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‘Darkfall’ is David Dávalos' Ominous Holiday Play
Julio Martínez

Scene from 'Darkfall' at Sacred Fools Theatre.
The basis for New York-based playwright David Dávalos' latest work, having its world premiere at Hollywood’s Sacred Fools Theater, is far removed from his Tejano roots.

"My grandparents were from Mexico and I was raised in Texas but I found my writing voice in New York," Dávalos affirms. "Darkfall concerns the quest for spiritual identity amidst the vast insecurity of our over-mechanized civilization moving into a new millennium."

In many respects Dávalos has written an ominous holiday play, except it doesn't take place on Christmas. It is set on New Year's Eve on December 31, 2000, the "real" eve of the new millennium for mathematical purists. A monumentally wealthy and powerful old man named Potter (not the one from It's A Wonderful Life) is lying on his deathbed in a Manhattan hospital.

Two men are summoned to his bedside. One is his protègè, ruthless executive John Lucas (Seth Kanor). The other is Potter's son Josh (David Holcomb), an unassuming junior high school teacher. Should the old man die on the eve of the new millennium, one of these two men will inherit his empire and affect the future of all that live for centuries to come. Who will it be?

"Of course Potter represents God," says Dávalos. "Lucas is Satan and Josh is Jesus." Dávalos admits he modeled the ensuing confrontation between evil and good on Milton's Paradise Lost. For the playwright the struggle between these two entities is one of ideas. Will the world be enveloped within Lucas's dehumanizing global corporate monopoly or find salvation within Josh's commitment to simple human interaction and spiritual devotion?

"I originally got the idea while reading the New York Times Magazine in 1996," recalls Dávalos. "There was a section called ‘Letters to God,’ which was an actual collection of children's letters. One of these letters asked the question, ‘Is God dying?’ It really hit me that as we were nearing the end of this century I perceived a strong sense of spiritual emptiness in our society. I set up the debate between Lucas and Josh as an exercise in dealing with our modern day insecurities."

The production at Sacred Fools is directed by Tenny Priebe. The set design, which features a large clock face to emphasize the specter of our Y2K fears, is by Gerald McClanahan. The complete cast features Tabatha Hall, Piper Henry, David Holcomb (of TV's Port Charles), Daintry Jensen, Seth Kanor, John Prince and Casey Smith.

‘Darkfall’ continues through Dec. 30. at Sacred Fools Theatre, 660 N. Heliotrope Drive, Hollywood. The production schedule is as follows: Thursdays & Fridays, 8 p.m., Tickets $12. For reservations call (310) 281-8337. See also Theatre Listings



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