A Short One-Act Play
By Stuart Greenbaum
It’s wintertime 1950 in New York City’s Lower East Side. Seated opposite one another at a table inside popular KATZ’S DELICATESSEN, history’s two most influential “propagandists” are engaged in an animated conversation.
EDWARD L. BERNAYS, the world’s foremost public relations counsellor, looks the consummate professional. In his late fifties with a distinguished gray and black mustache, dressed smartly in a bespoke three-piece suit, he is confident and inquisitive.
The other of the original social influencers is thoughtful and attentive. By contrast, he is thirtyish, with scruffy long hair and beard, wearing a seamless cloth robe and leather sandals. Point of fact, he’s the ideal “JESUS” if ever there was one.
How’s your matzo ball soup? (beat) Forgive me, do you go by “Jesus”?
Jesus of Nazareth. JESUS for short. Very flavorful. And your pastrami on —
— rye. The best, Jesus, best in the city. (beat) So … saving humanity?
(leans in to whisper)
Yes, though for now informally and confidentially. I come seeking counsel, yours, on how to proceed with the saving. Or to be totally candid, whether it’s even worth the effort to return to earth, to interrupt my solitude.
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