The action takes place
in a Russian village, in the house of Isaac the
Isaac is expecting his
nephew, Sasha, from Caucasia (the Orient) and
propose to engage him to his daughter, Anuta,
before Sasha's departure to his rich father in
Mexico. Russian peasants, workers of the nearby
brick factory, gather to celebrate the engagement of
Sasha to Anuta.
Sasha's father has
sent his secretary, Marino, from Mexico to accompany
his son. Martino, while waiting for Sasha, finds
Isaac's house a nest of love, conspiring to unite
his heart with Anuta, whom he inspires by his
Mexican melodies played on his guitar.
Hershel, who is in
love with Chaske, the daughter of an unsuccessful
marriage broker, reveals to his sweetheart some
confidential things about Sasha's love affairs in
Romania, unknown to his uncle Isaac. Hershel's
dialogue is manifested into a vision scene,
unfolding the secret.
The vision scene takes
place in a Roumanian inn where Roumanian soldiers
and gay-looking native girls with wealthy peasants
indulge in song, dance and wine.
A beautiful flower
girl, Mania, with soft eye of azure, enters the inn.
She is in sweet suspense, expecting her lover Sasha,
from Caucasia, to come to her. Sasha, a gallant
romantic young man, appears. All greet him, and
Sasha is very pleased to see his heart's desire,
Mania's eyes begin to
play with tears when Sasha is about to leave for
Russia. Sasha consoles his sweetheart by assuring
her that here, soon, they will again meet in
Russia, before his journey for Mexico. The parting
is bittersweet, but part they must, and thus the end
of the vision scene.
The comic elements of
the play are in the characters of Kalmen and Zalmen,
marriage-brokers, both rivals in love. Aunt Tzipe,
who has succeeded in burying three husbands, is
desirous of remarrying, but knows not which one of
her admirers to marry -- Kalmen or Zalmen -- one
surely to become a candidate for the grave.
Sasha appears on the
scene from Caucasia, unaware of the fact that his
Uncle Isaac plans to have him engaged that day to
his daughter Anuta. When informed, he meets the
unpleasant news with great surprise and discontent.
He questions Martino about his father in Mexico,
whom he does not know, for he was left in Isaac's
care when an infant.
Mania, who ran away
from home to see Sasha before he leaves for Mexico,
enters. She appears at the very moment when the
engagement is to take place. Sasha, unafraid,
proclaims Mania as the only girl for whom his heart
beats with love and affection. He then asks Martino
to take Mania along, but Martino declines to do so.
Sasha promises Mania
to bring her to Mexico immediately after his arrival
there. mania, in song, recalls to Sasha many
pleasant memories, and conjures him not to forget
his vow. He answers in song that he will forever be
her tender, true and ardent lover.
The action takes place
in Bernard's fashionable summer villa in Mexico.
Preparations are being made for Bernard's wedding to
a beautiful young lady, a total stranger to his
Sasha, who constantly
craves for his flower girl, Mania, is sent to the
United States by his father, that he may forget her.
He returns after a year's absence, only to learn
that his father is about to marry. He scolds
Bernard, warning him not to remarry in his old age,
and also reminds him of his unfairness to his mother
whom he had left in dire circumstances, with a
child, and who had perished in her blooming youth.
Bernard declines to
give ear to Sasha's appeal. Sasha in revenge goes to
the hotel where his father's bride is stopping. With
determination to disillusion her by revealing to the
unknown girl his father's character.
The scene: A room in
the most aristocratic hotel in Mexico. Mania appears
gorgeously dressed. A salesman of fashionable
dresses and women's wear was sent to her by Bernard
for style selection.
Sasha, being refused
admittance by the servant, forces a way through and
is amazed to see Mania before his eyes.
Mania explains that
while in Cuba, on her way to Mexico to find Sasha,
she was financially embarrassed and engaged herself
as a singer in a restaurant, the Cafe Shantan, and
it was there that she met a man, an old millionaire,
who promised to bring her to Mexico and to help her
find her lover.
Sasha informs her that
she is to be married to this old millionaire, who is
no other than his own father. He then contrives a
plan how to win his sweetheart from his father.
In the last scene, at
the wedding, and before the ceremony, Sasha
surprises his father and also the guests, by the
statement that Mania is his legal wife and therefore
cannot become the wife of his father. The news
brings great satisfaction to all and great
disappointment to the father. He gives the son his
blessings, and love unites the two lovers -- Sasha