Hellfire Pass: A Carpenter's Trilogy : a Chronicle in Three Plays, Part One
It is 1956, and Silvio Rosato, a decorated World War II veteran, shows up at the house of his father, Eduardo Rosato, who had abandoned him and his mother in Italy in 1920 to start a new life and family for himself in Chicago. Silvio's Italian-American half-siblings, Eddie and Ida, are fascinated by this stranger who has suddenly appeared in their lives. Handsome, assured and accomplished, there is something not quite right, something sinister about this visitor, with his air of familiarity and the distant, impenetrable look in his eyes. This mystery begins Hellfire Pass, part one of Rossi's autobiographical A Carpenter's Trilogy, A Chronicle in Three Plays.
At first glance a classic tale of immigrant families, of the lives they build in the new world and the lives they leave behind in the old, there is something more at play here than the conflict of a nostalgia for a romanticized past confrontingthe excitement of a brighter future. Which of Eduardo's families is "legitimate"-the one he abandoned in Italy or the one he raised in America? He has constructed an identity based on a fabric of self-serving opportunist lies for both, fictions that rapidly disintegrate under the steady gaze and relentless demand of what appears to be his only legitimate heir. Refusing to acknowledge Eduardo as his father, Silvio dislocates the question of legitimacy from one of paternity and history toone of individual responsibility and action. But it's not just Eduardo that's in trouble here. Can Silvio attain the legitimacy he considers his due without destroying the members of both families? And does he have the right to create his own sense of legitimacy at the cost of destroying the lives of all those around him? If so, how is he any less of a monster than his father?
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ANGELINA enters ANGELINA Ida anymore baby back door back to Italy bastard BOBBY enters bottle of wine briefcase brother Buona sera cannoli Carmela Chicago coming Daddy dining room dinner divorce EDDIE enters EDDIE Silvio enters the backyard enters the dining enters the yard everything exits eyes Fascist fire flat feet fought fucking girl glass of wine gonna Good-bye grabs Halfaya Pass happened He's my brother heard hell Hellfire Pass How's hugs IDA enters Italian kisses land and property laughing listen litde live look marriage certificate married Montreal move okay parents pick provolone ROSATO rush rush scared setded shit SILVIO Eddie SILVIO I'm SILVIO It's SILVIO pause sorry Sshhh stairs stay stop suit suitcase talking tell There's things right told Turdy uncle Peter understand upper balcony wait what's right wife would've