Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

God's Heart

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

God's Heart

Article excerpt

If all you know of Craig Lucas is his screenplay for 1990's Longtime Companion, you'll be unprepared for his newest play, God's Heart. Longtime Companion told how AIDS brought gay men together even as it tore their lives apart. God's Heart is a cacophonous multimedia warning of the dangers of advanced communication methods like the Internet. Instead of uniting us, Lucas tells us, these marvels might ultimately leave each of us utterly isolated.

God's Heart unwisely borrows a theatrical device from Angels in America: The bulk of the play turns out to be a dream shared simultaneously by three people who've never met outside their REM sleep cycles. Carlin (Ndehru Roberts) is a crack dealer's sentry posted at a New York City park bench, where he devours news about the Internet. In a nearby high-rise, Janet (Amy Brenneman of ABC's NYPD Blue), an advertising executive, frets over her newborn baby and the world she's raising him in. Rounding out the dreamy trio is Barbara (Julie Kavner of HBO's Tracey Takes On... and Fox's The Simpsons), a lesbian traveling to Manhattan from Maine with her dying lover, Eleanor (Viola Davis).

In this collective dream, Carlin leads Eleanor and Barbara to a futuristic institute where they try to keep Eleanor's mind alive forever by creating a database from details of her life. Moments after her death, Eleanor emerges on a large computer monitor, where she spends the rest of the play. Initially Barbara is thrilled to have Eleanor back for eternity, but the lack of tactile contact quickly becomes a chasm: It's Eleanor on that hard drive, but she's disembodied (literally) and, ultimately, disconnected. …

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