Caryl Churchill's "Love and Information" written when she was 74 in 2012 goes up at Antaeus with a flourish.
It couldn't be more simple.
It couldn't be more complex.
Dozens of characters. Dozens of scenes. Flowing.
To call Churchill's work flourishing may be a stretch, but this challenging theatre piece is, at once: painting in broad strokes, allowing the audience to absorb the 'information' and then, in intimate moments, finding the 'love'. .
Certainly, it's a workout for the cast and for the audience. Director Emily Chase creates a head swiveling event that literally has us involved.
It's a sort of tennis match. In presentation.
Churchill has constructed what may be perceived as an amorphous ramble stream of consciousness exercise to jolt us from our often complacent seat of a comfortable linear narrative, projecting us into the realm of "what if?". Like a dream, we sometimes see a clear and present story. Quick changes: not always quite so clear.
We enter the theater passing an Invitaton printed on the Open Door:
"EMBARK ON AN EXPLORATION OF MEANING."
At rise, the ensemble presents itself:
And, then the "Exploration" begins.
This ensemble of working theatremakers invites us to take a leap of faith. They physically and vocally transport us.. and at the end of the performance, deliver us back into the 'real world' having had what might be called a Collective Dream.
|Love and Information : The Ensemble Photo:Jenny Graham|
The best way to appreciate this unusual play is to sit back and allow it wash over us. We're invited into intimate discussions, odd arguments and bizarre ideas. Boundaries of sexual orientation and age ebb and flow. Churchill allows for broad interpretations. Every single scene played with different actors and different approaches would be equally inviting.
Frederica Nascimento's simple set: an ornate divan sits center on the top of three broad levels.
There are some doors: surfaces for John Apicella's wonderful videos to punctuate the space with color and 21st Century technology.
However, I really enjoyed the "I don't play guitar" scene with Kevin Matsumoto and Apicella on the banjolele. Acoustic,analog, fun.
|Kevin Matsumoto, Zoe Yale, John Apicella|
Photo by Jenny Graham
Short vignettes flow like blackouts with actors sometimes simply waiting on stage for their next scene. Brecht.
It's a trip.
Climb on board. Bring a friend.
Anne Gee Byrd*
Darius De La Cruz,
Lloyd Roberson II*
LOVE AND INFORMATION
by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Emily Chase
Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center
110 East Broadway
Glendale, CA 91205
next to Marshalls, at Brand Blvd.
My first experience with Caryl Churchill's work was with the Antaeus production of Cloud Nine in March, 2016. Trippy theatre at its best: