A Florentine Tragedy

SKU: 1933932325

Oscar Wilde’s A Florentine Tragedy in the incomplete form in which he left it had remained largely unread and unstaged. This stirred the Italian blood of playwright-poet, Frank Crocitto, so he finished it in Wilde’s “inimitable style” and made it producible.

The play, set in renaissance Florence, is a dark poetic tale of an illicit love affair between a prince of the city and the lovely commoner, Bianca. When her merchant husband comes upon them and realizes what has been happening events move quickly to violence and high tragedy.

Here's the author's preface:

"Years ago, sometime way back in the last century, I was touched by the perverse magic of Oscar Wilde. You know, that sensual, incantatory dialog that makes up his play, Salome, and the sudden, wild lusts that drive his characters. I directed Salome, and a few years later some naive director cast me as John the Baptist, which gave me license to rave and generally misbehave on the stage, upsetting poor Salome, I mean the actress of course, who happened to be the director’s wife. All of which, when I grew up, brought me to my knees in agonized contrition.

Around that time I looked for other works by Oscar that cast a similar spell, and I found one. Alas, it was unfinished, and, as I continued to rummage, found that some other author, a friend of Yeats, had attempted to finish it. Outraged by how awful Yeats’ bucko had done and how exuberant was the praise he got for it I decided to contact Oscar directly. His droll response was: “I suppose, my good fellow, that Oscar has so often tried to be frank Frank should not be spared the opportunity to be Oscar.” He sniggered as is his wont, and hung up.

Now, if the truth be told I wasn’t hanging on the good fellow’s permission; I had finished it already, because it needed to be finished. And though it pleased me to finish it, as with so many things, I plopped it into my files and went on to pastures new. Years later I made two attempts to mount the play but time and tide and lousy actors dissuaded me.

But now the time has come to dust it off and give it to the world. After all it was unplayable before. And now since actors always need good scripts—I give thee:

A Florentine Tragedy—a dark, brooding, violent, Italianate drama permeated by old Oscar’s wildness, and a little of mine, too."

Download an expanded pdf version of this preface here. See how it looks laid out on the page. Then, go ahead, purchase a copy of the play and find out how it all turns out.

Price: $12.95
Weight: 3.2 lb.
Dimensions: 6.5in. × 4.7in. × 0.1in.