Harvey in Rehab

Happy Halloween! What are the two things that scare Americans more than anything else? How about “opera” and “Harvey Weinstein”?

What if we were to combine the two?

Could this be a conventional Verdi-, Puccini-, or Mozart-style opera with a plot that unfolds chronologically? Plainly not: the allegations about Harvey came out during one week but they covered a period of 30 years (Washington Post).

Unlike Trump: the Opera, therefore, this should be a non-narrative work along the lines of Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach. From Wikipedia:

The opera eschews traditional narrative in favor of a formalist approach based on structured spaces laid out by [Robert] Wilson in a series of storyboards. … It is Glass’s first and longest opera score, taking approximately five hours in full performance without intermission; given the length, the audience is permitted to enter and leave as desired.

in the absence of a storyline attached to his image. While they did incorporate symbols from Einstein’s life within the opera’s scenery, characters, and music, they intentionally chose not to give the opera a specific plot. This is in accord with Wilson’s formalist approach, which he asserts creates more truth on stage than naturalist theater

How about an opera titled Harvey in Rehab? The stage will be broken up into three spaces:

  • Center: Harvey in a group therapy session at a clinic for sex addicts.
  • Stage left: Hotel room into which actresses come and go. At random intervals an assistant comes in to give an actress a bale of cash.
  • Stage right: Domestic realm. Wife played by actress 24 years younger than actor playing Harvey sits in front of a 10-year alimony entitlement countdown clock. Two young children run around chased by three nannies.

A chorus of lawyers in pinstripe suits occupies a space suspended above the stage. Harvey wanders among the spaces in a bathrobe while the lawyers move their heads so as to track him carefully. Lawyers lower vacuum hoses at unpredictable times to pull cash out of Harvey’s pockets or from some of the cash bales that actresses are trying to carry out.

Teenage children from Marriage #1 sometimes enter the domestic realm from stage right, wait for Harvey to appear in that realm, silently remove cash from his bathrobe pockets, and depart. Every 30 minutes, the wife from Marriage #1 comes in with an attorney singing a demand for cash while the toddlers from Marriage #2 sing “Who is this lady and how does she know our dad?”

Ending: Young wife and various actresses simultaneously pull lawyers down from the heavens. They all rush at Harvey who attempts to flee to a waiting Gulfstream on a runway reading “KSMO” rolled out in front of the stage. As Harvey attempts to depart in the Gulfstream, however, a mob of angry Santa Monicans attack the runway with scissors. Harvey exits the Gulfstream, stumbles on the airstairs, and drops his two suitcases. They open upon hitting the ground, releasing a cloud of cash that obscures all of the players. The curtain falls.



6 thoughts on “Harvey in Rehab

  1. @Philg, your ending needs some rework. Here is my suggestion:

    After the curtain falls as the audiences are on their feet cheering for a well performed Opera, a Gulfstream flies across the stage with pilot — Philg — looking at the audiences. He gives a big smile and a bright white light emits from his teeth which momentarily blinding the audience.

  2. How about a duet between a single mother and a gaggle of child, where the children build upon the theme “say Harvey’s my dad” while the mom, anxious and introspecting, interjects counterpoints, “But I never slept with that man…”; “how can I make him your father..”; “yes you deserve a fat wallet for a daddy, but how, how, how!”

  3. Pretty good. I often think about parodies I would make and this one would be very entertaining.

    Just get a Pavarotti look-a-like to play Harvey and sing Nessun dorma at the end.

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