Monday, August 8, 2011


Just like the fools in Shakespeare, Beane in John Kolvenbach’s LOVE SONG speaks the unvarnished truth. He’s reduced life to the essentials: a cup, a spoon, a chair and a lamp. He sees conspiracy in just about everything. Witness the “redundancy of glassware” when you already have a cup. To Beane, even “a raincoat is redundant [because] skin is already waterproof.” Clearly he’s nuts but he does have a point. His lateral, literal thinking is unassailable: On the subject of skyscrapers? “Leave the sky alone!” Every environmentalist I know would agree!

Unfortunately Beane is miserable. The walls in his tiny room are closing in on him and his sister and her husband want him to get professional help (not that his sister is so emotionally stable herself). So what’s to be done? Love, of course is the answer, in whatever form it appears. It takes a while for his sister to accept that Beane is at last happy…and it’s that happiness, and its distinct peculiarities, which power Kolvenbach’s wacky little comedy.

Kolvenbach’s oddball dialogue has characters defining conversation (as “opposition”), deconstructing choices (with hilarious hypothetical conundrums) and rediscovering the origin of chemical bonds. It’s quirky, it’s delightful. Each scene is a surprise, with Gabriel Kuttner breaking your heart as the poor sad sack understandably reluctant to try “people.”

Liz Hayes as Beane’s sister is wound so marvelously tight you’re afraid at any moment she might spontaneously unwind in a whirlwind. Her journey to (relative) calm is engineered by Daniel Berger-Jones in an understated but sly performance as her husband. Georgia Lyman is deliciously off kilter as Beane’s tough talking, burgling alter ego. Director Risher Reddick and the ORFEO GROUP have a hit on their hands. Don’t miss it. It’s not often you come across a fresh, funny new play with something to say.

LOVE SONG runs through August 27th at the Charlestown Working Theater – with FREE Thursdays. You can’t beat that!