The Darling of the gods


The Darling of the gods
   David Belasco and John Luther Long scored a success with their collaboration on their one-act Madame Butterfly (1900), leading Belasco to suggest they work together on a full-length play with a Japanese setting. The resulting five-act tragedy, The Darling of the Gods, opened on 3 December 1902 at the Belasco Theatre for 182 performances, and the Belasco-Long collaboration continued with Adrea (1905). The Darling of the Gods, a fantastic play of enduring love across time, was considered contrived by critics, but it was popular with audiences for its exotic setting and the visual splendor and realism typical of Belasco.
   The play focuses on the machinations of war minister Zakkuri to kill Prince Kara, a renegade outlaw who has gained the favor of Prince Saigon of Tosan for saving his daughter from death. Kara and Saigon's daughter, Princess Yo-San, fall in love, but when Zakkuri attempts to have Kara assassinated, Yo-San hides him for 40 days. This liaison is idyllic, but Kara is obliged to return to his band of outlaws. He is captured and when Yo-San goes to Zakkuri to plead for his life, Zakkhuri attempts to make her his mistress. Yo-San rejects him and Kara is killed after pledging to meet her in a thousand years in the First White Heaven. Yo-San commits suicide and after a thousand years passes they meet in the other world. The cast included George Arliss as Zakkuri and Blanche Bates as the tragic Yo-San.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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