Composers and their stage works 

Tiny Alice

Edward Albee

Drama - 3 acts. 4 men, 1 woman; 2 interiors, 1 simple exterior

Billy Rose Theatre - Dec 29, 1964

This adventure in theatre is sort of a knife-edged question mark. It begins with a venomous exchange between a cardinal and a lawyer whose contempt for each other traces back to their school days. Eventually, the lawyer offers the church, through the cardinal, a gift of two billion dollars from Miss Alice, the richest woman in the world. There seems to be no strings. Julian, a lay brother who is the cardinal's secretary, is to come to Miss Alice's castle and complete the details. Julian is startled by the enormous replica of the castle in the library, and by the tiny replica of the castle visible inside the library of the model. Julian is a timid man who has retreated from life into a self-negating sort of service, and who has almost subdued his passions. Miss Alice contrives to make him her lover. The transmutation of his religious ecstasy into an orgasmic ecstasy is utterly candid, and terrifying. Succeeding in her efforts Julian marries her only to be told that he has actually been wed not to Miss Alice, but to "Alice", an abstraction that lives in the castle. Miss Alice and her associates are employees hired to create a situation to test Julian's religious illusions. Miss Alice does not reveal the identity of their employer. Julian is told to accept the abstraction of Alice as his reality. When Julian refuses, asking instead to leave with Miss Alice, the lawyer forces Julian to confront the self-deception which permeates his life; the lawyer shoots Julian. Left alone with the model castle, the dying Julian senses a presence. He either accepts the abstraction of this presence on faith or he deludes himself into acceptance - either way, Alice has come to him.