Brandon Walker and Marnie Klar in LOVE SONG.
BOTTOM LINE: A nice presentation of an offbeat love story by an up-and-coming theatre company.
The Seeing Place Theater is kicking off their fourth season with the intellectual love story, Love Song. I had the pleasure of seeing The Seeing Place Theater’s first production of The Credeaux Canvas which was a daring presentation of a rarely seen play. This newest offering from The Seeing Place is equally ambitious, but this play had a pretty successful run last year at 59E59 Theatres. Full disclosure: I saw the aforementioned Love Song at 59E59 so I probably had a slightly different experience than the average theatregoer who is probably seeing this play for the first time. The pacing of this production is very different from what I saw last year; The Seeing Place Theater takes the play from a quirky tale spin of emotions to a raw, sometimes painful, yet still funny, dissection of human relationships and happiness.
Love Song explores love in its many forms, and forces the audience to question what is real and decide for themselves when is the time that seemingly comforting fantasies can do more harm that good, forcing the confrontation of the reality of one’s life and relationships. The story centers on a strangely depressed Beane (Brandon Walker) who is beating his own drum through life with a few meager possesions much to the chagrin of his high strung, wine-guzzling sister Joan (Marnie Klar) and her husband Harry (Jason Wilson). Beane’s world is turned upside-down when he meets a mysterious cat burglar named Molly (Erin Cronican) who changes his life and ultimately the lives of his sister and brother-in-law as well.
Love Song poses many big questions about life, reality, love, Capitilalism, and everything in between. We are talking the big questions in life here: What does it mean to be alive? What does it mean to be seen? What is reality? What defines us? What happens when it literally feels like the walls are closing in around you? Love Song is definitely a thinking person’s comedy. If you like the writings of Kafka, Dostoevsky, or Nietzsche you’ll probably seriously dig what Love Song is selling. If Harold and Kumar Goes to White Castle, is your benchmark of cinematic brilliance, you might want to take a raincheck on this one. That being said, Love Song is not overly pretentious in any way. It is a comedy told with a lot of honesty and heart performed by a strong ensemble. This production is extremely intimate and personal. The ensemble works exceptionally well together and I would be hard-pressed to single any one performance out over the other. Every performer is putting 101% of their heart and soul out on the stage and it’s a beautiful thing to watch. I hope that The Seeing PLace Theater continues to push the boudaries of theater in the off off Broadway community by producing thoughtprovoking, smart, and well-acted theatre. Oh, and tickets are only $12. You really can’t beat that. So, if you want ponder life’s great mysteries, see a touching love story, and laugh at the hilarity of it all, check out The Seeing Place Theater’s production of Love Song. You just might learn something about yourself and be entertained at the same time.
(Love Song plays at ATA’s Sargent Theater, 314 West 54th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, through December 9, 2012. Performances are Thusdays and Fridays at 8PM; Saturdays at 2PM and 8PM; and Sundays at 2PM. Tickets are $12 are available at smarttix.com or by calling 212.868.4444. For more show info visit seeingplacetheater.com.)