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By using the tag Popular songs I am able to trace the development of my short and unsuccessful songwriting efforts. I started in September &...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Dead are Notoriously Hard to Satisfy: A Short Play

(The Stage is Dark. Salvador Dalí steps out from stage left. His mustache is real but looks ostentatiously fake. He is gradually illuminated with yellowish-green light. Several Buster Keatons ride across the stage behind him on mountain bikes.)

DALÍ: "The dead are notoriously hard to satisfy." So wrote Federico in his preface to Jack Spicer's After Lorca, but really...

(MAYHEW rushes in from stage right. He is dressed in Lorca's mono azul. All the KEATONS have crashed by now). The light has changed to purple.

MAYHEW: You're getting it all wrong! That's not what the duende is! Haven't you read my book, Salvador? Why am I ignored? Buster should have been riding a horse, not the anachronistic bike invented by my father's friend, the sociologist John Finley Scott.

ALBEE: (from off stage. Tango music is heard.). As the civil war was reaching its terrible climax, all the artists had left Spain, save one, Friedrich Lorca y Gasset, a distant cousin of Debussy. Lorca's friends, Jack Spicer and Allen Ginsberg, urged him to escape to the Coney Island of the mind, a province near Argentina.

He could have had his choice of Cadillac Granada or a Ford Cordoba. Lorca was GAY, after all... I bet you didn't know that (ALBEE continues to rant incoherently about Lorca; his voice gradually fades away as MAYHEW turns a large imaginary dial clockwise.)

MAYHEW (chanting in a kind of mumbling way): Who's afraid of García Lorca? Of García Lorca? Of García Lorca? Who's afraid of García Lorca? Not me, not me, not me.

(LORCA descends from the ceiling in a bow tie.)

LORCA: (condescendingly, in a French accent) Zees play has no dramatic tension. Have you learned nosingg from my drama-turgie? To seet around and argue foolishly about me, as iv zat mattered. My characters do not just zit around and do nosingg like zis... Also, all the characters in this play are men! Where is Margarita Xirgú? Where is my navaja?

(Enter BECKETT and KENNETH KOCH from opposite ends of the stage. MAYHEW AND DALÍ are arm-wrestling on a table they have set up.)

BECKETT: Excuse, me Lorca, this is not true. From your Yerma, a play about a woman waiting forever to have a baby that never comes...

KOCH (with Irish brogue): And from When Five Years Come, about an impossible wait by sexually confused young man...

BECKETT: And from Doña Rosita, a spinster studying the language of flowers and missing a boyfriend who will never return. From these plays I formed the idea of writing Waiting for Godot, a play in which nothing really happens. It was Lorca, after all, who invented the "theater of the absurd" in "Buster Keaton's stroll" in 1928.

(All the characters freeze in reflective poses. THE COWARDLY LION enters, takes off his Lion suit, and dresses up as LUCKY from Godot. SHAW, YEATS, STRINDBERG, CHEKHOV, ARTHUR MILLER with DIMAGGIO and MARYLYN, SOPHOCLES, IBSEN, LOPE DE VEGA, RACINE, and BARAKA enter one by one from multiple angles and start cleaning up the stage. One of them carries Lorca off stage in a fireman's carry. MAYHEW awakens from his dogmatic slumber and begins to take notes in small black notebook. The curtain falls. No flamenco music is heard.)

MAYHEW (speaking with an indefinable accent from offstage): The dead are notoriously hard to satisfy. Who IS afraid of Virginia Woolf, really? Who's afraid of Jack Spicer, of Allen ... (voice fades out; thunderous canned applause)


1 comment:

Thomas said...

Mine may not be thunderous (at this distance) but it's certainly not canned. Bravo!