Night Out in Spain play reading

May 23, 2014
344 East 14th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)
New York, NY 10003,
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A second workshop reading will take place at the 14th Street Y of my absurdist/existentialist play "Night Out in Spain."  The play will be directed by up-and-coming director Maureen Monterubio, and the actors will come from a cross-section of New York and Washington DC theater.


The play opens with Tim (a Black man who became a Jew when his father converted to the religion of Moses) arguing with his therapist, who is represented by a mannequin.  The therapist speaks in a language that only the characters can understand – until her voice grows audible with the help of a stagehand.  Tim’s father bought her for him.

Bilbao, a campy gay bar-owner in town, minces onto stage, nibbles his ear and refutes his claim that the play is about him.  Juan Carlos enters and informs that the play concerns an apparition of the Virgin Mary.  He rips up Tim’s contract.  Tim is downgraded to ironic foil – and perhaps (we learn later) murder victim. 

The action includes Banquette, Juan Carlos’s girlfriend of twelve years – who has brief but passionate love affairs with Tim, as well as the Swedish Lars (who is wanted by Interpol on drug charges); Tim’s Mother and Father (represented by Banquette); Juan Carlos’s Mother and Father (played by Bilbao) and Svengold, the obscure and confusing Swede who came to the region many years ago and never left.

Svengold might hold the ultimate answers to the plays various conundrums.

From the Bar Belgique in Caceres and later to Svengold’s home by the rocky place, the characters and action careen from philosophical discussions about destiny, religion, faith and love to personal attempts for individuation (none are successful) and, finally, to the climax at the wild boar feast in the small home hard-by Los Barruecos, a rock-strewn landscape filled with ghosts and omens.

In the end, destiny must be served.  Prophecy is shown to be action, regardless of how mistaken.  A man is killed.  The catharsis, however, is dubious.  As catharsis always is.