Capricorn by Jerry J.C. Veit
“Capricorn,” a play in three acts by Jerry J.C. Veit, tells the story of Montague, a young man who seeks vengeance for his mother’s death, but risks being transformed by his own heartlessness and anger into the very monster he hunts. Montague lives in a ruined dystopia, a city left to rot, decay, and tear itself to pieces in the wake of a brutal civil war. Going by the name of “the Heretic,” Montague patrols the city, laying waste to thieves, murderers, and rapists alike, all the while searching endlessly for the beast known simply as “the Demon.” The two meet in a battle to the death that thrusts Montague quite suddenly into the path of a beautiful – but deadly – girl named Capricorn who lives by herself in the sewers deep beneath the broken city. Drawn into Montague’s eternal conflict with the Demon, Capricorn is abducted by the Demon’s thugs and held against her will in the Underworld, where Montague must save her. But first he will have to face is own demons, manifesting themselves as a series of trials that will ultimately test his very humanity. For Montague, failure is not an option.
Filled with unexpected humor, including the scene in which Capricorn first meets – and nearly kills – poor Montague, “Capricorn” is a creative, action-packed delight that reads nicely on paper but practically begs to be put on stage. Veit’s dialogue is peppy, well crafted, and lends his characters a surprising depth of soul. Furthermore, Capricorn and Montague make a dynamic couple, their heartfelt romance calling Montague back from the edge of a damning emotional void. Yet despite its serious subject matter, Veit employs an overall tone of innocent, young love and jaunty adventurism to balance a tale that might otherwise have become overwhelmed by its darker elements – unsurprising, really, for a play that serves as a welcome commentary on the duality of the human soul.
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