Park Your Car in Harvard Yard by Israel Horovitz, produced by LA theater works
This was labelled as a COMEDY, which is completely incorrect. According to classical definitions, comedy ends in a marriage. Tragedy ends in death. Well, this ended in death.
You make the call.
Perhaps we’ve progressed beyond classical definitions, and find death the funniest thing we’ve ever heard?
Probably not. But there were a few funny moments in this play. Mostly not, though.
It’s set in Massachusetts, a place that makes me think of my friend Christy. She lived there for a year. That’s the east coast, the OLD part of America. They have a sense of the social class that we don’t have as well defined here.
Imagine! Your family being in one area for generations, and all of them doing the same sort of work. Dock work, maybe. Or some kind of unskilled manual labor. Having the same few miles that you know. And not knowing at all how to get past them.
I don’t respect those sorts of boundaries, I consider them a dare most of the time. As in, “I can’t? Who says I can’t? I’ll show you!”
Anyway, the high school teacher that everyone was afraid of, for years and years, is finally on his deathbed. He needs someone to help him. And this woman comes to be his housekeeper until he dies.
She is his former student, only she doesn’t tell him that right away. Some part of her hopes he will remember, but knows bitterly that he will not.
They have more things binding them together, being in the same place for so long, than you would expect.
He is full of rage and regret at how his life turned out.
She is too. And she actually blames him for a lot of it. Her ticket out was education, but he flunked her and slammed that door.
I’m mad at him too, for her. He should have been a better teacher, and tried to help them learn. He should not have held the bar so high and mocked his students when they could not pass it.
I think he was trying to illustrate dramatically how SUPERIOR he was to them.
But she should have kicked harder against her lot, if she really didn’t like it.
At the end, though, they were both in the same neighborhood, they both endured the same cold winters.
How different are we, really?
These two were quite similar.
He was trying to die, which is a difficult thing. She was trying to live, which can be much harder at some times than at others.