Lust and love are age old ideas that seemingly get intertwined and often are a source of misguided tension and heartbreak. Such is the case in Alex Polanco's The Illusion of Love. When a cast of down and out characters hoping to change their paths gets caught up in love and lies, their futures are forever changed as truths are revealed.
|photo by Alex Polanco|
As a whole, the performances were not as refined as they could have been. As Michael, Phillip Iweriebor had the essence of the goofy best friend as opposed to the strong lead. And he was completely lost next to the standout performance from Pablo B. Sandstrom. As Richie, Sandstrom had cinematic gruffness. It was subtle but effective. He managed to make even the biggest of clichés lines sound dangerously seductive. Playing the cog of betrayal, Paris Scott grew as the play proceeded. By the end, Scott found the strength and determination of Veronica. If only it came sooner.
With a multi-locational script, director Danielle C.N. Zappa was forced to bring variety into the staging. The tight space was certainly a source of woes but she did occasionally utilize the stairs that lead to the landing. When it came to visual appeal, Zappa knew what she was doing. Those chairs! The silver chairs were sleek and perfect for the world of the play. As far as getting the most out of characters, Zappa did not find as much success. Whether it was difficulty finding nuances of the text, Zappa couldn’t get her actors out of the one-dimensionality of the characters.
The Illusion of Love on paper is an intriguing exploration of story but it sadly was lacking in execution. There is work to be done but with some polishing, The Illusion of Love has potential.