Camino Realby Tennessee Williams
directed by Sarah V. Michelson
Brooklyn On Foot Productions
The Camino Real is the “end of the road.” It’s the end of the actual road and also, it’s where people go to die. Many of them fight this knowledge. A forbidding desert surrounds the small outpost. There is no escape. There is the feel of a powerful STATE in the play, vaguely totalitarian, human beings ground to dust in the wheels of the government and its governors. Gathered at this end of the road is a motley crew - some characters you would recognize - others brand-new. Don Quixote arrives. Dazed, raggedy, still journeying. Casanova is held up there - he is known as Jacques- and he has now gone to seed - the sad lover growing old.
Byron is there, flamboyant, bombastic, fi lled with yearning.These iconic characters hang out in the dusty frontier town -waiting to either die or to escape. Into the hopeless mix comes an American, named Kilroy. By the end of the play - miraculously- the fountain in the square starts gushing water again. Camino Real pre-dates the experimental theatre of the 1960s by over ten years. When the play opened on Broadway it completely baffl ed (and annoyed) critics and audiences. Nothing Williams had done up to that point prepared anyone for his poetic psychedelic fantasy. It was not a success. In the 1950’s kitchen-sink Method-Acting-realism-land the production did not find its audience.
-- Sheila O’Malley