Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review: A Meta Love Story

The things we do for love. It's crazy. To win hearts back, sometimes we go to great lengths to prove our desire for the love of our life. Some even go as far as writing a play in hopes they will not only come back but be in said them self. In Giamarco Soresi's highly meta tragicomedy about love <50%, we learn about Soresi and his on again, off again romance with his love, Laura.
In an evening of many concepts, <50% follows writer Soresi as he concocts a plan to write a play for Fringe, submit it, and then play opposite the source material of the piece. Told through an array of styles through monologue and scenes and excerpts and vignettes and stand up, we watch the highs and lows of a turbulent romance as Soresi discovers himself along the journey. Though there are two actors on stage, <50% is truly a cathartic evening for Soresi. It's a clever idea that was a Lena Dunham-esque showcase for himself. The material is beyond personal and Soresi presents it in an interesting manner. Sure, there are times that it comes across as self-indulgent but who better to tell your story and play yourself than yourself? Soresi shines through his stand up bits, the place where he seemed most comfortable. These were also the moments that were most accessible for the strangers in the audience. For those who know him, there was a symphony of laughter during many of his anecdotes. When a piece evokes a different experience depending on the relationship with the performer, you have to wonder if the piece is doing its job properly. Soresi spends a great majority of the piece commenting on love and marriage. When he presents his opinions through the microphone, it comes off more genuine than through his scenes with Laura. Kristin Parker as Laura's proxy was a great supporting act for Soresi. Parker brought a plethora of emotional range.
Bringing Soresi's variety to the stage, director Max Freedman is able to keep the bits fresh. Freedman keeps the action moving, though the script could be streamlined even further. Ben Danielowski's lights served the stage well but there were moments that Soresi was in complete darkness making you wonder who missed their mark.
<50% is a special play for Soresi. It's a special play for his friends and family. Soresi's challenge is discovering a way to allow strangers to enter and relate to his world. <50% hits with those who know him and creating a piece that is 100% accessible will work in his advantage. In the meantime, if he's ever doing stand up, go check it out. He's great.