Rationale and reason are out the window in this bizarre dark comedy. Established like a trashy soap, No One Loves Us Here tackles death, infidelity, and a whole slew of drama-filled topics when a mysterious young man turns the Beaumont's world upside down. Washington, a nineteen year old who works in a video store, a virtually non existent work place, knocks on the door of a well-to-do couple and manages to convince them to allow him to reside in their guest house. What follows is a quick succession of scheming and smack talk that results in the unthinkable. Ross Howard's script is a well-planned idea that is executed in an unfortunate way. The characters that he depicts are larger than life but they often fall short in their execution. Director Jerry Heymann seemed to miss the brand of comedy Howard was going for, thus makes the production a bit messy on the whole. The situation that Howard places his characters in is quite funny and over-the-top. But without an equal heightened approach, the drama comes across as drama and not the comedy that it truly wants to be. The rationale of these seemingly complete strangers allowing another stranger live with them is incomprehensible but without this bit of plot I suppose this play couldn’t further.
|photo courtesy of Hunter Canning|
Director Heymann missed the mark to bring this production to its full potential. From a design standpoint, Heymann’s team brushed the surface of possibility. Set designer Brian Dudkiewicz created a generic American living room, bland carpet, decor and all. For a couple that was supposedly of a high monetary class, the room did not reflect it. Despite that, poorly constructed walls with noticeable seams drew attention away from the action. Costume designer Samantha Lind gave the characters little personality. Had Heymann’s vision been clearer, perhaps this colorful play would have been reflected in the overall production design.
While some may love this play, there was just something off in No One Loves Us Here. Howard’s script had substance but Heymann’s direction didn’t quite match it. In the hands of another eye, perhaps the nuances of comedy would have been perfected, but as it stands now, New Light Theater Project’s production was just not up to par.