I am what some may call “painfully single” and I’m okay with that. However, the protagonist of this play, Charlie, would never admit nor be okay with his painful single-dom. Much like the main character, many of us young, struggling, New York living singles are calling out the title of the play, “Love Me” presented by Funny…Sheesh productions!
Charlie is a struggling actor/writer/motivational speaker in his early thirties who is in serious need of companionship. Throughout the play he searches feverishly for a qualified mate all while attempting to finish a comedic script he’s been writing. Through a short cycle of women we see his ups and downs and barely skim the surface of some deeper issues Charlie may have. In this search for both love and creative inspiration, we meet some quirky characters and go on a little adventure.
The central character is not, in fact, Charlie. Well… it is but it’s the voice inside his head, appropriately named “Charlie’s Head.” The character is used to showcase Charlie’s subconscious, allowing the audience to see what Charlie wishes (or does NOT wish) to say.
Written by Jason S. Grossman, this “self conscious” comedy starts with an introduction to the unconventional character Charlie’s Head. This is a commanding theatrical element that allows a broken fourth wall and sets up something unconventional. The script is funny, flows nicely, and weaves from realism to non-realism quickly.
With direction from Rachel Klein, scenes are woven together at an upbeat pace that keeps the show moving forward gracefully. The 90’s pop music interludes between scenes help keep up with this swift pacing. The staging is fun and practical, painting creative pictures of the actors on stage while showcasing character relationships. It was 90’s sitcom in fast forward, keeping audience on its toes, excited for the next thing.
The performances are fun and slightly outlandish! Many of the characters are melodramatic with the exception of Susan and, ironically, Charlie’s Head.
The show may not have been much without Michael Perrie, Jr. as “Charlie’s Head.” He is alluring and knows how to give and take focus when necessary. He gave the “Head” a heart and even though he was playing something abstract, his performance was anchored in reality which made him all the more intriguing to watch.
Zal Owen plays the central character, Charlie. His performance ranges from robotic to realistic, perhaps a character choice to lend focus to his “Head.”
His performance is completely opposite to that of Amy-Helene Carlson, who charmingly wins over the audience as the first girlfriend we see. And Carlotta Brentan, who plays the egotistical singer Susan, engagingly portrays this self-absorbed artist.
In addition, the ensemble made up of Chris Chirdon, Sarah Elizabeth Grace, Mary Orzano, and J. Andrew Young, is tight and lively, bringing a much needed energy to the stage.
In a way it’s a coming of age story. Can this 30-something year old knock out the deprecating voice in his head? Will he ever find love? Will he ever finish his damned movie script?! It’s all left optimistically open-ended leaving viewers wanting a little more. But I suppose that’s what happens we sit silently (or maybe not so silently) calling out, “Love Me!”
There is only ONE performance left so don’t miss out!
Saturday, May 16th at 7:30pm
Tickets are $18 and are available online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com or at the box office 30mins prior to showtime.
4th Street Theatre
83 East 4th Street
New York, NY
Running time: 1hr, 40mins with no intermission
for more info visit funnysheesh.com or lovemetheplay.com