Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

The Secrets of the World

That's the name of the new play which was read at City Lights tonight. That's two hours of my life I will never get back.

The blurb says the author is a five-time recipient of the PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award. How many times can a playwright emerge, anyway? Too many, apparently.

I think what we have here is an author who writes a really catchy proposal, and that's where her skills end. The synopsis sounds pretty good, actually. Christopher Columbus makes his first voyage, accompanied by the Virgin Mary, sees all the gold jewelry, and force-baptizes a handful of natives as they try to tell him in their language to go bother the Caribes, who have more gold. He brings them to Spain, where they become pets of Isabella, who has visions of great wealth coming from this enterprise. The native who had been Chris' translator sees through all this, escapes, and becomes a multi-lingual world traveler. He and Chris finally meet in Spain when both are old and feeble. Mary has deserted Chris, who says he did it all for the glory of God.

The writing is tedious. The characters are shallow. There are 14 main characters and 20 scenes in a 90-minute 1-act play. Except for a too-long scene where Isabella plays hackysack with her pet Indian, there is nothing which lends itself to action of any kind.

And of course, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, but the author has Isabella chatting with Ferdinand and suddenly declaring that all the Jews must leave Spain immediately, and the crown will grab all their land like Ferdinand did when he conquered the Moors.

IRL, the Moors were kicked out of Spain 200 years earlier, the Inquisition was declared by the Church, not the crown.

The reading was not helped by several obviously bored readers.

I hope this is the last we hear of this work.
Tags: review

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