Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

Brian McLane header image 1


January 22nd, 2011 · 1 Comment · theater

EUROPA (c) 2009 Brian McLane, Rob Susman, Clark Render


The Play begins in darkness with Subspace Music sung by the cast from off-stage. The song is about the harsh and unforgiving nature of space and the enduring spirit of those who would venture off-world from Earth. When the lights come up, Stone, a hardened career criminal is being released from prison to the dismay of his jailers. His much younger girlfriend Bridget is waiting for him with a small spaceship to take him away. In his haste to get away from the prison planet, Stone throws caution to the wind which, prompting Bridget to sing You Don’t Know How To Drive. He informs Bridget that they’re going to Europa and not Earth. To Bridget’s dismay, as they break into the atmosphere of Europa, the pair jump from their ship and chute toward the surface.

The action switches to Rocky’s, a somewhat run down bar at the base of the Colossus mine. X, the proprietor, and his girlfriend Eloise, who is the legal guardian of two girls, twins, and the daughters of the mining magnate, now deceased. They have been at odds recently. Eloise wants to leave Europa while X feels there’s nowhere to go. A report comes on the television about a crashed ship on Europa. The reporter Leena in an unusual moment sings about longing to be freed from the confines of her digital world, Waiting.

On the outskirts of the mining settlement, Stone and Bridget dust themselves off and flag down the driver of a transport pod which happens to be Stenzo, a scientist and jack of all trades who is by nature a loner. After a contentious introduction, the trio make their way to Rocky’s while Stenzo sings Crash Transmutation, a song about his scientific pursuits and goals which involves the entire cast. As an almost converse outlook to that of Stenzo’s, Eloise engages X in a discussion about her hopes for their future. Eloise wants more than to just exist on Europa, X thinks there’s not much else to strive for and is glad to have what little he does. Eloise makes the point that it’s about more than their livelihoods and about how their relationship is growing stale and sings Walk The Line.

As the rest of the characters mull about the bar absorbed in their respective intrigues, Stenzo has become fixated on the TV screen hanging above the bar on which the picture appears to have become frozen or stalled with the image of the news reporter Leena. Stenzo is needled by Margo and Verity, the twins, daughters of the mining magnate who owns the Colossus mine, about his peculiar attachment to the digital image. He lashes out with Android and accuses the Twins of just being a couple of punks to which they happily answer with their own song Punks From The Nth Dimension.

At this point Stone makes his presence known which almost causes a riot with X leaping over the bar to get at his brother. With his overtures of burying the hatchet being met with stony resolve, Stone takes the low road and let’s loose with Microworld which is an ironic compliment to Eloise’s song, painting X as a small minded and aimless individual. Stone exits as X rethinks his position about staying on Europa now that his brother has arrived. In a gesture of compunction, he sings Nightclub Guests which draws parallels between his relationship with Eloise and the recently unsettling circumstances of his brother’s arrival. As the first act draws to a close Moons, a bounty hunter who has enjoyed an on again off again game of cat and mouse with Stone furiously sings Help Narcissus which hints at her single-minded purpose of putting Stone back behind bars.


The second act starts with Stone on the north face of the Colossus Mine. He is in communication with an unknown person to whom he is indicating that certain plans are proceeding on schedule. He sings a few bars from Subspace Music when he runs into the twins while leaving. Soon he is able to enlist their help in carrying out his intentions. X is tracking his brother through the use of a high powered scope and contemplates the latter’s intentions with Mysterious. Eloise notes that Stone is with the twins and shows Bridget, who is in the bar with them. Eloise tries to make Bridget see that it is best to leave Stone and sings Why Bridget? X advises his girlfriend to stay out of others’ affairs but that only causes a fight and X uncharacteristically slaps Eloise who immediately leaves with Bridget to find shelter for the night. His apologies are unheeded.

Enter Moons and Stenzo who together shed some light on the situation as X’s bar, Rocky’s, seems to be at the center of the developing intrigue. Moons’ motives are clear and that is to put Stone back in prison. She sings another powerful homage to Stone called Troll. Unable to contain herself, Bridget sets off to confront Stone who is busy working away with the Twins. They have a showdown which has been long in the making though. While it does seem that he cares for her, Stone rails against Bridget and all others who don’t fall in line by singing Aqua Planet Wave. Not one to take it laying down, Bridget lets Stone know that while she loves him, it’s not a healthy love and retaliates in song with Hot Shot of Love. Stone, having had enough, stuns Bridget with a laser. The Twins, fearing she is dead lay blame on him as it seems he’s crushed the one person who seemingly is good for him with Stepped On A Spider.

Worried about Bridget, Eloise goes back to Rocky’s to get X. He begs her forgiveness and she says she understands his uncertainty about everything but is will to forgive him. She sings One Last Second Chance. Back at the mine, Stenzo has arrived only to find Bridget knocked out and soon he too is subdued. Stone laments the lack of assistance and teamwork and snarling, sings Cooperation From The Dead. Almost on queue, Stone’s accomplice Finley, the prison guard lands a shuttle and assists Stone in getting things under control. With not much time left before Stone is to ignite his explosives, Moons gets the drop on Finley and foils Stone’s plot. Bridget comes around and X is grateful that the danger is past. Moons takes Stone into custody and X mocks his brother with Mr. Freeze, implying that Europa will stay the way it is for a long time to come.

The next day all is back to normal with a few surprises. Leena has materialized from out of the digital world into the three dimensional one. The group gets word that Stone’s convictions were tossed out and to be ready for his return. It is implied that he will be on his best behavior. The group groans and cast sings Subspace Music.

Tags: ····················

One Comment so far ↓

Leave a Comment