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BWW Review: 3 WAY LOVVE Centers on a Talented Street Painter and the Three Muses Who Help Launch his Career

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BWW Review: 3 WAY LOVVE Centers on a Talented Street Painter and the Three Muses Who Help Launch his Career

For those missing the Hollywood Fringe Festival this year, I encourage you to check out its website at https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/ for information about On the Virtual Fringe performances that are scheduled online during July and August this year. And while it's not exactly the same watching plays online as it is sitting in a dark theater as part of a live audience, it certainly allows the directors and performers a more relaxed timeframe to prepare in that there is no rushing to load in and then dismantle a show in less than 10 minutes! And I have found the intimacy of performances in small theaters transfers well to the Zoom and You Tube formats, especially since up close and personal examinations of human emotions appear within inches of the viewer's eyes and ears. Such is the case during 3 Way Lovve, co-created and co-written by Marcus Ma'at Atkins and Keith Underwood, co-written and directed by Andrea Jacobs, which is making its world premiere virtually this July, produced by Maatology Productions.

BWW Review: 3 WAY LOVVE Centers on a Talented Street Painter and the Three Muses Who Help Launch his CareerThe production has been a labor of love since 2003 when Atkins helped to write the first draft of the stage play with his former journalist colleague and current Los Angeles publicist, Keith Underwood. "We thought it was time to return to Fringe especially after our first experience which was very challenging with the time constraints of setting up a play," said Atkins. "Now that everything is virtual, it's much easier to put on a show." This is especially true since rehearsals were held online, making it easier to transition to the On the Virtual Fringe performances, adding in song breaks between scenes to set the mood and allow for costume changes.

BWW Review: 3 WAY LOVVE Centers on a Talented Street Painter and the Three Muses Who Help Launch his Career3 Way Lovve is a modernized Shakespearean tragedy with its lead character, William "Willie" Kenwood aka Lovvespear, aka Keepon, a talented street painter who is discovered by an art tycoon, Guy Kenwood, who adopts him in his late teens and molds him into a famous graphic artist as well as his secret paramour. Throughout his artistic journey, Willie develops a relationship with his female muse, Robyn, who helps him early on in his art career by giving him solace to paint at her Mafia-ran coffeeshop which she manages. Willie also meets and marries his college professor, Shareen, whose age differences and challenges of child bearing become the thrust of their relationship woes.

BWW Review: 3 WAY LOVVE Centers on a Talented Street Painter and the Three Muses Who Help Launch his CareerTold from a flash forward-to-flashback-to-present perspective, 3 Way Lovve is loosely based on the life of the late, renowned painter, Basquiat and his relationship with a then-unknown upcoming singer, Madonna, and his mentorship with pop art icon Andy Warhol. It also has a bit of Shakespearean dialogue from the lead character to give it "an Othellowean flavor" along with a graphics storyboard with a musical soundtrack.

Of course, when you mix a troubled, street painter with strokes of fame and a palette of unstable relationships along the way, no doubt things will go downhill quickly as emotional outbursts reveal personal insecurities and a real lack of trust between lovers. And to convey the wide range of human emotions authentically takes a cast willing to take risks and lay their souls bare in the process. Such was the case at the performance I attended.

BWW Review: 3 WAY LOVVE Centers on a Talented Street Painter and the Three Muses Who Help Launch his Career3 Way Lovve is double cast, with cast B performing when I attended: marvelously intense Micah Bijon as William/Lovvespear/Keepon, LeAnne Joshua-White as his long-suffering wife Shareen, Katt Balsan as his coffee shop muse Robyn Masters, Chenzo Samuels as the debonair art gallery owner Guy Kenwood, and Mike Billips as Mr. Michael and the Jury Foreman. And thanks to expert online direction by Andrea Jacobs, cast members seemed to be interacting with each other as if in the same room while sharing glasses of wine or a cup of coffee, having sex, or when exchanging props which I will not give away in this review since it would reveal a major plot point that is better left as a surprise.

Intrigued? Watch the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jphxCo4xFPQ&t=23s

3 Way Lovve performances take place on Friday, July 24 at 3 p.m. & 6 p.m., Saturday, July 25 at 3p.m. & 6p.m., and Sunday, July 26 at 3p.m. A link to the performance broadcast site is sent out via email at least two hours prior to each show. To order $5 general admission tickets, visit https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/6969.

Screenshots provided by Marcus Ma'at Atkins


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From This Author Shari Barrett