Twenty years before receiving his first Broadway production, Nicky Silver scorched onto the New York scene with Pterodactyls, a blazingly prophetic play that seems more urgent by the day. This viciously hilarious yet humane story about the rotting core of the American family suggests that our extinction is beginning not with an asteroid or an ice age but rather with a severed connection to the ones closest to us.
When a young man return home with a diagnosis of AIDS, we expect mother, father, and sister to rush to his side. However, the entire Duncan family is too absorbed in its own individual miseries (Hypochondria! Marriage! Nostalgia! Hors d'oeuvres!) to care much about a close-to-home case of a pandemic illness. Unable to communicate about a single thing, the Duncans start to disintegrate, and we begin to see that most horrific and iconic disease of the past fifty years is actually the lease of their worries.