the silent concerto
A scene from the silent concerto
Author: Alejandro Morales
Description: When Benny moves in with Naldo and Mallory, all three must wake up from their grand illusions about their lives, their art and their love for each other.
First Produced: 2005
Date Added: 6/15/2011
Content Advisory: Strong language
Keywords: Drama · Coming of Age · Gay and Lesbian · Meta · Single Set · The Theatre · Characters are Mostly Young Adults · Small Cast Size
1 Act, 80 Minutes
1 Female, 2 Males
NOTE: the silent concerto is fully protected by copyright law and is subject to royalty. All inquiries concerning production, publication, reprinting or use of this play in any form should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original Production Information
the silent concerto was first presented by Packawallop Productions, as part of the New York International Fringe Festival in 2005 at The Connelly Theater, with the following cast and credits:
Naldo: Ivan Quintanilla
Mallory: Susan Louise O’Connor
Benny: Gregory Marcel
Director: Scott Ebersold
Set Designer: Nicholas Vaughn
Costumer Designer: Jessica Watters
Lighting Designer: Douglas Filomena
Sound Designer: Robert Kaplowitz
Stage Manager: Jennie Crotero
Review by Joe LaRue
Alejandro Morales’s The Silent Concerto is an incredibly ambitious play, which has received a lovely production expertly staged by Scott Ebersold.
"This is a play he begins again and again," says Naldo, the central character in a two-man, one-woman love triangle between tortured twenty-somethings in the mid '90s. Naldo is an aspiring playwright, desperately trying to write the perfect play, a play that will make his struggling actress / roommate / best friend, Mallory, a star. The trouble begins when Benny—who is gorgeous, flip, and mysterious enough to attract both of them—moves into their small apartment. It’s a setup that has the characters running in a circle: Mallory wants Naldo, who wants Benny, who wants... both of them? Neither?
As the drama unfolds, we are treated to a series of highly inventive staging and story-telling techniques, jumping back and forth between fantasy and reality, the past and the present—jumps which are kept very clear through lighting, sound, and staging. The technical accomplishments are effective and admirable.
The big standout here is Susan O’Connor as Mallory, who is always so nuanced and engaging—a razor sharp presence on stage. She infuses Mallory with an honest yearning for artistic greatness that, even when failing miserably, never once becomes whiny or self-pitying. Greg Marcel and Ivan Quintanilla have many nice moments, but their performances are not as finely drawn, and are overshadowed by O’Connor’s presence. I longed for the play to focus more on Mallory.
The first two “movements,” as Morales calls them (rather than acts) are filled with witty repartee, imagination, and enough specificity to make us forget that we are watching another love triangle story. It’s only in the play’s final scenes that it loses momentum and focus. It seems as though every young writer has a "post-college angst" play collecting dust in a drawer somewhere. What’s refreshing about The Silent Concerto is that Morales has taken his out, brushed it off, and looked at it again with wiser eyes.
reviewed at the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival
Excerpt from the silent concerto
(The bathroom door opens, steam escapes. BENNY emerges looking even more dapper.)
You look enchanting.
You like it? It’s Gaultier.
What do you think? Now, if you please, I would like you to sit on the couch over there.
I feel sick.
(NALDO collapses next to BENNY, who smothers him protectively.)
What’s the matter, petit? (to MALLORY.) He’s always had a sensitive stomach. Poor dear.
(MALLORY sits between them.)
It’s just nerves. Go get your pills they’re in my purse.
What are you doing with my pills?
I was reading Valley of the Dolls. (to BENNY.) Naldo’s parents thought he had an ulcer. He turned out to have a condition. He takes tranquilizers.
Irritable bowel syndrome.
Doesn’t that sound ugly?
It’s what it is.
It’s a condition.
Having an ulcer would be preferable. An ulcer has a je ne se quois about it. Irritable bowel syndrome sounds … Well … it sounds