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Patter for the Floating Lady

by Steve Martin

Do not be fooled by the length of this play. Martin has packed it full of emotional depth and despair.

This play shows that even in the most magical of worlds love is never simple, never easy. A magician is in love with his assistant, Angie who, though mean on the surface, does actually love him in return. The magician plans to levitate Angie, and by doing so, give her something in return for all that she has given him. He thinks she will appreciate it, even if it's done by trickery because:
She understands, as I do, that with the exception of a few profound and fleeting moments in our lives, everything we say is a lie.
I could not love a man who felt this way. Or, rather, lived this way.

The magician's plan backfires, for once under the trance Angie has the power or freedom to say how she truly feels about him. Essentially, she leaves him because he is not strong enough. He is needy and jealous and read her diary:

          Magician: A moment of weakness.
          Assistant: More like a lifetime of weakness revealed in a moment.

There is always a darkness living in the best comedians. I like seeing this other side of Martin.

Tomorrow's Play: The Zig-Zag Woman by Steve Martin


Anonymous said...

Do you know where I can get the whole play?

Lauren Sowa said...

The play is included in this book with a few other of Steve Martin's plays -- all wonderful!



' (1) absurdist (1) american (68) British (17) chekhov (1) classical (33) comedic (49) contemporary (108) dramatic (44) fairy-tale (1) farce (8) helen keller (1) impediment (2) Irish (1) musical (2) no role (3) nudity (1) one-act (9) pulitzer (4) role (117) serio-comedic (43) shakespeare (4) Shaw (2) thriller (1) tragedy (4) translation (3) war (2)