The Playgoer: REVIEW: Karol Wojtyla's "The Jeweler's Shop"

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

REVIEW: Karol Wojtyla's "The Jeweler's Shop"

In today's Voice, my review of a play by Pope John Paul II, in a previous life.

Ok, I wasn't impressed. But it's certainly an interesting footnote--to both religious and Polish modern drama. A couple of analyses I've read liken the sensibility here--if not the poetic gifts--to Eliot's, and there's something to that. It's part of a 3-play festival of Wojtyla's plays at the Storm Theatre, in midtown.

And now--sorry, but I must--the top 5 lines that did not make it into my review of the Pope Play:

5) Kiss the ring! (see"Jeweler's Shop")
4) Even Sophocles became a priest of Asclepius, the god of healing, of course. (True)
3) "Sometimes human existence seems too short for love," says one character. Yeah, and yet not short enough to spare me this play!
2) The lovers' first scene recounting how they met may seem like some 1930's Catholic E-Harmony ad, but...
1) This Pope-Mobile ain't goin' nowhere.

1 comment:

iLifeDramaTV said...

A dramatic reading of The Jeweler's Shop as performed by the St. Genesius Company (an Amateur Drama Group) in November 2008 is available for viewing on Youtube. An excellent introduction is provided by Carole Brown. I hope you enjoy it.

The sound quality is not optimal and you may need to turn up the volume a little.

The play is written in the style of Rhapsodic Theater, which emphasizes the spoken word rather than the characters or the set. This style of Theater was used as a means of preserving Polish culture during a period of history when external powers where intent upon crushing it. Plays written in this style were performed in secret, often in homes with minimal staging and lighting in order that the performers could quickly disguise their activity in the event that they were interrupted by the authorities. Our dramatic reading is performed with minimal set. The Jeweler's Shop is 'a meditation that lapses occasionally into drama' to quote the author. The characters speak their thoughts and reflections as a stream of consciousness to the audience in monologues that are cleverly linked and profound in their content.