The idea that there are only “six degrees of separation” between any two people originated in the 1920s, and spread throughout creative and intellectual circles to such an extent that it has become part of pop culture. It’s likely why John Guare’s 1990 play by the same name has been such a success over the years—first on Broadway, then the big screen, and now seemingly performed by theater companies in perpetuity, including Wasatch Theatre Company locally.
Its inspiration is a real-life story of a young con artist in Manhattan who convinced several people that he was Sydney Poitier’s son. In the stage version, a young man plays to the egos of a wealthy couple by promising them parts in the movie version of Cats, seduces various young men into relinquishing information and money, and destroys the relationships of everyone he encounters. The ties that bind us can seem at one moment trivial, and at the next can change us forever.