by: Clinton J. Atkinson
Literature: Warren Giarraputo

Michael (Chris Bezoff) unsuccessfully tries to hang himself. The succeeding action reveals to us his current love Karen (Mary Anne Page) his past loves (his roommate and his mother), and a murder that may or may not have been committed. Sitting always on the side, mockingly and aloof, as if they were his conscience, are a man and a woman, who alternately enter into the action as mother, female lover, homosexual lover, and father.

Chris Bezoff (Michael), Mary Anne Page (Karen), Karl Weakley (The Man), Meryl Streep (The Woman)

A review in Vassar’s Miscellany News from November 21, 1969 writes: I though better than the first play, “Upstairs Sleeping” is far surpassed by Warren Giarraputo’s “A Nice Pizza.” Everything about this play clicks, Gone are the echoes of stale absurdism, instead we have a play that, through juxtaposition of past and present, real and surreal, investigates the sexual hang-ups and fantasies of a young man. Perhaps its only weakness is that the action is sometimes difficult to piece together. The opening scene, which is both macabre and hilarious, sets the tone of the play. The acting here is very fine. Chris Bezoff, pathetic and wildly funny throughout, outdoes himself in the concluding monologue in which he tells ola Child devoured by a group of carnivorous tulips at the zoo, Mary Anne Page, as Karen, blends pity and incredulousness very well. Meryl Streep and Karl Weakley as the woman and man lend strong support. If this is the new direction in which American theater is heading, then all is well. If the other genre proves domuiant. we can look forward to forms already perfected – and essentially used up – by others.