What a delightful little play. Except for the whole incest thing.
I loved the quirky, dark humor that MacLeod brought to this piece - the characters are all crazy in their own way, but that's why we love them. Reading this, I got the sense that this family was existing in its own little world, much like the women of Grey Gardens.. this old house, with so much history and class, and yet if you sit in the wrong chair you'll get sucked into a black hole and never escape.
Love is a powerful motivator. Crimes are committed out of passion and Jackie-O has more than enough passion for one individual. I was perturbed when I read the play summary on the back jacket of the acting edition and they REVEALED THE ENDING. Way to ruin the surprise! I felt like someone had told me the end of The Sixth Sense and I spent the whole time knowing that he could see dead people. I still enjoyed the play but I didn't have that *gasp* moment in that final scene. Bummer. (note how I strategically didn't tell you in case you haven't read it yet. yes, I am kind.)
The most interesting character to me was the mother. Yes, all the incest is interesting and effed up and made me think about British monarchies of the olden days, but when Mrs. Pascal watches Anthony and Lesly get down and then tells Lesly to leave because Marty "[has] belonged to Jackie for 20-odd years" there was something so twisted about her motivations. If she truly did care about Jackie's well-being she would encourage Marty to be happy and normal and marry Lesly for god's sake because when he and Jackie are around each other there's no escape from their desires. Instead, she seems to encourage their behavior. What's the deal there?
My favorite line in the play goes to Jackie-O when she first meets Lesly. Being from Pennsylvania myself, I laughed when Lesly tells Jackie-O that's where she grew up. Jackie responds:
I've never been to Pennsylvania, I've never even met anybody who's been to Pennsylvania, much less been from Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania is just this state that gets in your way when you have to go someplace else!For the record, this does not reflect my true feelings about PA. It's a great place to be from! However, my heart belongs to New York.
Tomorrow's Play: Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe