The Altruists By Nicky Silver
Nicky Silver, who became an Off-Broadway sensation in the mid-1990s with such stylishly perverse plays as The Food Chain, Pterodactyls and Raised in Captivity, is turning out to be the textbook case of arrested adolescence in American playwriting. Two years ago, I was inclined to overlook the clumsy contrivances in his psychologically flimsy The Maiden's Prayer, because I thought I saw him reaching for a new level of comic seriousness via a conventional realism he couldn't really handle. His The Eros Trilogy last year, though?two thirds of which was recycled from his 1991 play Free Will & Wanton Lust?was a discouraging return to his familiar glib and affectedly quirky skimming of neurotic surfaces, and his new play The Altruists is more of the same. One wonders, if he's really going to spend his entire career poking at life with a dandyish verbal walking stick rather than developing any truly intimate or ruminative relationship to it, why he doesn't just go write for tv.