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Had Enough of Silly Love Songs


First off, it's strange to see a show where all the stars are recognizable tv/film talents.

Wouldn't it be refreshing to see a show where all the stars gave performaces that broke away from their recognizable tv/film talents?

A trip to Love Song last night ended my 3-4-3 streak of winning theatrical experiences.

It wasn't terrible by any means, it just didn't blow me away like the past few shows have done. Not sorry I saw it, just wouldn't go back for a repeat ... and I would for the previous three.

John Kolvenbach’s script has some funny moments, to be sure, and Kristen Johnston (who looks amazing) milks them for all they're worth (and perhaps a half-gallon more). I wonder if the show would have gotten as many laughs if she didn't mug her way through it.

The play seemed too long to me ... which isn't really a good thing for a 90-minute-no-interval show. Like so much sketch comedy, it's a good idea stretched out twice as long as it needs to be (SNL-syndrome™).

Then again, if Kolvenbach cut down on the repetitive repetitions, it wouldn't have that is-this-still-edgy David Mamet / Aaron Sorkin feel (with a hunched-shouldered nod to Charlie Kaufman) that the playwright seems to emulate.

It felt like Mamet and Sorkin?

Fuck yeah, like Mamet and Sorkin.

More Mamet or Sorkin?

More Sorkin than Mamet, 'cause it was on the edge of sit-com.

Sit-commy, was it?

Yeah, but with an edge, sort of.

Sorta Sorkin?

Sorta edging on Sorkin's edge.

... and scene ...

You get the idea.

Neve Campbell ... well, she annoyed me. Bad line readings. No chest voice. Just sort of phoned in a phone-innable role.

Cillian Murphy ... well, can he play a role without seeming like a psycho? Very engaging, if not a little one-dimensional ... but that could be the script.

Michael McKean was spot on.

Spoilers ahead ...

From what I'd read prior to seeing it, the crux of the play is whether or not Beane's (Murphy) new girlfriend Molly (Campbell) is in his flat or in his head. There is no question. Neither Molly nor Beane are "all there."

I think the play itself would have been a lot more interesting if, after the curtain call, the audience was left to scratch its collective noggin (is he crazy? is she only a mousey-mouthed figment of his imagination? is his ceiling really on hydraulics?), rather than rub away the mild pain of giant whack (ouch!, we get it!) on the head.

It's not a subtle script.

Then again, subtley is not what TV audiences (which is what this seems geared toward) are bargaining for.

Wait Marge, I'm confused ... the Party of Five girl, she's not a spirit, is she? Ghosts can't hold magic bottles of spirits, can they? And why does she look like a boy?

In the end, all you need is love. And maybe to get out of your flat every now and again, before the ceiling starts pressing down on you. Literally.

Oh, wait, I get it! Love Song was originally performed at Steppenwolf, and that's where John Malkovich grew up, and in Being John Malkovich the ceilings were too low. It's an homage. Ahhh.

Like I said, subtle.

BTW, Beane is a role that Mr. Malkovich might have played if it were a bit edgier, and Glenne Headly would have been an amazing Molly, back in the day.