Heaven is George F. Walker’s ‘millennium play.’
Well, sort of – if we can free ourselves from the expectation of the usual science-fiction-based projection and imposition of our current personal, cultural and spiritual values on the future of the coming millennium, considered almost mandatory for authors working in this particular genre. As usual, Walker sees things a bit differently: he intimates the future by having a very hard look at some unanswered questions from the Judeo-Christian-Muslim past which has pretty much determined the evolution of western, especially white, male-dominated civilization, for the last two thousand years.
Five instantly recognizable multi-cultural characters play out their coincidental relationships in a very contemporary paradise-a park on the outskirts of a city. All of them are, in one form or another, engaged in the ‘fundamental right’ of the pursuit of their own happiness, whether that means acquiring life skills, improving their career prospects, working on their family relationships, increasing social justice in the world, balancing the concerns of crime and punishment, or integrating more closely with what they identify as their own communities. Of course, the pursuit of these personal goals, usually considered as good and worthwhile in our society, pits each of these characters irrevocably against each other.
In this comedy of how individual good intentions carried to their absurd extremes inevitably frustrate the goals of others, Walker leaves us with two unanswered questions: “What is so ‘good’ about our good intentions?” and, “What do we imagine our reward for them (Heaven) to be?” Wasn’t it some other place, the road to which was paved with?
“This is not only Walker’s most challenging play to date, it is also one of the most disturbing and rewarding evenings of theater for quite some time.”- Mira Friedlander, Variety
Read the full review here.