Fool for Love

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Audience

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In Shepard's 1983 classic, a woman named May occupies a stark, low-rent motel room on the edge of the Mojave desert. She is haunted by a frenetic rodeo cowboy named Eddie, with whom she shares a mutual obsession and whom she has been trying to escape for years. He arrives there unexpectedly, desperate to drag her back with him to his farm in Wyoming. Eddie's passion is admirable, but he takes after his father, a serial adulterer who abandoned two households. Eddie suspects it's a self-fulfilling prophecy and that his love for May cannot escape this fate. She resents his frequent absences and love affairs and physically attacks him. As Eddie tries to console her, one of his "other" women, referred to as the countess, shoots out the windshield of his truck parked outside. A hapless young man, Martin, appears amidst the fracas; he is May's date for the movies and becomes a butt for Eddie's jokes. The relentless action is interrupted periodically by running commentary from a ghostly old man in the corner who is revealed to possibly be the father of the two ex-lovers. These "fools for love" cannot get along with or without each other, yet neither can subdue their burning passion. Their relationship is mystifying and discomfiting; the atmosphere is pungent and evocative; the language is sparking with Shepard's genius for sound and imagery. A new production company, Beetlebung Road LLC, was formed this year with "Fool for Love" as its inaugural production. Its actors, director and designers are all from the Los Angeles area. This is an Equity Showcase production. In director Kymberly Harris' vision for the play, alcohol, wild horses, rodeo stunts and western music are key elements and sources for inspiration. Shepard had a long history of creativity in Montana so the troupe, to recapture the environment that was so evocative to him, journeyed to Bigfork, MT to soak up the atmosphere of what was once a quaint, western stage-stop and to take roping lessons. With a similar goal, they have immersed themselves in rodeo culture at Kern County Fair Rodeo in Bakersfield, CA. That town is a frequent stepping-off point for travelers crossing the Mojave Desert toward Las Vegas. Harris is also discovering the resonance in the power of Shepard's female character in the #MeToo era. The plot could be seen as overshadowed by its men's history of philandering, but Harris refuses to take this at face value. Projecting herself into the male characters' shoes, she asks "If you need your independence to make art, how can you give yourself to a love relationship?" From May's perspective, she asks, "if you are really in love with a soulmate, how do you accept being treated?" Eddie, she says, cannot give himself over to the power of a woman, while May really loves him, yet needs to find her own voice and independence in the face of this love. Sophia Silver makes her theatrical debut as May, Andrew Dits plays Eddie, George Oliver Hale plays The Old Man and John Ruby plays Martin. Scenic and lighting design are by David Goldstein. Sound design is by Jesse Manapat. Costume design is by Wendell C. Carmichael. Key art is designed by Jordan Weeks. Producer is Racquel Lehrman of Theatre Planners, Los Angeles. Assistant producer is Misha Riley.

Reviews

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Jack Knoll of Newsweek described the original New York production, which arrived there from San Francisco's Magic Stage as “a rattlesnake riff.” The play has been called “mysterious and unsettling,” “ponderous, imponderable,” and it is all that.

sweet - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


Avatar

Jack Knoll of Newsweek described the original New York production, which arrived there from San Francisco's Magic Stage as “a rattlesnake riff.” The play has been called “mysterious and unsettling,” “ponderous, imponderable,” and it is all that.

sweet - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review