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    2008-2009 reviews:
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  •  REVIEW: WHAT IT IS FROM WHAT IT IS NOT

    What It Is from What It Is Not

    Heartful dodgers

    The characters of "What It Is From What It Is Not" are looking for love in all the wrong places — so what is this thing called love that they've found there?

    By JOSHUA TANZER
    Offoffoff.com

    She sits next to him at a bar and casually informs him that she always lies to attractive men in bars.

      
    WHAT IT IS FROM WHAT IT IS NOT
    Written by: Ann Marie Healy.
    Directed by: Michelle Strier.
    Cast: Preston Dyches, Christopher Logan Healy, Chris Petrelli, Hillary Redmon, Michelle Rowley, Sara Sommervold, Matt Wiens.
    She: "I told a man that all my former lovers had the same name: Maxwell Frank. Can you believe that? Is that a funny coincidence? I would go so far as to say that I am — what would the word be? — easy. I am easy! Or perhaps the word is —"

    He: "— passionate?"

    She: "But only with men named Maxwell Frank!"


    And what do you know, this young lovely has met quite a few men who happen to call themselves Maxwell Frank. In fact, the gentleman she's talking with now just might be a Maxwell Frank himself. Heck, admit it — you'd call yourself Maxwell Frank for a night too, wouldn't you?

    What It Is from What It Is Not  
    This is one of the slightly off-kilter vignettes that make up "What It Is From What It Is Not," which bills itself as a "love fugue" but is actually a smart little cruise through the twilight zone of almost-love. All of the characters are on the precarious edge between falling in love and not falling in love, or between staying in love and not staying in love.

    A man listens to "stocks" on the radio and a woman doodles on her own knees instead of talking about what's between them, all the while reassuring each other that their love will last forever. Another pair search for the poetic words that will ennoble their love but twist their own clumsy metaphors beyond all recognition. A couple dance elegantly while adamantly denying that they have any feelings for each other or anybody else. All is passion plus aloofness.

    These segments, breezy, cleverly written and jauntily acted, don't explore the nature of love, exactly. Maybe what they really do is something more serious than it seems: explore the different cues — like permanence, purple poetry and passion — from which we try to recognize love when we're not sure if we have it or not.

    MARCH 9, 2000
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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