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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Philosophy of Love

In trying to find a word to describe the production, The Philosophy of Love, inconsistent comes to mind. The production consisted of two one act plays; The Forced Marriage by Moliére, and How Gertrude Stormed the Philosophers Club By Martin Epstein. These two plays alone were an inconsistency.

The Forced Marriage was a witty, fairytale like story, in a medieval setting that did not prevent philosophers from dressing in togas; complete with audience participation, and slapstick routines, such as a Bugs Bunny-esque argument scene with characters popping out of nowhere to finish a fight. The costumes were excellent, and the set was mad to look like a child’s drawing. All the characters had their own little quirks (such as absentmindedness and extreme politeness providing lethal violence) making the show very enjoyable.

There was no intermission between the two plays, forcing the audience to watch stage hands change the set. This was probably done so that people who had heard about the second play would not leave. How Gertrude Stormed the Philosophers Club takes so many sharp twists and turns that there is simply no direction. It starts off as a play about two pompous intellectuals. Quickly, it transforms into a story of a waiter who wishes to murder his gay neighbor. Next, one of the intellectuals kills the waiter and a decision ensues about what to do with the body. The stage empties and Gertrude enters with a soliloquy to the audience. She falls fast asleep in a chair and is found by the intellectuals. While she sleeps one intellectual decides to take advantage of Gertrude. The two intellectuals then become crazy taking on the personas of “The Fugitive King” and “Panther Man.” But all of this vanishes when they find out Gertrude is married and the play ends.

During all at this the play makes light of homophobia, murder, and rape, almost thinking that these will make the play. Now, if a piece of art is offensive but a message is learned from it, then that art becomes cutting edge. However, offensiveness on its own is neither artistic nor cutting edge. And when it is mixed with nonsense, then it is clearly just there for the shock value.

In contrast, much of the acting in both of these plays was excellent. Powerfully becoming his character without overdoing it, Craig Rourke’s portrayal of Pancrace and Edward was breathtaking. Larry Bryant struggled a little in his first role as Marphurius, stumbling with his words a little, but came to life as Edgar with perfect diction. Lorna Noguiera, made an adorable Gertrude, almost skipping while she walked, but is was surprising to find out at the end that the character was not a child but a grown woman.

So what can I say, at times I laughed, at times I gasped, at times I held my head and begged for it to end.