Average People – Unique Affair
Middle of the Night could be tagged as one of your usual stories where a young woman falls for an elderly man, and their affair is disapproved by the society. However, there is a lot more to this play by Paddy Chayefsky. In this moving tale, Paddy explains an ordinary situation in the most extraordinary manner that places the society’s tortured, insecure and lonely people in the center. You won’t find anything very literary about the dialogues and the setting, except for the kind of literature that speaks to every other person and creates a unique poetry of its own. Perhaps, this was something that only Chayefsky could have achieved.
The story of Middle of the Night revolves around a young woman, trapped in a meaningless marriage, and an elderly widower who is leading a silent, lonely life. Being his secretary, the young girl starts getting to know her boss and gradually they begin sharing their darkest of the secrets. Desperate to find someone in a world of shadows and distrust, the two find solace in each other’s company. However, their relationship is not approved by the society because of their age and religious differences. Is their love strong enough to overcome the scorn of their loved ones and the piercing, prying eyes of the society?
Paddy Chayefsky – The Playwright
Paddy Chayefsky is famous for being the only playwright to have won Academy Awards in the category of the “Best Screenplay” three times as a solo competitor. During his lifetime, he wrote several plays as well as novels that have been adapted into films and theatricals. During his time, which has been labeled as the “Golden Age of Television”, he was considered among the top dramatists. He was also one of the most prominent figures of the famous American television “Kitchen Sink Realism Movement”. About him, Martin Gottfried commented, “Chayefsky was an accomplished writer as well as television’s ‘slice of life’ school of naturalism’s most successful graduate.”
Initially, Paddy Chayefsky earned fame as a critically acclaimed teleplay writer. However, his writing career didn’t stop there and he continued to earn fame as a successful novelist and playwright. His Academy Awards were for his screenwriting of The Hospital, Marty and Network. Like Middle of the Night, the rest of his stories are based on the lives of ordinary people and every day ordeals faced by them. However, there is a pitch of unusualness in Chayefsky’s writing that only he can achieve.
Middle of the Night at Clurman Theatre
Paddy Chayefsky’s Middle of the Night has been adapted into several theatrical productions since the day it was first published. It has been adapted into a drama film as well. This time around, it is being produced by The Keen Company. The production is directed by Jonathan Silverstein. Tony Award nominee, Jonathan Hadary takes the stage in the lead role, along with Nicole Lowrance. Hadary won a Tony nomination for Gypsie’s 1989 revival, where he took up the role of “Herbie”. Other cast members include Todd Bartels, Alyssa May Gold, Melissa Miller, Amelia Campbell and Denise Lute. The sets are created by Steven Kemp and costumes are designed by Jennifer Paar. In this brand new Broadway staging of Middle of the Night, catch the story of two insomniacs as their midnight conversations change the course of many lives.