The Man Who Had Three Arms


a play by Edward Albee



Now, the whole point of this is The Metamorphosis presented as "A Report to an Academy" under the shade of Nabokov (who is directly cited) and "An Evening of Russian Poetry."  It's a three-character play in two acts in the form of the eponym's lecture on the condition of his eponymity.  No, as he might say, it's not catching.  The play focuses in on the precise condition, and focuses out any generalities that might interfere.  Anomaly, celebrity, monstrosity.  The specific Albee type: "There was a loathing to it, a condemnation that I dare be articulate, coherent."  The author removes all mickey with something more than fastidiousness, less than abstemiousness.

The nice concluding gag will do for one of Pinter's Revue Sketches.  "Be careful when you go on a talk show, though: the dumb ones use a club, and the bright ones have a knife."  Any fool who watches television can see that, now Broadway knows it as well.