Sunday, April 24, 2011

Love Song

"Love Song" at 59E59 Theaters, April 19, 2011

(Photo by Jeff Larkin - provided by 59E59)

There are times when I forget that getting nominated for an award isn't necessarily an indication of worth.  Love Song was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2007.

I'm pretty sure it didn't win.

Playwright and director John Kolvenbach presents his play in its New York debut with an energetic, if largely miscast, production.  Beane (Andrew Pastides), apparently has Asperger syndrome or something similar, moping about on the edge of existence, driving his perfectionist sister Joan (Laura Latreille) to her wit's end.  Joan's husband Harry (Ian Barford) stays oddly supportive of both of them, until Beane meets Molly (Zoe Winters), who has broken into Beane's empty apartment, confronts him and steals his minimal belongings.

When Molly turns up at Beane's again, he is suddenly energized, a new man, a man in love.  He talks freely, initiates conversation, shows emotion and from a mainstream conformist perspective, seems normal.  Joan is hysterical and Harry is concerned.

I know - it didn't make any more sense to actually watch it either.

Mr. Pastides works hard to provide some dimension to the flat writing.  Ms. Latreille also has some success in the more emotional moments when she encourages Beane once she realizes the impact Molly has, but otherwise her performance feels false.  Mr. Barford and Ms. Winters both coast through unremarkably.

Mr. Kolvenbach doesn't seem to add much to his predictable script.  Ji-Youn Chang's set achieves the greatest success of the evening, juxtaposing Joan and Harry's warm red apartment against Beane's all-white colorless existence.

Love Song runs through May 7.  Tickets are available here.

No comments: