Chile’s Floyd Collins?

While shooting around on the outdoor court across from Brookline’s Pierce School, the hardworking staff caught a BBC Radio piece about the bustling community (vendors welcome!) forming around the dig site of the Chile mine rescue.

(Can’t find a link to that story, but BBC Radio coverage here.)

It reminded us of the musical Floyd Collins, which we saw in a moving production at Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage Company in 2001.

Video from the 2007 Boston Conservatory production:

Storyline from a 1996 New York Times review of the Playwrights Horizon production:

The show takes its name from the 37-year-old Kentuckian who was wedged in a crevice 150 feet underground while exploring a cave near his home and finally died there. The overblown news coverage of the rescue attempts set the standard for a journalistic sensationalism that would become all too familiar and that inspired Billy Wilder’s sourest portrait of American opportunism, the 1950 movie “Ace in the Hole” . . .

But the concerns here go beyond satire. The show is intent on remembering the real man at the center of the storm. And throughout, it contrasts the carnival-like frenzy above ground with the fearful loneliness of Floyd (Christopher Innvar), as he turns increasingly inward. The work becomes, both literally and figuratively, a counterpoint of interior and exterior worlds.

The BBC story also used the term “carnival-like” to describe the scene above ground at the San Jose mine in Chile.

It’s unlikely those miners will turn into Floyd Collins.

But it’s not impossible.

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