Love Song
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Ed Smith

“I wanted to write a play that was a love song,” said playwright John Kolvenbach about Love Song now playing at Marin Theatre in Mill Valley. “Something melodic, firmly structured, evocative. A good love song brings you into contact with your most vivid memories; I hope the play has some of that effect.” The dissident cord in his drama is the character of Beane performed by Darren Bridgett.

“Do you care if your brother is insane?” asks Harry (Steve Irish).

“There is nothing wrong with him,” says Beane’s sister Joan (Julia Brothers).

“He’s delusional.”

“He’s a dreamer.”

“It makes him crazy.”

“It makes him happy.”

Beane lives in a sparse, dark apartment, what little furniture he has is held together with duct tape. His fragile living quarters suggest certain fragility in his almost childlike character. But his unique personality makes it a lonely life.

When he comes home one night, he surprises a woman burglar who complains that Beane has nothing worth stealing. While looking for silverware, Molly (Jody Flader) found only one spoon.

“Where’s the fork?” she asks. “Who are you?”

“I don’t know how to answer that,” Beane replies.

“I’m not sure you exist.”

“I think objects are deceptive.”

Yet as the play unfolds, we discover that it is Molly who doesn’t exist except in Beane’s imagination. Yet she makes him happy and his happiness is infectious, spicing up the love life of his sister and her spouse. “I wanted to look at love from various perspectives, and to look at different kinds of love – romantic love and filial love and unrequited love and love in marriage, etc.,” said Kolvenbach. And indeed it does succeed as a quirky sort of love song and though it is at times a little hard to swallow, there are many moments of sheer delight.

For tickets or more information call (415) 388-5208 or visit www.marintheatre.org.

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