Golden Boy | Essays
Brendan Lemon | Jan. 11, 2013
GOLDEN BOY, by Clifford Odets, charts the swift rise of a gifted twenty-one-year-old violinist, Joe Bonaparte, who is corrupted by fame and fortune when he chooses to become a professional boxer.
Surrounding his hero with a gallery of sharply written characters who try to shape and guide Joe's destiny, Odets lays out the young man's many facets: sensitive musician, rebellious son, frustrated lover, and self-destructive champion. In the end, it is the seductive promise of the American dream that betrays Joe as it did for so many in the Depression years.
LCT's Resident Director, Bartlett Sher -- who brought us the 2006 Tony Award-winning revival of Awake and Sing! -- brought GOLDEN BOY back to the Belasco, where it was first produced. In his words, "Clifford Odets is one of the best 20th-century American playwrights and the obsessions and concerns that inform his work are what make him unique and great. As Joe Bonaparte struggles to define himself, each of us should also ask ourselves: Are you the violinist or are you the boxer? Will you allow your humanity to be crushed, whether it's for love, or fame, or money, or anything else?"