ABSTRACT

McNally gives us, in the most theatrically stunning sequences of the play: the flashback fantasy sequences, to the accompaniment of Callas's live recordings of the arias that the student singers are singing. These sequencesbrilliant as they are in performance, affording an opportunity for the actor to jump back and forth between Callas's student years and her triumphant debuts and between her public and private lives-belong to two other genres of play entirely. One genre is the autobiographical one-hander (such as the Lillian Hellman vehicle that Zoe Caldwell played a few years before she created the role of Callas in Master Class), in which the historical figure, through some theatrical pretense (Emily Dickinson inviting us in as neighbors to share her recipes, Truman Capote speaking into a tape recorder for the benefit of a journalist) retells and relives formative events from his or her life.