Lawrence Frascella
August 11, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Spinning into Butter

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
performer
Hope Davis
director
Daniel Sullivan
author
Rebecca Gilman

We gave it a B

After a controversial run at Chicago’s Goodman Theater, Spinning Into Butter marks the New York debut of acclaimed 35-year-old writer Rebecca Gilman. It’s an earnest, tough-minded piece about a racial incident at a privileged Vermont college. The first act unfolds like a comedy of manners, as its characters traverse a minefield of coded, loaded jargon meant to neutralize the issue of race. But the second act rips at those pieties in brave fashion. Gilman allows her heroine — a sympathetic dean played by Hope Davis (Arlington Road) — to reveal some ugly and galvanizing truths about herself. The play is compelling, if occasionally brittle, and it will adjust your sensitivities. B

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