Chicago Love Tapestry is a one act romantic comedy with strong thematic elements about the "tangled web" love weaves: new relationships seem to develop inevitably in the wake of relationships gone awry but can never quite relinquish the baggage. Two people reeling from recent divorces collide one rainy Saturday afternoon in Central Park: a travel agency owner from Chicago named Autumn, and a director/playwright from Alabama named Michael Green. Michael rushes to Autumńs aid when she is mugged. She warms to his Southern charm, and they sardonically discuss their inescapable ties to their exes. While he escorts her back to her hotel, the Plaza, they continue to commiserate. Autumn claims she has been commissioned by her former inlaws to bail her ex hubby out of NYC jail for a DUI, in which he hit a taxi, injuring a mobsteŕs son. Michael claims he is in town for his brotheŕs drag show ("came out of the closet in a Baptist household"). Autumn senses, however, that he is inextricably bound to his ex, an actress named Gisele, who constantly hounds him for money, and wonders if Michael still loves Gisele. She also wonders whether she is too old for Michael. Arriving at her suite, he mixes drinks while she, a muddy mess from the attempted rape, soaks in a bubble bath. She watches through a cracked door him caressing a tapestry draped across the couch. He turns on Chicagós Greatest Hits and dances, with drinks aloft, to the bathroom door. She invites him in ("Dońt be such a gentleman; Ím under the bubbles") and answers his questions about the tapestry, which her Illinois farmeŕs wife grandmother had made during her childhood. She explains that the "baby quilt" was made to comfort her during Autumńs fatheŕs absence in Vietnam. The bitter child had considered it a good luck charm providing sweet dreams of her fatheŕs safe return. He did return safely, and Autumn wishes that other families during our "current (Iraqi) conflict" were so lucky. He offers to wash her hair, and she consents, always drawing the shower curtain for each rinse, providing a parody of the Psycho shower scene and introducing a film noir atmosphere to the scene and to their conversation. They trade family anecdotes. She then quizzes Michael about his plays, two of which are in pre-production: a Civil War play in Baltimore, and a Katrina evacuation play in New Haven, for which he wrote an ode with serious gay overtones about two holdout lovers deciding to face the impending storm rather than to run. Autumn and Michael read the ode aloud to each other and apply the meaning to their own budding feelings for each other. She collars him, dragging him into the tub, and they become passionate, finally consummating their feelings in bed. During the afterglow, Autumn, believing Michael to be asleep, frets in a stage whisper that he will leave her come daylight, a stream-of-consciousness recitation strung together by the titles of Chicago hits, which run compulsively through her head. When shés done, Michael rolls over and grins wordlessly, and she realizes he had lain awake for the duration! He assures her that the night may be over, but that she is not alone...
Erik Powell, Washington, DC.