Soulstice Stages Love Song
Contemporary Comedy In An Intimate Setting
Performing as it does in a very intimate spaces, Soulstice Theatre does contemporary shows remarkably well. From various small space at the Marian Center, Soulstice has staged a string of memorable shows with instantly recognizable titles: Lend Me A Tenor , Children of a Lesser God , Steel Magnolias and so on. Every now and then, they’ll do something altogether unfamiliara contemporary show that has a bit of punch to it. To Gilian On Her 37th Birthday was a remarkably intimate drama. This week, Soulstice does an unfamiliar contemporary comedy with a very familiar title. John Kolvenbach’s Love Song The show debuted in Chicago at Steppenwolf a few years ago. It has since been staged in an award-winning production on London’s West End. The Soulstice production opens Thursday.
Judging from the fragments of the script available online, this is a very, very fun show. The play opens with a silent first act. A man named Beane feels his tiny apartment space closing in on him. The second act features the man’s sister Joan. She’s complaining to her husband Harry about some intern she’s had to fire at the office . . .evidently because said intern cried when she confronted her on misfiling a document, “the size of a phone book.”
HARRY: You fired an intern because she cried?
JOAN: It was noon.
HARRY: That . . . Wow . . . –It’s not what your average mentor does in that sort of situation.
JOAN: Yeah, well.
HARRY: That’s maybe what Genghis Khan does in that situation.
And so on . . . It’s funny stuff. The dialogue reads rapid-fire, back and forth comedy. And the situation outlined by the plot comes across as a lot of fun as well. Beane is suffering. He finds himself falling in love with a woman who broke into his apartment with the idea of burglarizing it. The woman in question (her name is Molly) is played here by Liz Mistele. Mistele’s good with offbeat characters., so this should be a great deal of fun. Beaner’s sister (who comes across with a brilliantly comic callousness in the above scene) is played by Jillian Smith, who has been particularly brilliant in a number of recent Soulstice shows, including the female lead in their Children Of A Lesser God some time ago. Jason Thompson plays Beane. Matthew Michaelis plays Harry. Ray Olsen plays a waiter. Josh Perkins is directing the show.