“THE MOONLIGHT ARMS” and “THE DARK TOWER” [Dramas/One-Acts/Race/Two Characters] A: Rudy Wallace; D: Osborne Scott; P: Negro Ensemble Company; T: St. Marks Playhouse (OB); 5/13/75-5/18/75 (8)
“The Moonlight Arms” [Marriage/Sex]; “The Dark Tower” [Alcoholism/Friendship]
Note: No photos are available for this entry.
The third in the 1975 Negro Ensemble Company new play festival called “A Season-Within-a-Season.” This was a studio presentation with minimal production values of two unmemorable one-acts given under the rubric, Two by Rudy Wallace. “The Moonlight Arms” is about a quarrelsome couple, a scholar named Roy (Charles Brown), and his social-climbing wife, Rena (Charliese Drakeford), who rejects his sexual needs. Mel Gussow said it was “contrived and unconvincing,” but had some decent dialogue.
“The Dark Tower” looks at the relationship of a pompous, uptight young poet, Joe (Charles Brown), and a coarse, disheveled, alcoholic old artist, Philip (Arthur French), during an encounter at the latter’s seedy apartment (the “dark tower” of the title). Gussow thought it too obviously stereotypical and heavy-handed, but enjoyed the “freshness” of the dialogue and the “healthy cynicism” of the characters. It was considered the stronger of the two plays.