Mystery, He Wrote

The playwright of one of these one-acts seems to have vanished without a trace

Despite some imperfections — such as Jeannie Berlin's static direction of On the Way, and actor Julia Brothers' inability to transcend the passive natures of her characters (Max's girlfriend Anna in Killing Trotsky and George Is Dead's Carla) — there's something bewitching about how May's plays meld with the mysterious Mirochek's. Each one-act pulses with the same acerbic humor; wicked comedy and growling tragedy collide and balance each other. If the same person didn't write all these plays, then at the very least "Moving Right Along" feels like a collaboration between two symbiotic minds.

Yet it seems May is no wiser about the identity of Mirochek than we are (either that, or she's playing an elaborate game). According to Evren Odcikin, the Magic's marketing and communications director, the script came to May from Hungary via a friend in New York. Despite outreach to the Czech theater community, the Magic's efforts to track down the author remain fruitless. "Ms. May thinks that Jan Mirochek might be a writing name to hide the identity of the actual writer," Odcikin said.

Life and Death: Marlo Thomas (as Doreen) and Julia Brothers (as Carla) in the one-act George Is Dead.
Nick Shoob
Life and Death: Marlo Thomas (as Doreen) and Julia Brothers (as Carla) in the one-act George Is Dead.


Through Nov. 19
Tickets are $20-52; call 441-8822 or visit
the Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Marina & Buchanan, S.F

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In a way, Mirochek's obscurity is fitting. As in the last line in the trilogy — Carla's defiant order to the funeral director that he should destroy George's cadaver ("Burn it," she says, igniting a revolutionary spark) — all trace of Mirochek seems to have vanished. Yet his work lives on.

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