My Next Husband Will Be a Beauty!


"[This play opens] in a restaurant at the Plaza Hotel, [where a girl is] uncomfortably beating off the embraces of a young admirer. The girl is shy, just out of school, just come to New York to be with Uncle Henry and Aunt Henrietta after the death of her mother. Henry and Henrietta appear at the table and announce that they are about to indulge in their third divorce, after which they will enjoy six months' freedom and then marry one another for the fourth time. Henrietta is a shrew and much of the play is spent in her haranguing Henry. Henry is polite and mild but has a soft spot for full-blown nieces just arrived in town-- on several occasions, in the presence of Henrietta, he fondles his niece's thighs and suggests a retreat to a more intimate part of the Plaza. Henrietta, when she is not being paranoid about something or munching tranquilizers, is complaining bitterly that Henry doesn't hate her enough. The young suitor reappears several times to grapple with the girl, to her growing terror, and at last knifes her to death before the unperceiving eyes of uncle and aunt...The broad message of the playwright [is] that we do not see one another, that the only way people are able to make contact with one another is through murder." ;A note in the program for the 1964 La MaMa production of this play (​Program: "My Next Husband Will Be a Beauty!" [OBJ.1964.0033]) suggests that it was written in part as a response to the murder of Kitty Genovese, which was overheard by several people who failed to intervene. The program contains a note dedicating the show "to Kitty Genovese and all other humans who were killed or shall be in front of a public and passive audience."

--Arthur Sainer, Review of "My Next Husband Will Be a Beauty!," Village Voice, September 3, 1964 [OBJ.1964.0034]