Available for the first time in over thirty years, John Krizanc’s internationally acclaimed play redefined the limits of theatre with its haunting tale of art, sex, violence, and political intrigue in Fascist Italy.
In the late twenties the poet, war hero, and lothario Gabriele d’Annunzio waits in his opulent villa — a gift from Benito Mussolini in return for his political silence — for the arrival of the artist Tamara de Lempicka, who is to paint his portrait. What follows is a tale of art, sex, violence and the meaning of complicity in an authoritarian state. The action is directed by the reader/audience member, who decides which characters to follow and which narratives to experience.
John Krizanc’s masterpiece redefined theatre and won six L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards, six Dora Mavor Moore Awards, six Drama-Logue Awards, and six Mexican Association of Theatre Critics, and Journalists Awards for its original productions. Now available in a handsome new A List edition, Tamara is an astonishing piece of experimental art and a penetrating look into ethical choices in times of encroaching autocracy.
About the author
JOHN KRIZANC is a playwright and screenwriter born in Lethbridge, Alberta. His play Tamara became an international sensation, won major theatre awards throughout North America, and was praised by the likes of Steven Spielberg and John Huston. It has been produced in Toronto, Mexico City, New York City, and Lisbon, and is the longest-running play in Los Angeles. His other theatrical works include The Half of It and Prague, which won a Governor General’s Literary Award and a Chalmers Award. He is a founding member of the Necessary Angel Theatre Company and wrote scripts for the television series Due South. He lives in Toronto.
Sizzling time for sensualists and gourmands.
New York Magazine
John Krizanc’s play is literate, intricate, astonishing, and boldly, unabashedly theatrical . . . It glints with subtle perceptions, illuminations, snappy dialogue . . . Its brilliant varied strands are woven seamlessly into a gorgeous tapestry that becomes a net of allurement . . . Tamara is magnifico, history-making, the theatrical event of the year. Maybe of many years.
Tamara is a shot of adrenaline.
New York Times
A theatrical event of the year . . . perhaps of a lifetime.
Los Angeles Times
Audacious and fascinating.
Tamara carries the voyeurism that is at the heart of all theatre to its ultimate extreme . . . John Krizanc is canny enough to offer more than novelty. The play becomes a multi-levelled examination of the effect of repression on art — filled with decadence, fear, sterility, and impotence.
Innovative . . . Revolutionary.
Christian Science Monitor
A spectacle that leaves theatregoers gasping!
Boundary-busting . . . The playlets are so cleverly and strongly written that each one gives you a new piece of the puzzle.
Globe and Mail
At once a delightful game, a masterful whodunit.
A veritable hotbed of sex and politics, a hothouse of passions and violence. An intimacy unlike any other play seen before. A total theatrical experience.
United Press International
Tamara is a mind-blowing theatrical experience. Not since the Royal Shakespeare Company staged Nicholas Nickelby has New York experienced a more unique presentation than this.