Prostate Dreams: a Comedy of Medical Errors (Play)
By: Sal Atlantis Phoenix
Publisher: Moose Enterprise Book and Theatre Play Publishing Moose Hide Books
Publication Date: 2007
Reviewed By: Will Gabbett
Review Date: September 22, 2009
Poor George. It seemed like he had everything going his way. The handsome, vibrant man in his early 40s had a knockout girlfriend, Julia, and a successful business career. But then he received terrifying news: he had prostate cancer. So begins Prostate Dreams, a play that blends satire and political commentary into one rather strange but funny play.
After a short opening scene where George receives the frightening prognosis, the unhappy patient is given medical advice by not one, two or even three doctors, but by five. Each doctor offers counsel that contradicts the pervious medical “expert” and George (and the audience) is utterly confused. Scene two follows George into the arms of Julia, his beautiful girlfriend. Will she still love him when she learns of his medical problem?
In the next scene, we meet Master, a teacher of meditation and a very wise man, full of wisdom and arguing for the rights of ‘the people.’ A meditation class begins, with Master leading the way. Soon, however, he is questioning George about his dreams and how the stricken man will achieve them. At this point in the play, things get really bizarre. George has told Master that he plans to start a company and that “Prostate International Corporation will be the name and machismo will be the game.” George gets interviewed by an anchorwoman and then again by Master, where the dialog has changed into a conversation about imperialism and other political and corporate concerns. When two senators make their entrance, they spend their time arguing about whether the Republicans or Democrats are the best party as they interrogate Master. In stark contrast to the two witless politicians, Master is eloquent and quick with his remarks.
A much shorter Act II, with just three scenes, brings the audience back to George and his medical problems. He decides to proceed with laparoscopic surgery but when things go horribly wrong, there is a very strange outcome.
The author of Prostate Dreams has included plenty of comical dialog in his play. For instance, when George is told his insurance company won’t pay for the anesthesia, he asks the doctor if he can pay for it. “You can of course, but remember, it will be the cost of your arm and a leg in addition to your prostate!” A page later, during the surgery, the insurance company calls and distracts the doctor with disastrous, and funny results. There is also plenty of comedy when the two senators question Master, and several arguments that Master makes that will have the reader questioning their own political views.
It should be mentioned that there are quite a few typos in Prostate Dreams. Because this play can be a bit hard to follow at times, with the quirky transitions from a doctor’s office, to a meditation class, and then a senatorial investigation, these errors add to the difficulty of following the action. Using an editor to clean up the text would go a long way in adding to the enjoyment of Prostate Dreams.
Quill says: A strange, quirky, bizarre, peculiar, out of the ordinary and funny look at medical errors and political idiocracy.
For more information on Prostate Dreams, please visit the publisher's website at: Moose Hide Books.