Frank’s Home, the Richard Nelson play, directed by Robert Falls, now at Playwrights Horizons, happens to be “about” Frank Lloyd Wright, but like all good plays it is really “about” far more than its ostensible subject. Its true theme is the ruthlessness and selfishness required to create great art. Some major artists possess these qualities in a cruder form than others, and display them more shamelessly, but they all have them. Wright was a particularly blatant example. The triumph of Nelson, and of the fine actor Peter Weller in the role of Wright, has been to humanize the character without in any way softening him. Their Wright is both a villain and a hero: a man who consciously sacrifices his own children on the altar of his art, yet believes he is “up there with the godly” and somehow manages to convince us that he’s right.

The play is in many ways reminiscent of...

 
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