Tandolfo the Great
Posted on: July 11, 2001
Based on the short story by award-winning writer, Richard Bausch, Tandolfo the Great is the story of Rodney (aka Tandolfo the Great), a man who pictures himself in an old-fashioned Chaplin romance. But his reality is more humiliating and desperate than the Little Tramp's ever was. Rodney is in love with Maggie. He believes in magical gestures and thinks he knows just the thing to win her heart: an irrational, illogical marriage proposal via a huge pink cake. But he's too late; she's run off with another man. Now he's stuck with the sickening cake and in order to pay for it he must perform at a birthday party full of obnoxious suburban kids while his heart is breaking. The kids won't cooperate, so, just like his commedia dell'arte predecessors, he improvises. But even steeled with whiskey, there's only so much humiliation a person can take. The party erupts like a carnival, disintegrating along with Rodney's dignity.
And there's still the matter of the cake.
But pride has a surprising way of resurfacing. With a fitting final gesture, Rodney reaffirms his belief in Tandolfo the Great.