A review by Rachel Flanagan.
Samantha Smart and Eduardo Fernandez-Baumann
Whether single and searching for that bond or in a relationship and trying to figure out how to keep that bond strong, everyone wants to know the secret to the glue that keeps that bond together in love. Do successful relationships just work or are they difficult and require work on each partners end to keep love thriving. One couple, Brooke Bishop and Daniel Landberg were determined to find out. The pair interviewed 52 couples in 20 different states about their long-term relationships. How Love Lasts brings five of those stories to life, told in their own words and performed right before your eyes.
Bishop and Landberg interviewed couples ranging in ages, faith, races, sexual orientations and socioeconomic backgrounds so no two stories and no two couples are alike. How Love Lasts weaves the five chosen stories in an intimate setting with audience and actors combined as there are seats saved for the actors who become a part of the audiences. Through overlapping turns, each lover shares his or her story in a documentary style known as "verbatim theater." What happens is an engaging, unorthodox theatrical storytelling experience that flows together like an intimate dance.
Left- Briana McLean and Eduardo Fernandez-Baumann
The drama within each story is captivating and no couple goes without a little pain and tough trials, but they each figure out how to find their way through it. The young couple who cannot legally drink but found themselves married with a baby or Jan, who lost her partner to cancer after only a short time together and even Dale, who felt invisible when his partner had not yet come out and erased all signs of them as a couple when his mother came to visit. Fairy tales always have a happily ever after, but even they are not free of the hard times in a relationship.
However, it is not only the verbatim storytelling that keeps the audience engaged but the dance that the actors do as only 6 actors play 10 different characters and the ensemble roles. They use only subtle changes, a sweater, glasses, a change in how they walk or talk to progress the story and change from character to character. The cast, Claudia Crook, Eduardo Fernandez-Baumann and Briana McLean, David Hartstone, Samantha Smart and Paul Weinberg does an exquisite job at telling each story in a genuine way that feels like it could have been their own story and not just emulating the words from a script. Make sure you bring some tissues because these stories are sure to hit you where it counts and make you reflect on making your love last.
Right: Paul Weinberg and David Hartstone
How Love Lasts runs Thursdays at 8 p.m., Feb. 18 through March 24. Tickets are $10.
NOTE: VENUE HAS CHANGED
How Love Lasts @
Red Gate Recorders
4440 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041