We are just a few days away from opening night of Tales of Love & Lasers, and something has become disturbingly clear: this is a silly play. What's more, it is all my fault. Where a normal playwright would be kind enough to restrict his actors to sitting, crossing slowly, and speaking quietly, I have forced five good souls to make fools of themselves. I've got them jumping around, making silly noises, even cursing—and all so a few dozen anonymous audience members can enjoy themselves.
In case you're one of those parasites who's planning on coming out next week—and if you are, you should really go ahead and get your tickets here, you twisted monster—I think it's fair to warn you of a few things. Although it only runs about 80 minutes, Tales of Love & Lasers may contain the following:
- Power tools covered in colorful duct tape
- Voices, each sillier than the last
- Spells performed badly
- The entirely accurate but potentially hurtful phrase, "A lot of shit happened in Boston"
- Three or more spurts of dancing
- Debates about the intergalactic importance of Willie Mays
- Cardboard used fancifully
- Three references to buckets
- A cadre of swamp monsters
- Ships of sail engulfed in flame
- A menacing black hole
- Hesitant references to vending machines
- Tubes of cake, consumed with abandon
- Baseball cards that are not as old as they look
If I cared about my actors, I would have kept them safe in the living room of a tumbledown family mansion, where they could silently fume about unspeakable secrets that threaten to drag them all back into the past. I would have kept conflict buried in subtext. I would have restricted any excitement to an area just off-stage, allowing my protagonist to lean wearily against a window frame, intoning stately dialogue like, "Ma, ma. Look out the window. Once again, the universe has exploded."
Instead, we've let the universe explode on stage. Everyone's going to get hurt, and I hope you're there to see it.