Thursday, June 05, 2008

Play of the Week: June 2, 2008
Henry Flamethrowa

Yvonne Woods and Tim Daly in Henry Flamethrowa Photo: George McLaughlin

Henry Flamethrowa
by John Belluso

For nine years, after a mysterious poolside accident, a beautiful young girl named Lilja has lain in comatose, enshrined in her room. Her father, a deeply religious Catholic, believes that Lilja had been visited by the Blessed Mother because the crucifixes in her room “bleed” holy oil. Hundreds of the infirmed or dying visit Lilja and pray for miraculous healing; many claim to have been healed.

Beth, a journalist with her own agenda, arrives to do a “fair and unbiased profile” of Lilja. As she searches for the truth behind the miracles, she becomes romantically entangled with the father and entrapped by his 16-year-old son, Henry, a poet who finds guidance in Dante’s “Inferno”.

Beth must confront her own assumptions about faith and the intrinsic values of life and death when she uncovers Henry’s plan for Lilja’s demise -- something far darker and more terrible than a mere gentle pulling of the plug.

Henry tells her, “I want you to stop me. I want you to tell me a reason why I shouldn’t do this.” What will it take to stop him, and will she find out what really happened at the poolside, where Henry stood above his sister’s body for twenty minutes?

The play is suspenseful with superbly complicated characters. I found it to be a “can’t-put-it-down” mystery.

Oh! I didn’t mention … Henry writes e-mails to the Devil: “Signed with respect, your friend, Henry Flamethrowa.”

Cast: 2 males, 1 female.

Scenes/Monologues: Good two-character scenes and some downright scary monologues for Henry.

Recommended by: Bill

Henry Flamethrowa by John Belluso
Acting Edition, 2008. $7.50


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