CurtainUp
CurtainUp
The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings
HOME PAGE

SITE GUIDE

SEARCH


REVIEWS

REVIEW ARCHIVES

ADVERTISING AT CURTAINUP

FEATURES

NEWS
Etcetera and
Short Term Listings


LISTINGS
Broadway
Off-Broadway

NYC Restaurants

BOOKS and CDs

OTHER PLACES
Berkshires
London
California
New Jersey
DC
Philadelphia
Elsewhere

QUOTES

TKTS

PLAYWRIGHTS' ALBUMS

LETTERS TO EDITOR

FILM

LINKS

MISCELLANEOUS
Free Updates
Masthead
A CurtainUp Review
Love Therapy
"Don't seem right to me, a young woman like you living all alone, listening to all those sad people everyday, talkin' bout their problems. A person's shoulders are only so wide. It would get me down." — Madge
LoveTherapy
Alison Fraser (left) and Margot White (right)
(Photo: Kevin Thomas Garcia)
Prolific Australian-based playwright Wendy Beckett is also registered in Sidney as a psychology counselor. She has used this professional benefit to bring personal insight, if not much persuasive credibility, to her play Love Therapy about an attractive, thirty-four year old divorced psychologist who has recently moved to New York.

Colleen Fitzgerald (Margot White) hopes to secure certification to practice with the (fictional) New York Psychology Council. Her apparently controversial technique, however, as well as her questionable relationship with a few patients with whom she has been entrusted, is currently under review.

Under the close and critical scrutiny of Carol (Janet Zarish), the group's supervisor, Colleen is determined to prove her theory that overt demonstrations of love and affection for patients should be an integral part of their therapy. Is she for real we ask ourselves, even as Carol begins to question the expedient practicality of Colleen's unorthodox approach? Worse yet, her treatments are not getting the kind of results the council expects.

The issues that becomes apparent soon enough are whether Colleen's own emotional issues — her mother didn't love her and a failed marriage — and her questionable ability to help three of her most difficult patients will surface and prevent her from being certified to practice psychology in New York. They are Brian (Christopher Burns), a volatile, rage-fueled business man undergoing a divorce and an unfair settlement; Steven (David Bishins), an unhappily married blue-collar worker and compulsive womanizer; and Mary (also played by Janet Zarish), a depressed, grieving mother who has just lost her husband and daughter.

Snuggled in between Colleen's progressively problematic sessions with her patients is bleached-blonde Madge (Alison Fraser), the straight-talking down-to-earth waitress with "a heart of gold," in the coffee shop of the professional building where Colleen goes daily. It's here where the friendly Madge, who sees right through Colleen's defenses, gives forth with the kind of worldly advice on life and love that Thelma Ritter used to hand out in countless movies. It's not that Colleen is apt to take Madge's advice or listen to her perspective on the value of psychology, but we are grateful for raspy-voiced Fraser's snappy delivery of her lines.

I won't spoil things by saying that things go from bad to worse for Colleen as her unprofessional personal involvement with Steven, her misreading of Brian's most basic character flaw, and her inability to foresee the obvious with Mary results in the tragically predictable. It is surprising to me that Beckett, who has written more than twenty-five plays and directed more than forty, has come up with a text that doesn't come through with anything close to a surprise, certainly not for anyone who has ever taken Psychology Course 101, .

All the fine actors, however, may be commended for taking their incredulously conceived roles seriously even if we don't. Under Evan Bergman's steadfast direction, Love Therapy is never boring at eighty five minutes, but also not as bracing as the walls of designer Jo Winiarski's uncluttered setting.



Love Therapy
By Wendy Beckett
Directed by Evan Bergman

Cast: David Bishins (Steven Jones), Christopher Burns (Brian Beatie), Alison Fraser (Madge), Margot White (Colleen Fitzgerald), Janet Zarish (Carol/Mary)
Scenic Designer: Jo Winiarski
Costume Designer: Patricia E. Doherty
Lighting Designer: Jill Nagle
Sound Designer: John Emmett O'Brien
Running Time: 1 hour 25 minutes no intermission
DR2 Theatre, 101 East 15th Street (212) 239 - 6200
Tickets $45.00
Performances: Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8PM, with matinees on Saturday at 2PM and Sunday at 3PM.
From 04/20/13 Opened 04/29/13. Closing 5/35
Review by Simon Saltzman based on performance 04/25/13
REVIEW FEEDBACK
Highlight one of the responses below and click "copy" or"CTRL+C"
  • I agree with the review of Love Therapy
  • I disagree with the review of Love Therapy
  • The review made me eager to see Love Therapy
Click on the address link E-mail: esommer@curtainup.com
Paste the highlighted text into the subject line (CTRL+ V):

Feel free to add detailed comments in the body of the email. . .also the names and emails of any friends to whom you'd like us to forward a copy of this review.

Visit Curtainup's Blog Annex
For a feed to reviews and features as they are posted add http://curtainupnewlinks.blogspot.com to your reader
Curtainup at Facebook . . . Curtainup at Twitter
Subscribe to our FREE email updates: E-mail: esommer@curtainup.comesommer@curtainup.com
put SUBSCRIBE CURTAINUP EMAIL UPDATE in the subject line and your full name and email address in the body of the message. If you can spare a minute, tell us how you came to CurtainUp and from what part of the country.
Slings & Arrows cover of new Blu-Ray cover
Slings & Arrows- view 1st episode free




Anything Goes Cast Recording Anything Goes Cast Recording
Our review of the show

Book Of Mormon MP4 Book of Mormon -CD
Our review of the show
amazon




┬ęCopyright 2013, Elyse Sommer.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from esommer@curtainup.com