Often I am surprised with something right as the nominations come out, but, upon reflection, my surprise changes to understanding. This year that wasn't so. My opinions haven't changed since the announcements.
Yes, Fierstein fans, there are plenty of belly laughs as the two-acts unfold on Scott Pask's lean version of a mountain getaway that's seen better days. But the playwright has much more on his mind and up his chiffon sleeve.
Sometimes the stock of a playwright falls for a very good reason. Such is the case with William Inge, a wildly successful artist in the 1950s whose work quickly seemed dated and fell strongly out of favor.
Not only have Shakespeare's works survived directorial updating and near-villainous tampering with the text, they are still taught in high schools and colleges around the world. What has changed is the wealth of teaching tools now available in the classroom and on the Internet.
Nina Raine's new drama Tribes is unquestionably one of the best plays of the year. Even its flaws feel like the flaws of an ambitious young playwright bursting with talent and something to say. It's the sort of talent that makes you listen very carefully.