By Richard Vetere; Directed by Sasha Brätt
Part of the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival
Off Off Broadway, Play
Runs through 8.29.15
VENUE #11: 64E4 Mainstage, 64 East 4th Street
by Emily Tuckman on 8.19.15
BOTTOM LINE: Lady Macbeth and her Lover would be more aptly titled "Like Mother Like Daughter" as everything comes full circle.
Lady Macbeth and Her Lover begins with two women professing their devotion, popping pills, and drinking heavily. The two women are “in love,” but one is leaving the other for her husband and their child. We later learn that the two women met in college while studying modern poetry; there they connected, made love, and traveled the world. Corrine (Maja Wampuszyc) is the lovesick, older character, who holds onto Hope (Jenny Ashman) desperately. She states that “suicide is an act of courage,” and Hope, looking for a way out, takes her advice. Corrine cannot bring herself to follow suit, and so begins the real action in the play: the relationship between Corrine and Hope’s daughter Emily (also played by Ashman).
After Hope’s death, about five minutes into the play, fifteen years pass to the time when Emily knocks on Corrine’s door. The spitting image of her mother, Corrine falls in love with Emily, as a surrogate to her true love, the deceased Hope. Through their relationship, the audience hears about the connection between Corrine and Hope, and the similarities between Emily and her mother. The audience learns that Hope was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, and wrote a book called Lady Macbeth and Her Lover. The plays ends up coming full circle as Emily ends up in the same place as her mother, with the same relationship to Corrine.
Director Sasha Bratt uses lighting to set the mystical tone. Bratt shapes the space astutely, using an empty picture frame to symbolize both the photos of the two women, and a mirror through which the women peek. The text is stylized and staccato, but the actors do a great job of making it come alive. Ashman is brilliant as Hope, smiling through her pain, and Emily is mysterious and wanting. Wampuszyc is convincingly pretentious and vulnerable.
(Lady Macbeth and Her Lover plays at VENUE #11: 64E4 Mainstage, 64 East 4th Street, through August 29, 2015. Performances are Wed 8/19 at 8:30; Sat 8/22 at 12:15; Mon 8/24 at 4:30; Thu 8/27 at 6:30; and Sat 8/29 at 9. There is no late seating at FringeNYC. Tickets are $18 and are available at fringenyc.org. For more information visit ironspiketheatre.com.)