Lavezzo Leone Productions

presents

KEROUAC

By TOM OíNEIL

 

PC2

616 Ninth Avenue (at 44 St.)

NYC

Tickets: (212) 352-3101 or TheaterMania

 

January 11 through February 23, 2003

 

Producers' Club

358 W. 44 St.

NYC

Tickets: (212) 352-3101 or TheaterMania

 

March 5 through 16, 2003

 

 

Directed by TONY PENNINO

Stage Manager/Sound & Lighting JASON GODBEY

Public Relations JOE TRENTACOSTA of SPRINGER/CHICOINE

 

Cast

Jack Kerouac PETER STEWART

Writer #1 TIM COX

Writer #2 JOHN KWIATKOWSKI

Neal Cassady KYLE PIERSON

Allen Ginsberg GAVIN WALKER

Red DEIDRE SCHWIESOW

 

A fable of our recent literary past, Jack Kerouac, physically gone since his untimely demise in 1969 at the tender age of forty-seven, has never been forgotten. His words and reputation live on. In KEROUAC, author Tom OíNeil has invented a strange universe in which a dying Kerouac witnesses the composition of his own obituary by two anonymous writers even as he relives representations of his past, including dialogues with Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsburg.

To be sure, and straight up, KEROUAC is a different, difficult and flawed piece. Part exposition, part premonition, part reevaluation, there are few facts and much supposition at work here. Thatís okay, but what remains murky is the ultimate intent of the playwright. Sure, he sparks an interest in Kerouac, as well as contemporaries Ginsberg and Cassady, but as novelties, or worse, figures whom we came to the theater being thoroughly familiar with. Surely, thereís nothing in the script to illustrate the unique contributions of any of these men. We are merely told of their reputations, be them of fame or infamy.

Kerouac refers to his dead brother in a series of lamentations that do help to clarify, a bit, his propensity to drift toward the dark side. Additionally, there is an "everywoman" character referred to as Red, a representation of the allegedly numerous women in Kerouacís life. She gets to do little but flutter her lashes and dance, which makes her presence purely parenthetical, but also hints at the ways in which Jack Kerouac related to women Ė from a guarded distance. What we mainly find in KEROUAC is the story of a man who we remember now because he happened to have some of his writing published back then. Surely, the intent was to convey more than this.

So, here then is Tom OíNeilís KEROUAC, a sort of black-rose bouquet style ode to an author who, unable to deal with his budding fame, essentially drank himself to death.

- Kessa De Santis -

 

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