In what may present itself as the most unlikely of
successful ideas, THE TYPOGRAPHER’S DREAM, in which a typographer, a
geographer and a stenographer trade off details of their respective
professions. A work that starts off engaging, but ends up symbolic, this
quirky, funny play is short, to the point, and intriguing.
Have these folks become their jobs, or do their jobs
simply become them? The unassuming court stenographer listens to and
transcribes the intimate details of others’ lives. He rarely uses the first
person narrative, and appears to be enabling an alcoholic. The neurotic
typographer is in love with the formation of letters. She seems mousy, until
she is set off. The bubbly, boisterous geographer is obsessed with
cartography and consequences. Laid back and self-important, she has a fatal
streak of honesty that can cut her friends deep. Her most poignant victim is
her friend the stenographer.
What is marvelous is that skilled wordsmith Bock has made
the mundane details of these three lives interesting by the very design of
his clever social commentary, otherwise known as THE TYPOGRAPHER’S DREAM.
As a playwright, Bock has crafted his product well, having the insight and
talent to make the work short and non-repetitive. He ends it just where he
should. We known these people, we have had a glance inside, and we leave
knowing all we really want or need to.
Funny, indeed, but ultimately deeper and more insightful
than superficial glances would imply, THE TYPOGRAPHER’S DREAM made me
laugh out loud. These days, that in itself is a precious gift.