Someone Should Kill That Bastard
by Albert Meglin
Buffalo's Anchor Bar, famous for its Buffalo chicken wings, here in this play is the surrogate for Sardi’s, New York: it is the gathering place for a local little-theatre group after the premiere of their newest production, a modern-dress Hamlet.
It is a Hamlet from hell. That can be gleaned from the gloomy faces of the five company members who pile in to await the review by the local critic, that bastard Bran Bentley, who has hated everything ever mounted by this group, the Buffalo Playbills.
VITO, the waiter, welcomes LEWIS, the disconsolate writer; CELIA and FLETCHER, the lead actors; LOVEY LACEY, the naive (and slightly ditsy) newcomer to the group; and, finally, DAVID, the egomaniacal director of the piece, a would-be auteur whose ambition outweighs his talent.
In fact, these Buffalo residents all suffer from the same double jeopardy: their declining city squashes their dreams...even as those dreams far exceed their ability to fulfill them.
It is with this background that the group waits...and waits...and waits for the pending Bentley review. When it finally comes, there are no surprises. Well...one surprise, actually: the least likely candidate draws the only Bentley accolade of the evening.
The evening also re-kindles an old liaison (possibly), and ignites a new liaison (possibly)...while a letter (withheld from view) threatens the entire future of the group.
Albert Meglin’s writing career began with television’s “Golden Age” of drama. Numerous half-hour, full-hour, 90-minute, and longer TV plays were sold to and produced by CBS, NBC, and ABC Television – including the very first piece of writing of any kind he had done (for an adult education course at a local high school). Anthology shows for which he wrote include Matinee Theatre, U.S. Steel Hour, The Nurses, Confidential for Women, and Look Up And Live. Early in his career, a full-length play was produced commercially on the Toronto, Canada stage. In recent years, Al has concentrated on writing for the stage, dipping into TV sufficiently to win – twice! – First Prize in a one-act play contest sponsored by a Long Island public access television station. His Constanza Lo Cicero At The Boathouse In Central Park, The Blue Kangaroo, and The Visiting Room have been produced Off-Off-Broadway, the last a Critics’ Choice selection in an annual Samuel French Short Play Festival. Other plays have been presented by Stageplays Theatre Company at various venues in New York City. Stageplays has published two collections of Al’s short plays: The Biggie and Other One-Act Plays, Vol. 1 (2009), and Testosterone and Other One-Act Plays, Vol. 2 (2009). Al has worked in the fields of newspapers and advertising, and has been a teacher of English in the New York City high schools. He has taught writing at Hofstra University, and has written film and drama criticism for Long Island weeklies. Father of four and grandfather of nine, he resides in Malverne, New York. Al Meglin joined Stageplays Board of Advisors in 2005.
For the stage, Tom has written Ten Million Black Republicans (with Steve Gold), a comedy about the Congressional nominating process, A Howling Wilderness, a military court-martial drama during the time of the Philippine Insurrection (with John Chodes), and co-authored the book of a new musical, BELL (with Michael Treni), based on the life of Alexander Graham Bell and the American dream. He is currently working with Taylor Hallman on Thunder and Lightning, a morality tale set in the Negro Baseball Leagues on the day Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league sports, and also adapting Santa.Com, John Kallas's play about the down-sizing of Santa's workshop due to the internet shopping craze, into a new musical for families.
Tom has authored six original motion picture screenplays: Songs Without Words, a coming-of-age story set within the music industry; Mother-in-Law (with Taylor Hallman), a saga on racing and race relations during the early days of the American Civil Rights movement; Crossfire, a story of innocent bystanders caught up in the urban drug wars, adapted from the play by John Walsh; Florida, a story of the tapestry of life on the Mississippi Delta during the twentieth century (with Narroyl Parker); Love Object, a film noir thriller about love unattained (with James MacGuire); and Low Tide (with Bernard Mendillo), an investigative drama about illegal aliens, the drug trade, and corruption within the HSA.