It’s a safe bet that any play that attempts to offer a definition of love is biting off more than it can chew. To be sure, Anton Dudley’s meditation on “fairy tales and their contemporary urban parallels in reality,” as one character repeatedly puts it, is witty, shockingly beautiful at tim es, and delightfully culture savvy (“Oh my Gmail!” is one character’s exclamation of choice). But the entire production is weighed down by a ponderousness that threatens to cripple its ebullient atmosphere at every turn. That’s not to say it’s a bore to watch. Brian Henderson, Marcy Harriell, and Manu Narayan throw themselves with glee into the multitude of characters that Dudley crafts for them, delivering each quip and pop culture reference with hipster precision. And director David Schweizer pulls out all the bells and whistles, literally at times, to keep the pacing brisk through some lengthy, Conor McPherson– style monologues. One wishes Dudley trusted his own gifts for character and language as much as Schweizer and his cast seem to: Take out the cumbersome attempts to one-up 1 Corinthians (“Love is the connection with the one who allows you to be the person you know you can be,” the main character opines) and the play sparkles. There’s tremendous promise in Dudley’s craft when he simply allows it to speak for itself.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 13, 2006