Being a 20something in this day and age can be hard. Especially through the eyes of us 20somethings. Love, work, relationships, money. It’s hard to achieve success. Oh who are we kidding. This generation tends to exaggerate the woes of life. And to help emphasize this are the Olsen Twins, the former child stars who no longer want to be famous. In The Flea’s production of Mary-Kate Olsen is in Love, we watch Grace and Tyler, a young married couple experiencing the monotony of life. And the Olsen Twins and a “Call of Duty” Soldier are present to aid them in realizing life sucks and the only way out of it is to do something about it.
Mallery Avidon’s script has some nice, genuine moments but overall seems to be too confused itself to be a knockout. It is very clear why the play was presented as it has poignant themes, but why this play may not have such a clear answer. Of all celebrities in the world, why the Olsen twins? Why do these two dominant this poor woman’s mind? What do they mean to her? The lack of clarity to this central point leaves a lot of questions unanswered to the true character of Grace. The other big script question is the Amazing Girls. To no fault of their own, the Amazing Girls make no sense in the world of the play, except perhaps at the very end when you've already written them off, and serve as filler or need to add more to the cast. Clarity to their presence was much needed as well.
The world of the play is very present, from reality to insanity. Kristan Seemel establishes a maze for Grace to navigate. Her overall direction leaves much to be desired. There are some rich ideas that seem to be lost in translation. Scott Tedmon-Jones’s set has some cool surprises, but the pink chain-link that is the main focal point of the design is a lot to look at. The transformation the set takes when the girls go to Tahiti is quite lovely. John Eckert does a nice job with his lighting design, bringing color and life to the black space.
Mary-Kate Olsen is in Love is a messy miss. Maybe with better execution it would serve as a strong satire, but currently it’s a scattered assortment of ideas that don’t seem to serve as a call out on love in the 20something generation.