Love and Information - Theatre Review

Review by Suzanne Birrell

(l-r) Dan Via, Melina Bielefelt, Cindy Nguyen, Michael Evans Lopez, Sarah Rosenberg, Alexander Wells,

Daniel Getzoff, Betsy Moore, Ashley Steed. Photo by Mainak Dhar

Love and Information a dexterous montage written by award winning British playwright Caryl Churchill, directed by Mathew McCray and featuring over hundred characters is the fastest 85 minutes you'll ever spend. Now playing at the Son-of Semele Theatre , Love and Information is droll, profound, stimulating, savvy, sophic, hip and more. A mosaic of moments featuring chameleon performances by a talented cast, Love and Information is a commentary of our time. Written in 2012, it's hard to believe that this is only now getting to Los Angeles.

The scenes are as short as an actor who pops his head out of a doorway and asks "Have you seen my car keys," to longer scenes about the advantages of a virtual lover.  Some profound moments take a moment to digest as when one character is focused on memorizing a list of meaningless items and suddenly a memory intrudes. We realize that the ability to memorize a list becomes more important than real life. In another scene two lovers discuss how sex is just an interchange of genetic information. And yet in another a character declares that with enough information there are no problems. And later, the wealth of information does not allow for a response to the simple question, "Do you love me?"

LoveInfo1: (l-r) Richard Azurdia, Ashley Steed, Sarah Rosenberg, Darren Bailey.
Photo by Mainak Dhar

The scenes move seamlessly between comic and profound. The actors are to be congratulated at their ability to become absolutely committed to a new characters in the blink of an eye. The scenes in Love and Information play as if we are simply switching the channel. Many of the scenes ended with unfinished sentences allowing the audience to fill in the blank.

Our thoughts and memories of the performance do not flee as fast as the performance flows. Afterwards my friend and I were able to recall and discuss many moments. The playwright has created a mosaic which reveals itself as a profound commentary about the need for love and intimacy in an age of information overload.

The performances all around are stellar. As usual at Son of Semele Theatre, the use of their very small space is masterful. As usual at the Son of Semele Theatre, the set design, video design, sound design and costume design are all brilliant. Towards the end when things were literally winding up, the set becomes part of the dance in that it and the characters within are symbolically strangled by the stream of information. Quite profound. 

The unseen stage manager Lyndsay Lucas deserves special commendation in managing eleven performers playing over one hundred characters with props and costume changes. 

Congratulations to all who made this a memorable performance.

Directed by Matthew McCray
Scenic Design by Drew Foster
Video Design by Keith Skretch
Lighting Design by Chu-hsuan Chang
Costume Design by Jenny Foldenauer
Sound Design by Jeff Polunas
Technical Direction by Michael Harvey
Assistant Scenic Design by Carlo Maghirang
Stage Managed by Lyndsay Lucas

Ensemble Cast
Richard Azurdia*, Darren Bailey, Melina Bielefelt*, Daniel Getzoff, Michael Evens Lopez*, Betsy Moore, Cindy Nguyen, Sarah Rosenberg, Ashley Steed, Dan Via*, Alexander Wells*

Playing Fridays- Mondays at Son of Semele Theatre thru December 7.

Absolutely do not miss this one! Profound writing. Brilliant directing. Stellar performances.

Michael Evans Lopez and  Betsy Moore. Photo by Mainak Dhar

Posted By Suzanne Birrell on November 17, 2015 12:40 pm | Permalink