Nantucket Sleigh Ride is a new work in the classic John Guare style: urbane, funny, literate and off-beat -- with its finger right on the pulse. And a racing pulse at that! For those not up on their 19th century whaling slang, a “Nantucket Sleigh Ride” is literally a wild ride: a harpooned whale would sometimes drag a ship full of whalers on a crazy desperate course, often for miles, as it thrashed and flailed trying to escape its captors.
Guare takes us on just such a voyage with Mundie, a playwright turned New York stockbroker, who ventures from Manhattan to Nantucket island one day on a surreal errand. He gets mixed up with a giant lobster, Roman Polanski, a pornography ring, Walt Disney, stranded children, a murder, and Jorge Luis Borges to name a few. The action takes place in both the present day, and in a memory-filled excursion to the 1970s, because, in Guare’s universe, the standard rules of time and space delightfully don’t apply.