Audible, the company that brings you entertainment meant for ear buds, has teamed with the Minetta Lane Theatre by producing stage work that can be translated to their medium. I have seen a number of these works, most impressively “Harry Clarke” performed by actor Billy Crudup. To this point they have chosen existing one character pieces for the stage that have included some excellent monologue works. This production is their first commissioned work sponsored by their Emerging Playwrights Fund. It is an auspicious beginning.
The play consists of a monologue by Constance Daley (Brenda Pressley) speaking to her comatose husband Maurice in a spacious hospital suite that immediately indicates a well to do African-American couple. I have heard complaints that the 70 minute dialogue is an unlikely premise, but every theatre experience is a willing suspension of disbelief and if, in reality, this might be internal and unspoken, go with it people and welcome to the theatre.
We learn the couple’s history and the fact that Constance has always been middle or upper middle class and that Maurice has come from rougher circumstances. The fact that their daughter idolizes her father’s ghetto upbringing as more “authentic” has long irritated Constance. But something much more pressing obsesses her thoughts on this occasion.
While Maurice left their house with his customary peck on the cheek, Constance has discovered that he was on his way to a meeting with a mistress rather than the card game at a friend’s house as he routinely claimed. As Maurice was in an auto accident and left in an unresponsive coma he cannot explain about the eight year affair she discovers when she is able to unlock his phone. So she must battle with her memories and what little evidence she has to search for the Proof of Love from him.
The playwright Chisa Hutchinson has provided an exceptional script for the talented Brenda Pressley that slowly unwinds the circumstances and reveals the story. I won’t spoil the ending but Ms. Hutchinson uses a twenty first century denouement that is fitting to the time and the circumstances.
There is only a short run of the play remaining but I urge you to see it or perhaps get the audible version from Audible. It would be fascinating to hear the work I recently saw.
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