Serious Topics Like Mental Health are Thrown on the Table of the Romantic Comedy LOVE SONG

Playing at Scripps Ranch Theatre Until March 20

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

Paul Eddy as Beane and Claire Kaplan as Molly in LOVE SONG. Photo Ken Jacques Photography 

LOVE SONG by John Kolvenbach written in 2006, has had many lives all over. From London with Neve Campbell in the role of Molly, a production that received an Olivier nomination, all the way to many adaptations in the States and Mexico. Yes, I saw an amazing production in Spanish of this play in 2013 that left me breathless. 

Currently taking place at Scripps Ranch Theatre and directed by Claire Simba, LOVE SONG is a story with four characters, Harry (John DeCarlo) and his wife Joan (Leigh Akin), her brother Beane (Paul Eddy), and Molly (Claire Kaplan), Beane's love and housebreaker. Joan is kind of OCD at work and fires interns as a sport not having the patience or memory of what it was to be an intern in your 20s. Harry loves to taunt his wife and questions what it really is that Joan hates about these women. Beane who struggles with mental health keeps to himself. One night he comes to his apartment and finds Molly who already has his belongings in a paper bag. After the encounter, Beane declares himself in love, and both his and his sister's view of life change for the better. Still, Joan is suspicious of his brother's behavior and decides to pay him a visit. There, the question of Molly being real arises. 
Leigh Akin as Joan and John DeCarlo as Harry in LOVE SONG. Photo Ken Jacques Photography

The first half of the 90-minute piece started a bit flat, maybe due to it being a Sunday matinee. By the second half, it seemed that everybody was warmed up and literally in character. Still, good ensemble work although I would've wanted to see more out of both DeCarlo and Akin. Paul Eddy in the role of Beane, as well as giving us amazing hair, truly embodies the struggle with high highs from going maniac over how a turkey sandwich tastes, to really looking inward and asking himself why he is that way. There is such a powerful line in a conversation he has with his sister that says “I’ve always known that life was meant for other people,”. Going deep into what it means to really exercise living. Claire Kaplan as ballsy Molly (who I think looks a lot like Anne Hathaway), also has her strong moments with Eddy and they have solid chemistry as a couple on stage, who cares if Molly is real or not?

Paul Eddy as Beane and Claire Kaplan as Molly in LOVE SONG. Photo Ken Jacques Photography
This story puts tough conversations on the table like mental health and being mentally ill, how easy it is to be absorbed by trivial things like an unhealthy work environment and, not enjoying the now, living in the moment. It also shows us, how powerful and limitless the mind truly is.

LOVE SONG is currently playing until March 20. For ticket prices and performance times, please click here.

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