“As a quick, nasty jolt of outrageous satire, "Road to Nirvana" might have produced the theatrical equivalent of a neat, sharp kick in the pants.
Instead, Arthur Kopit's play spins out its one-joke premise to two long acts, so obviously duplicating its situations and repeating its punch lines that not even a gung-ho Steppenwolf production can halt the inevitable seepage of impatience and frustration.
Kopit's tenet here is very simple: People will stop at nothing to gain absolute power over their crummy little destinies.
As Exhibit A, he presents us with Al, Lou and Jerry, three inhabitants of the Hollywood underbelly who will go to any lengths in order to realize their dream of being able to tell the rest of the world to go to hell.
Al is a jail-dodging movie producer whose chief occupation at the moment is dealing in drugs; Lou is his sluttish, shrewish mistress; and Jerry is a director who, 10 years after Al ruined his career and marriage, has been reduced to directing educational films.
They're lowlifes whom Kopit has made amusingly larger than life: brazen, stupid, foul-mouthed and small-minded.
But Al and Lou have managed to hook into something that is potentially very, very big, something Al believes will let him "make his mark" and put his footprints "in the sands of time": the chance to produce the film biography of a pop superstar singer named Nirvana.
First, however, Jerry must prove his absolute devotion to the project, by literally slashing his wrists and then eating a spoonful of human waste.
End of Act One.”
- Title: Road to Nirvana: A play in two acts
- Playwright: Arthur Kopit
- Publisher: Hill and Wang
- Place: New York
- Year: 1991
- First Edition
- Designed by Tere Lo Prete
- Series: A Dramabook
- Length: 125pp
- Dimensions: 5.75" x 8.5"
- Condition: Hardcover. The dustjacket has only minimal wear to its edges. The boards are in great condition. The binding is tight, and the pages are clean—no folds, tears, or extraneous marks.