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BWW Reviews: LOVE THERAPY Opens at the DR2 Theatre, 4/29

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Wendy Beckett's LOVE THERAPY opens at the DR2 Theatre (101 East 15th Street) on Monday, April 29th. Directed by Evan Bergman, LOVE THERAPY is the fourth in a series of ten of Ms. Beckett's plays scheduled for opening by Peter Walters for Pascal Productions. Tickets are available via Telecharge.com.

LOVE THERAPY is the story of Colleen Fitzgerald. A young therapist trying to prove herself, Colleen finds herself in deep waters when her theories about love as a form of therapy begin to affect her clients in unpredictable ways. The play questions what happens when intimacy, attraction and passion collide with the healing process.

Featured in the cast are David Bishins (The Glass House) as "Steven", Christopher Burns (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) as "Brian Beatie"and two-time Tony Award nominee Alison Fraser as "Madge". Janet Zarish (An Enemy of the People) is featured as both "Carol" and "Mary". Margot White (Happy Birthday) takes the lead as Colleen Fitzgerald.

On occasion, I felt the dialogue was stilted and unrealistic. Nonetheless, I thought LOVE THERAPY was engaging. Beckett brings up an interesting thesis. How do our caretakers walk the line between "concern" and "professionalism"?

You might recognize Evan Bergman from directing the New York premiere of Jack Canfora's Poetic License at 59E59 (featuring Geraint Wyn Davies). Bergman's work in LOVE THERAPY does not disappoint. The show had a minimalist feel. The scene changes are quick and there is a compelling handling of time. This approach allows the audience to focus more on Beckett's characters as well as their emotional journeys and less on why they (the audience) are sitting in the dark for an insufferable amount of time. The show is 85 minutes long and Bergman keeps it moving.

This minimalist style and strategy serves and highlights the themes of LOVE THERAPY well. Bergman's carefully chosen creative team serve this game plan. Jo Winiarski is the scenic designer. Jill Nagle designed the lights and John Emmett O'Brien designed sound. Winiarski, Nagle and O'Brien really help to move Beckett's work along and accomplish Bergman's game plan.

The cast is strong. However, Alison Fraser is a true acting standout as Madge. Fraser is an accomplished actress and two-time Tony Award nominee for playing Martha in The Secret Garden and Josefine in Romance/Romance. She also received the first ever Barrymore Award for her portrayal of The Blonde in The Wilma Theatre's production of Gunmetal Blues. Her Madge is raw, authentic and realistic. She really conveys what I was feeling throughout the piece. She is a true advocate for the audience and completely enjoyable. I actively looked forward to Fraser entering a scene.

LOVE THERAPY is now open. The schedule is Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8PM, with matinees on Saturday at 2PM and Sunday at 3PM. Tickets are $45 and are available by visiting telecharge.com or calling (212) 239-6200.


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From This Author Trish Vignola

Trish Vignola comes to BroadwayWorld New York from BroadwayWorld Chicago. When she is not reviewing Theatre, Trish also writes for MLB.com and the Yes Network. (read more...)