Taken from Richard T. Wilson's one-act compilation "A Collection of Ghosts," Something Shakespeare Never Said and And The Sky Went Dark are two short monologues meant to reflect the triumph and tragedy of a moment of clarity, somewhere at the crossroads of the soul.
Performed out of context and given a bare-bones production, it was difficult to assess the merits of Wilson's pieces, performed as they were as part of Theatre Studio Inc.'s series of on-going forums for playwrights, directors and actors to preview and develop their projects. These productions are fine for an author or director to assess their own work before taking it to the next level, but a bit premature for the opinionated eyes and ears of the oobr press. Performances and direction were adequate, sets and lighting were non-existent, costumes were basic and appropriate.
The longer of the two monologues, And The Sky Went Dark, clocked in at a brief nine minutes, and opened to a woman tearily hanging laundry to dry. After a series of dreadful wind and storm sound effects, a man enters and begins talking. It is not readily apparent whether the woman is aware of his presence or not, but it becomes clear that the man is the ghost of her recently deceased husband, trying to make sense of their earthly relationship. In the end, love surpasses death. It was a moving moment.
Something Shakespeare Never Said lasted barely a minute and a half. Yet crammed into that minuscule amount of time is a shrieking homeless person, an ethereal woman giving ethereal answers to earthly questions, and a harried businessman impatiently waiting for a bus. His exit line is probably the best exit line in the history of Off-Off Broadway, summing up the entire experience with one frustrated shout: "Taxi!" Box Score:
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Copyright 2001 Doug DeVita