Sunday, August 03, 2003

Fringe - Day 2 - Part 6

The Love Talker
Loring Playhouse

This is the sexiest damn show in the Fringe.

(and yes, I've seen 3 Way)

I am deeply conflicted about this play. And so, I endorse it wholeheartedly. Go see it. Tell me I'm wrong. Help me understand what I'm missing.

Because the production values, for both a Fringe show, and a Theater Unbound show, were amazing. It's a real leap forward for them.

The cast is uniformly great. Even if sometimes you couldn't understand what the hell they were saying, their actions made things crystal clear.

The text is gorgeous. It's chock full of poetic language and imagery and passion.

If I may take a moment to drool, the guy who plays the Love Talker, Jonathan Weber, is probably one of the hottest men I've seen on stage in a long time. And he spends the show dressed in the equivalent of some very flattering drawstring pants and some leaves painted on his otherwise completely exposed torso. (Gulp) And those eyes... Oh, and yes, he can act, too. They didn't just cast him for his looks, though I'm sure they didn't hold him back any. Of course, now I read his bio and find out he's just a senior in college and feel like a complete troll, but what the hell.

The kiss at the end is...well... phew!

It is a very sexy show. Way sexier than 3 Way, and about ten times darker.

(If that's all you need to know to make up your mind that it's worth seeing, then go. What follows are the reasons I'm conflicted about the show, and in no way detract from my endorsement of it. I'm very glad I saw it, but...)

Ultimately, it's the message the script is sending that drives me up a wall.

John Ashcroft couldn't have written a more puritan play.

Sex is bad. Sex makes you lose your mind. Sex leads to murder. Sex will have you running around the forest in a dirty nightgown and a crown of thorns.

I mean, at least in this play we get the sex. (Suggestion of sex, I hasten to clarify. No naughty bits were exposed in the making of this play, though they come mighty close).

But, ladies and gentlemen, don't let a man into your house, between your legs, under your skin, into your head, because nothing good will ever come of it.

I realize this is based on an established folk tale. But if you can't update the folk tale to say anything useful, why bother?

Love the production, hate the play.

Artistic schizophrenia has never hit me more acutely.

So see it. And help me.

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