According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Fringe/Love Money


Every cloud has a silver lining. Just for kicks, let’s call that cloud the collapse of the modern economy. Fun game, huh? Well, if that’s the case, and the demise of the American Dream really is just another rain cloud, at least Love Money provides a mighty entertaining silver lining.

A clever, quick-witted take on the post-bail-out world, Love Money, like many a now-poor Wall Street broker, is rich in talent and nerve. For a show that challenges, taunts and teases the value of money, it’s certainly well worth its full ticket price.

Love Money takes place mainly around an executive assistant’s desk. He, Sean Wickens (the endearing Lucas Kavner), lives to serve the love of his life, the bank Chairwoman, Sarah Foote (Ali Kresch). Sarah, however, pretty much embodies avarice and self-indulgence; having secured 61 billion dollars in federal bail out funds, she quickly blows the money on, among other things, an aquarium full of Dolphins, a small island off the coast of Madagascar, and Johnny Depp. Her best purchase by far, though (at least from the audience point of view), is a live band in her office. This band, fittingly named The Suits, is on-call to support her wish to break into money-loving rock songs at the drop of a blue sequined hat. Led by Thompson Davis, the band not only rocks out in that wonderful post-punk, pre-emo kind of way, they also act as a modern day Greek Chorus, weighing in on the action and advancing the plot when necessary.

Along with Thompson Davis, and fellow bandmates Nick Barone, Matthew Leddy and Chris Rominger, actress, singer, and overall powerhouse performer Judith Dry steals the show. Playing Sarah’s crippled, crunk-dancing mother Brooke, Judith is a riveting, ball-busting mix of Ethel Merman’s Rose and Carol Burnett’s Miss Hannigan. It’s a joy the show gives her so much good to work with – and a pleasure to watch her take it all on.

Created by Thompson Davis, Lucas Kavner, and Willie Orbison (who also plays the main role of Joe Schmitz, an ill-fated temp with a MILF-adoring heart of gold), Love Money is full of tight writing, timely jokes, and a plot that moves as fast as stock values on Black Tuesday. Surprisingly, while the play ends on a low note, the audience leaves feeling pretty good. The show is so compelling, so enjoyable, and so dead-on in its satire, that even decimated by materialism, we leave humming songs about love. Not such a bad silver lining after all….

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