"F#@k I Love U" Review
Following hard on the heels of the scintillating "Still…" comes "F#@k I Love You," the evening's second one-act play, again written and directed by playwright Lucky Mor and also produced by Karina Farah.
Douglas Winston, Mor's character, is a successful black Los Angeles councilman who was raised by a wealthy white couple after his parents died in a fire.
With his white brother J—one of LA's legion of out-of-work, drug-dabbling, hope-to-be actors—the two brothers are faced, as in "Still…", with the loss of a family matriarch, this time the grandmother who lives in the two men's memories in very different places.
Douglas has surmounted the abuse she subjected him to growing up to lead a rich, successful public life, while J has drowned in the love she showered upon him. The play revolves around the brothers' battle to frame the memory of their grandmother, Douglas wanting to put the past's pain far behind him, while J, played by Kyle Sing, wallows in his anguished loss.
The play revolves around the brothers' battle to frame the memory of their grandmother, Douglas wanting to put the past's pain far behind him, while J, played by Kyle Sing, wallows in his anguished loss.
Supporting this core story is Angie Winston, the councilman's stunning white wife, played by co-director Murisa Harba, who supports her husband while seeking to pull him away from the pain of his upbringing. (It seems important to mention some of the various characters' race, as race is a strong cross-current in the play.)
Also onboard is Timothy Bradford—played by Maceo Fisher—as a conservative black television commentator who collides with Tiffany Montgomery (Ashlee Buchanan), playing a libidinous social media maven who throws herself at men by way of giddy introduction.
Then there's Reggie (Kevyn Richmond), the office's gay IT whiz, who proves irresistible to Russell Zuniga (Ozzie Rodriguez), the organization's sexually confused CPA. Thai Edwards, so effective as the family man brother in "Still…", floats through as J's dope dealer and later as Reggie's father.
Recommended for You
And finally there's Clare (Clare Snodgrass), as Douglas's personal assistant who pines to be so much more.
Whew! Nine actors, a half dozen interconnected plot threads, several side stories, a couple of significant scene changes, all in the 60 minutes of a one-act play. That's a lot.
As in "Still…" the acting here is often superb, the dialog wittily current, the characters' situations entirely believable, but there are so many moving parts that while you understand where the play's pain points are, you don't feel them at the same depth as you do with the four brothers of "Still…"
As a companion to "Still…", "F#@k…" is well worth your time.
Part of the Hollywood Fringe, "F#@k I Love You" plays at The Complex Hollywood (The Dorie Theatre) 6476 Santa Monica Blvd. Performances are Thursday, June 7th at 10 p.m., Sunday June 10th at 4 p.m., Friday, June 15th at 9 p.m., Saturday, June 16th at 3 p.m., and Friday, June 22nd at 8 p.m. For tickets and information, go here.
Sharon reviewed the companion play, "Still..." here.