ACT I

First Scene: The Dreams

The stage is completely dark. A blue spotlight begins to illuminate LOLITA's face.

LOLITA: (Matter-of-factly.) "The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together. Our virtues would be proud if our faults whipped them not, and our crimes would despair if they were not cherished by our virtues." All's Well That Ends Well, by William Shakespeare. (As the blue spotlight dims, the stage illuminates, revealing the living-dining-kitchen in a small third-floor apartment in New York's barrio, where thousands of refugees and Latin American immigrants hold on dearly to their dreams as a way of transcending the everyday reality of their marginal existence. It is daytime. The walls are completely covered with posters of musical extravaganzas, old photos, religious paintings and other memorabilia, giving the home the melancholy air of a monument to nostalgia. Lolita, a girl of fifteen whose face denotes the wisdom gained by having grown up too close to the grim reality of life, is trying on a long formal gown; her mother, Dolores, an intense woman who moves quickly as if she were trying to keep one step ahead of her destiny, comes out of the bedroom oblivious to Lolita's words and sits at the sewing machine to fit the gown on her daughter; the figure asleep on a small sofa in the corner is barely noticeable.)

DOLORES: (Softly, but with great excitement.) A narrow sash of pink velvet around the waist . . . and that's it. You're going to look like a princess, a real princess. If only your father could see you now . . .!

LOLITA: I liked the pattern I had chosen better.

DOLORES: This one is more traditional, Lolita. Good taste never changes.

LOLITA: You are the one who never changes.

DOLORES: Remember that I got my dressmaker's certificate-- back in my country, where everything was done by hand.

-245-

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