Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit and Other Plays....

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit & Other Plays for Today, Tomorrow & Beyond Tomorrow (1972) is a small collection of plays based on three of Ray Bradbury's short stories. Bradbury was one of the most celebrated science fiction authors of his time. The plays featured are the titular "Ice Cream Suit," as well as "The Veldt" and "To the Chicago Abyss." I had read the short story versions of the last two but not "Suit."

In the titular story, six down-on-their-luck fellows pool their money to buy a spectacular, white (vanilla ice cream colored) suit that they all can share to impress the ladies, win new friends, and, hopefully, turn their luck around. They learn that there's much more to be gained in the friendship they develop with each other.

"The Veldt" is a very creepy story of the future. A future where two doting parents provide their children with every new gadget possible--including a playroom that can make the kids' every thought and dream come to 3-D life. When the children change their playroom to the African veldt, complete with hungry lions, the parents learn, too late, that gadgets can't take the place of love.

And, finally, "To the Chicago Abyss" takes the reader to a bleak dystopian future where all is rubble and there are few pleasures left. One old man can remember only the pleasures of the past as broadcast through the media or in the trivialities of everyday life--advertisements for coffee, cigarettes, kazoos for children, thimbles and imitation flowers. Speaking about the past--of things that no one can have now--is outlawed and the man must avoid the police and seek out those willing to listen to his memories.

The stories make for short, quirky plays and Bradbury does an excellent job adapting them. I, however, prefer the works in short story form. ★★ and a half for the wonderful stories by a master.

1 comment:

fredamans said...

I would probably love this one. I am a Bradbury fan! Great review!