Lovesong (Imperfect)

Sara Koviak and James B. Kennendy star as Delilah and Dr. Gopnik in José Rivera's Lovesong (Imperfect) at the 14th Street Y. The production is part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. Original photos by Kazuhiro Imafuku.
This production can be summarized in 7 words!

By Andrew Andrews

Delilah and Venezio are engaged to be married, but Venezio is having second thoughts.

The junta government that’s taken over the United States has outlawed death, giving a new perspective to the classic marital vow “til death do us part.”

As Venezio repeatedly tries to kill himself with no success, Delilah’s lifelong physician Dr. Gopnik bicycles onto the scene to end the pain, so Venezio can live to dread another day.

Gopnik himself is hopelessly in love with Delilah, and would perfer that Venezio be out of the picture, despite Delilah’s repeated proclamations that Gopnik has no chance of ever winning her heart.

This production of Lovesong (Imperfect) can be summarized in seven words:

Gopnik, Venezio (Francesco Andolfi) and Delilah on the surreal set of Lovesong (Imperfect).
  1. Poetic: The dialogue in this production might not rhyme, but it’s creatively crafted to flow like the love song in its title.
  2. Precise: The whimsically-choreographed movement of the actors is as important to the presentation as the conversation and plot. Delilah, especially, has the precision of a ballet dancer.
  3. Obsessive: From Delilah’s never-ending dream of “happily ever after,” to Gopnik’s infatuation with his unrequited love, and Venezio’s constant desire for the opposite of what he has, this play really explores the irrationality of the human psyche.
  4. Dystopian: That is, unless you like the sound of “the junta government that’s taken over the United States has outlawed death.”
  5. Absurdist: Although the script is full of witty observations about human behavior, the delivery is ridiculous. The closer you pay attention, the more you’ll admire the artistry.
  6. Existential: You don’t have to read too deeply to get the message about the futility of love specifically, or life in general.
  7. Experimental: If you don’t like performances that break the mold of traditional theatre, Lovesong (Imperfect) probably won’t suit your taste. On the other hand, if you think Pee-wee’s Playhouse was more suited for adults than children, you’re going to love it!

I wasn’t thrilled with this production during the first act, but it really grew on me: along the line I realized that the more thought I put into its nuances, the more I appreciated the performance.

4

Andrew Andrews attended Lovesong (Imperfect) at 14th Street Y Theater at the 14th Street Y in New York on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 @ 7:30pm to write this review.

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