Review by NEIL MONACOJune 14, 2014
My overall impression
Lee Turnbull’s Love Is…is not to be missed!
It has been a long time since I have been so moved by performances so raw and real. It felt as if I were spying on real people going through real issues before my eyes – a rare thing in LA theatre.
This play is only about an hour long and in that short time it packs quite an emotional punch. The script is lean and realistic, capturing both the mundane moments and the gut wrenching emotion of a couple in crisis and the directing serves the script and actors well. Scenes move briskly through several changes and the actors, who also serve as crew, jostle furniture and props about to seamlessly create various playing areas.
What stands out most is the acting. Lee Turnbull is remarkably comfortable and confident on stage. He reminds one of a young Brit James Cagney (a high compliment indeed). But he has something more. He has the swagger of a street hooligan but is unafraid to show a sensitive side. In one scene one could almost hear the moment his heart breaks.
Molly Beucher is indeed his equal – a gifted actress who carries the play on her capable (and quite attractive!) shoulders, appearing in perhaps every scene. She makes one wonder how actors survive this kind of emotional workout performance after viscera-twisting performance! But thank God they do because her performance is cathartic for us, the audience. We want to shake some sense into her Emily as she careens inexorably to her fate. A thing wonderful and terrible to witness.
The rest of the cast is perfection. An ensemble contributes something indispensable to a performance and that is the context of reality. Without them the world of the play appears off balance and contrived and this ensemble of actors does not disappoint. They are the real deal – actors who, in spite of smaller roles, truly support the piece and in that, help create the world.
Please see this play. You will remember it for the rest of your life!