‘Fool for Love’ explores competing realities
The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons. In “Fool for Love,” Sam Shepard’s Obie Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, the son and daughter both are doomed to repeat the obsessive, passionate, self-destructive relationships in which their parents engaged.
Shepard’s plays often illuminate the emotional tumult and shifting sense of reality of his characters, revealing that they select memories to fit changing needs. In “Fool for Love,” Eddie, philandering and undependable, declares that lies aren’t lies if he believes in them. Eddie’s lover, May, is fighting to reclaim her own version of reality and independence while experiencing her love for Eddie as both desire and repulsion – she pushes him away, then implores him to return.
Eddie returns to claim May, whom he has repeatedly wooed and abandoned. But May had been disconnecting herself from the memory of Eddie, so his unexpected arrival upsets her equilibrium. Complicating their reunion is the presumed off-stage arrival of Eddie’s “other woman” and the on-stage appearance of May’s new friend, Martin, whom the cheating Eddie ironically regards with jealousy. And speaking to both Eddie and May individually, like thoughts running through their minds, is the Old Man.
The weighty themes of Shepard’s play are sharply focused by Jimmy McCammon’s powerful direction of the superb acting ensemble, creating a compelling, humane portrait of very believable and fallible individuals.
Marion Jeffery as May is a revelation. Alternately angry, weepy, pleading and powerful, her nuanced tones, facial expressions and body language graphically expose May’s innermost feelings.
Scott Young essentially channels Eddie, fully inhabiting the self-centered, macho man who tries to control his shifting realities by asserting his power and masculinity – he drinks, wears spurs and throws a lasso, the stereotype of a rugged cowpoke. Tom Taylor’s spare, effective set and lighting create a stripped down motel room, trying to hold implausible dreams.
The excellent “Fool for Love” continues at the Off Center Stage in Grass Valley through Sunday, Oct. 28.
Hindi Greenberg, for a brief time, dated a man just like Eddie – controlling, very sexy and powerful – who inhabited his own reality. She advises May to dump him immediately!
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