The Men's Room (Baño de Caballeros)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Venezuela
translated by Prof. Charles Philip Thomas
CAST: 6 men
SCENIC REQUIREMENTS: A spa under construction.
This is a play about friendship, and at the same time the distortion of this concept. Juan Carlos, Enrique, Luis, Salvador, Clemente, and ``Blacky'' have been friends since childhood. Now they find themselves middle-aged and all have gone through dramatic changes in their lives. The strength, the love, and childhood ideals have been turned upside down because of difficult times. Several of them have been divorced. One of them, Juan Carlos, is now gay. Clemente broke away from a financially successful life and now runs an obscure law practice which gives him time to write novels. Luis, after becoming a renowned dentist, drives a taxi after having been accused of the rape of one of his patients. Salvador, a politician, confesses his thefts of public money. Enrique, who emigrated to Germany, has returned after being beaten by some neo-nazis. He has no idea what will happen to him or the family he has left in Germany.
``Blacky,'' a university professor, has invited all of them to supposedly celebrate his break-up with his wife. The reunion unfolds, showing the harsh effects, the different experiences, etc. of the distinct personalities which show the substantive changes they have undergone.
At the end, ``Blacky'' reveals the real reason for the reunion. He is suffering from terminal cancer and he has called his friends together so he can die among them. He commits suicide amidst the support of his friends who have been close to him his whole life.