… departure …

What a bunch of characters!  On an isolated wharf lit by a bright moon two men are engaged in a Jacob and the Angel-like struggle shooting dice.  Murlie, with a tough-guy accent, looks like a denizen of the docks as does his soft-spoken, shaved head buddy Dunbar. When Harry loses, he’s sure the dice are loaded — we’re sure, too. But what are the stakes? Big but undefined. All we know is that Harry’s compelled to reappear at this spot at midnight in a week. Sounds spooky, and it is. Even the naturalism of the dock and thuggish Murlie are surreal. The waiting rowboat with its high Viking prow looks too small for going far or holding much — like the boat in the center of Max Beckmann’s triptych in the Museum of Modern Art, Departure. And like that painting this play is filled with mythic suggestion.

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