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The first scene of John Patrick Shanley's the dreamer examines his pillow is a conversation between two lovers, Tommy and Donna, who broke up some time earlier but are obviously still attracted to each other. Donna is enraged because Tommy, a would-be artist, is now having an affair with her younger sister; but Tommy is seemingly unmoved by her harrangue. In the second scene, Donna visits her father, a once successful artist who stopped painting at the death of his wife, whom he had bullied and betrayed despite his professed love for her. Funny, combative and complex, the father sits, drinks, and eventually gives in to his daughter's demands. In the third and final scene, Dad and Tommy confront each other, with results that are sometimes menacing, sometimes antic, as a lively discussion about art and women leads eventually to a sort of tenuous truce -- and a grudging recognition of the responsibility that love, in its various guises, imposes. Anita Khanzadian directs.

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