Broadway Review: The Road To Mecca

The Road to Mecca is the first play I have seen this year. Saw it on the 5th. I sat with an awesome friend and groaned, smiled, and clapped to this wonderful play.  It is befitting to start a new year with such inspiring messages.

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If you have read my posts, then you have heard me whine about what a drag it is these days of high unemployment rate and the seemingly uselessness of a college degree.  You would also have read something about my having majored in English literature and minored in photography (who does that?), and are probably shaking your head to my having just applied to several schools for an MFA in Creative Writing: poetry to be exact. (Fingers crossed that I get in somewhere.)

The road to Mecca was the perfect play to see this month. Rosemary Harris is Miss Helen, a widow who lives all alone in the small village of New Bethesda, South Africa.  And according to her priest and "friend," Marius Byleveld (Jim Dale) creates "idols" on her Sundays.

The play is about daring to be who/what you want to be and paying the price for it. It defines fear and strength in such intricate ways. In Elsa Barlow's (Carla Gugino) hard shell/soft core persona, Miss Helen's contrasting shyness in verbal and body expressions, yet  bravery in bold sculpture displays in a front yard that was once a garden. (Which has got everyone looking and talking.) And of course Marius' expertise in psychological bullying. The Road to Mecca is a beautiful play. It gets to you because you know these personalities. You have seen them in yourself and others and you have envied and rooted for many Miss Helens in your life.
-
Jane

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