THE STORY: A disheveled man wakes from a sweat-drenching nightmare, furiously shaking his shirt and pants free of possible small jungle creatures, and hastily dresses to face the utterly dreamlike reality of remote Mexico, a torpid limbo. Henry is a lost soul from the American middle-class, middle aged and unmoored, a superfluous stranger to a wife he left hundreds of scattered miles away in snowbound Michigan, and now alone in a squalid, vine-shrouded “hotel” amid snakes, lizards and ghosts. The owner of the makeshift inn, one-eyed Viejo, warns him to stay put for his own safety, but on a brief, circular walk through the underbrush he is set upon by a peasant named Amado. The predatory figure bears a machete and a slender knife which he will use to cut the eyes from Henry’s head, he tells the incredulous American, in order to present this penitent, macabre offering of “a bouquet of blue eyes” to the bewitching Consuela. The fervor of Amado’s obsessed mission, his dizzying persuasiveness, and his menacing wit and insight, push Henry’s sanity to its limits. In a duel of ironic pathos, humor, cruelty and metaphor, each man examines what has taken him from the woman he loves and what desperate sacrificial price might reunite him with her. At the point when the gracefully haunting Consuela appears before Henry only to dismiss his brown eyes, the sole road out of the tangled tropical forest seems indistinct but at last possible.
“One leaves EYES thinking, more than anything else, that [Sam Shepard’s] plays are most beautiful when they are angry.” —The New York Times.
“The writing has the kind of apparently effortless boldness that reminds you that you are in the presence of one of the greatest living playwrights.” —New York Daily News.
“…it is all about seeing and not seeing, about various forms of blindness, physical, emotional, existential. And about the sacrifices love entails. It is quirkily unpredictable and laughingly unsettling.” —New York Magazine.
“Shepard’s writing is back at its taut best, with the play’s mystery unfolding a frisson of theatrical immediacy…” —New York Post.