Marriage, Babies And The End Of The World


Review by Willard Manus

David Lefkowitz, editor/publisher of Total, a magazine for which I cover the theatrical scene in southern California, is a distinguished playwright in his own right, as evidenced by the publication of six of his plays, MARRIAGE, BABIES AND THE END OF THE WORLD.

The collection is anchored by his witty and bawdy farce, “The Triple Wedding.” Written in rhyming verse in a Moliere-like style, the five-act play is set in Paris, where Sganarrhea, a wealthy landowner, battles in Punch & Judy fashion with his brash and cunning servant, Farte. Sganarrhea also has two daughters, Brie and Bleu. The former loves Roquefort, a penniless student, but is being pressured by papa to marry Moronte, whom Farte calls a “pompous, over-dressed, underhanded fop.”

David Lefkowitz

Moronte has money, though, and that’s good enough for Sganarrhea, who exerts patriarchal pressure to bend Brie to his will. The desperate girl turns to Farte for help; they scheme to “draw Moronte out and show father what he’s really about.”

The scheme, which involves disguises, moldy prunes, a befuddled priest and a total stranger (who turns out to be Godot), is carried out in swift, outrageous fashion. There is much ribaldry, punning and comic confusion, all the classic farcical ingredients. It makes for a rib-tickling read, a tasty morsel of theatrical madness.

The other plays include “Bad News,” a scathing portrait of a heartless TV news reporter; “Blind Date,” in which the war between the sexes is fought out in an upscale restaurant; “King Solomon the Wise,” a satirical and scatological take-off on the Solomonic legend in which God makes a cameo appearance; and “Blame Me,” a mordant and provocative comment on the AIDS tragedy.
At all times, Lefkowitz’s writing is sharp, pungent and arresting, the work of a distinctive and skillful writer.

(Available in ppbk, $25 and hdbnd, $20; signed add $3. Checks payable to Total Theater, Box 31, Greeley, CO 80632. Paypal: screename: