Hotel on Marvin Gardens
March 28 - April 19, 2003
Directed by Lance Garrett
"My life is like this board
game," quips one of the characters in A HOTEL ON MARVIN
GARDENS, and there you have the essence of Nagle Jackson's sparkling
comedy, which received its Oklahoma premiere at
Carpenter Square Theatre.
The central character is K.C.,
the powerful owner of ME, a magazine blatantly devoted to "self-help,
self-promotion and self-gratification." Each April Fool's Day, K.C. holds a
marathon Monopoly game party at her island retreat in Long Island Sound. This
year, the game players are K.C. herself, her obedient lover and publisher Bo,
the magazine's emotional, about-to-be-fired editor Henry and the magazine's
eccentric new restaurant critic Erna.
As the Monopoly game
progresses, the four players engage in a real-life struggle for position and
power that mirrors their game tactics. Their relationships turn stormy as the
weather outside turns stormy. When a young school teacher bursts in seeking
refuge from the storm and her aggressive date, her frank, likable manner is a
sharp contrast to the jaded witticisms of the other characters. Henry becomes
attracted to the fresh young Rose. Rose, awed by their wealth, may be more
attracted to the luxuries that Henry's fat paychecks could buy her. By play's
end, K.C. may win her board game - she must - even if she's a loser in the game
Nagle Jackson wrote "A Hotel on Marvin Gardens" on a lark in 1999.
"I wrote it just for fun. I wanted to write a drawing room comedy,
because it is a genre that no longer exists. People don't sit around and chat
the way they used to. The only time people gather now is to play games."
Enter the game of Monopoly. "It is such an icon of American culture,"
Jackson said. "It's all about power and acquisition. The play's focus is on one
of the players, a highly successful woman the likes of Martha Stewart or
magazine publisher Tina Brown. We explore what would a woman who has never lost
do if it appears she will lose a game."