Shows S

Back in the interrogation room, the Janitor recalls an adage that "only the dead tell the truth." A Medium arrives and explains that the spirit of the Husband entered her during a seance. She summons his spirit again ("The Medium and The Husband's Statement"). The Husband's story is that his wife became enraptured with the Thief and turned on the husband ("You'll Go Away With Me" (Reprise)). The rape becomes passionate love-making, and the Husband attempts to block it out of his mind by recalling that the marquee of the movie house screening Rashomon was missing the "a" in the title. The Wife orders the Thief to bind the husband. She assaults her husband verbally, relishing her new-found power, and telling him everything she has kept bottled up during their marriage; she will take "No More". She orders the Thief to stab the Husband. Surprisingly, the Thief instead cuts the bonds of the Husband and holds the knife to the Wife's throat, asking, "Do you want me to slash her throat and save you the trouble later?" Louie just stares, and the Thief eventually releases the Wife, tossing the knife to the Husband. The Husband, seething with rage, chases his wife away and is left alone. He decides that the honorable thing to do would be to kill himself ("Simple as This"). The Medium and the Husband perform an elaborate ritual reminiscent of traditional Japanese Seppuku (stomach-cutting). His last memory is of "someone" removing the stiletto from his abdomen and his blood flowing into the grass. The Janitor is still in the interrogation room, exhausted. He describes the beauty and the horrors of New York City in 1951 ("Light In the East"). Again he walks home through Central Park that night. He finds the Husband, pulls the knife out of the body and flees the scene. Everyone appears as a collage of voices, telling their statements, sometimes in unison but often interjecting with their own skewed perspectives on the truth. Act 2 – "Morito" and "Gloryday" Back in feudal Japan, Morito, Kesa's lover, tells wistfully of their final night together ("Morito"). Morito has planned to murder Kesa just as she has plotted to kill him, but the audience is left in doubt as to who was the successful killer, the scene ends with Morito strangling Kesa as she reaches for her knife. Reality and truth depend on whose perspective one believes. Kesa sees murdering Morito as a way to cleanse herself of her guilt and shame, while Morito believes he is bringing justice to Kesa and renewing his honor. In New York City in 2002, the meek priest Michael is in confession with his Monsignor. The Priest has lost his faith in the wake of "the tragedy" (alluding to, but not directly referencing the September 11 attacks), having failed to bring comfort to his flock ("Confession/Last Year"). He reminisces about the first time he realized his calling to become a priest, telling his Aunt about it. The Aunt is a spitfire communist and an atheist. She reminds the Priest of all the flaws and wrongdoings in the world and berates him for being "a gullible dope", falling for "The Greatest Practical Joke" of humanity: religion. The Priest walks through Central Park to clear his mind, where he conceives a great hoax. He decides to stage a false miracle in the park. He posts fliers around the park emblazoned with the message: "In three weeks, on Tuesday, at 1 p.m. sharp, a miracle will occur here in Central Park... from the depths of the pond Christ will appear, believe and be free" ("First Message"). He meets a former C.P.A., a filthy wild man in tattered business attire. The C.P.A. becomes inspired by the Priest's message ("Central Park"). He tells of his former life as an adultering, lying, disgustingly wealthy accountant. Worried that God "doesn't see [his] life", he goes to the park, where he discovers his true calling, "to live free and wild". Yet, he remains desperate for a life with purpose, where God sees him as special and unique. The Priest meets an Actress named Deanna as he posts new fliers in the park ("Second Message"). She is jittery, jumping from one subject to the next. She seduces the Priest, and the two have sex behind a bush in the park. Visibly distraught, she explains that she is struggling with cocaine addiction. She had found success in a coffee commercial, which she calls "residual heaven" ("Coffee"). To celebrate her success, her soap opera-actor boyfriend and she binge on cocaine and vodka and go for a drive in their Jaguar through Beverly Hills. The car flies off a cliff, and the actress breaks her neck, legs, nose and arms: "ouch right?". Her wrecked face draws bad press, and her coffee commercial is withdrawn. She consoles herself with morphine and barbiturates. She tells the Priest that she hopes the miracle occurs, because she could use some hope in her life. The Priest visits his Aunt Monica again and discovers she is dying. The TV news program she is watching shows the hordes of people gathering in Central Park for the "Gloryday". The Priest goes to the park to see what he has created. He enters a bar across the street from the park where he meets Aaron, the Reporter on