Angels Fall.  Burn This.  Balm in Gilead. The Fifth of July.  Redwood Curtain.  Lanford Wilson wrote these and more; when I saw them back in the 80s I felt privy to what seemed a golden age of theater.  To experience his plays is to witness the theater at its most human, but also its most exalted. Heartbreak is there, but so is resolve; his characters are articulate and smart, but also broken somehow, full of fears they manage to surmount but just barely.   Wilson’s name seemed indivisible from the theater where he did his best work: Circle Rep, a miraculous institution that is sadly no more.  By now they’ve found each other again.  RIP.

Granger in Strangers on a Train

Mentioning Farley Granger and Wilson in the same breath feels oxymoronic, but not when you remember that Granger appeared in the New York production of Wilson’s Talley and Son, winning an Obie Award for his performance.  But Granger’s chief claim to fame is starring in two Hitchcock films:  Rope, where he played one half of a pair of murderous lovers, and the classic Strangers on a Train, as the object of Robert Walker’s obsession.  Granger left Hollywood for New York to turn himself into more than a pretty face.  By life’s end he achieved renown as a legitimate actor and more: authorship of a memoir, and coming out as a gay man, something Hollywood and rest of the world wouldn’t have tolerated back in his movie-star days.  Ah, the peace he must’ve felt—RIP