Unless writers-performers Daniel Jenkins and Robert Stanton have recently traveled to California and had their collaboration solemnized, one can safely presume that their comedy Love Child was conceived out of wedlock. And it seems, as Gloucester says of his own illegitimate kid in King Lear, “there was good sport at [its] making.” Partly an adaptation of Euripides’ Ion and partly a tribute to the madness and disarray of theatermaking, this two-actor, dozen-character play allows the actors to write themselves various plum roles. Under Carl Forsman’s direction, Stanton (tall, skinny, with great hair) and Jenkins (less so) play numerous actors, a stage manager, an agent, a director, and even a sound-board op, occasionally breaking into ’60s pop numbers with titles such as “Foster Boy” and “Mama’s Little Mistake.”
Most of the action centers around the opening night of the play-within-the-play, the Ion adaptation, performed at a Red Hook theater that doubles as a sausage factory. Unruly audience members (also played by the pair) interrupt the show with carrot-chomping, soda-glugging, and cell-phone conversations. The Ion actors don’t behave, either: One launches into a stand-up routine, another passes out from a Klonopin overdose. Chaos and revelations of paternity ensue. The script’s a bit inane, as are several of the characterizations, but there’s great joy in watching Stanton and Jenkins transform themselves so speedily and wholeheartedly—they really love their little bastard.