Think about how fascinating it would be to spend some time alone in a cabin with Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen. Less so an elevator, slightly more so a handicapped bathroom stall. The trio is currently partnered for Relatively Speaking, an upcoming stage show comprised of a one-act play from each writer. Elaine May interviewed her fellow playwrights for the New York Times, and as you imagine, it’s filled to the brim with chuckles and existential despair.
“Frankly I had not anticipated that I’d have to compete for the distinction of who-can-write-the-bleakest-comedy, expecting to win in a walk, but you not only compete, Elaine; I am not sure but that you might not have won,” says Coen. “This could be why you, like me, have been lobbying the producers to quit billing the evening as “Three One-Act Comedies” and start billing it as “Two One-Acts that Elicit Dark Titters, Plus a Comedy.” Explains Allen, “I wrote this sprightly little one-acter only to test out my new paper shredder. If there is any positive message at all in the narrative it is that life is a tragedy filled with suffering and despair and yet some people do manage to avoid jury duty.”