Robert M Massimi.
When you go to the East Village to see theater you never quite know what you will get. so when i was handed a mask as i checked in, i was a little concerned. Would i have to dance to the “Time Warp”, was it “Eyes Wide Shut?
I did not see the first production, when i walked into the Theater, Frank Craven, the writer and the star in the show as Roger, the farmer, was rehearsing for today’s performance. He took the time to show me the art work and the theater.
The play is in Romantic Quintuples, which is kinda neat, real Moliere like.
It is about Roger and John, (Bruno Chan), who devise a plan to cheat people out of there gold and other possessions. Upon cheating the Magistrate, (Mike Gamms), Roger and John go to trial, the Magistrates sister, Earth Mum is the judge, and sentences them both to seven years in jail. John takes a strong attitude with the Judge and as a result loses his land, is fined and jailed. Roger on the other hand is humble, his act of contrition moves the judge. He gets to keep his land, no fine is levied but he does have to go to jail. As the first act ends, we find the seamstress, (Aiejita Jacobs), pleading for the two men as well as Rogers wife, Maggie, (Michele Daniels).
In Act Two, we find the two men in there thoughts, John is bitter and glad the Magistrate is dead. He goes on about how he worked so hard, took little vacation and always worried about doing without. John feels he does not deserve his punishment at all and that he got a raw deal. Roger on the other hand, thanks the Magistrate for his life, his good thoughts and hopes he goes to Heaven. Roger is thankful for his wife, his farm, the birds and the animals.
The contrast of the two could not be different up until this point. It is when they both get released from prison that the real transformation happens. Roger, who was humble to begin with is even more so;John, who now has nothing, wants to live under the stars out in the open, he wants to live as a simple man with none of lifes commitments. He has been transformed from rigid worker to taking it one step at a time, day by day.
Is John truly transformed? Will he go back to his old ways? The question is answered at the end of the play when he is tested.
Roger goes on to live his peaceful life with his wife, he tried to help John, Maggie absolutely hated John for all the pain he caused. Maggie too makes a transformation and begins to see life different with Rogers help.
“The Cloths”, is a moral comedy, one I enjoyed very much. It does not have the greatest actors, but they all deliver sufficiently enough.
Go see it! Put on your mask at intermission and dance with the seamstress , you will have a ball!