I’ll be the first to admit that my familiarity with performing arts is about on par with my understanding of quantum physics: I’m aware of it, I have a vague idea of what it’s all about, but I fall flat on my face when it comes to practical application. (Though I’m not sure how anyone could practically apply quantum physics.)
As a result, I’m also ready to admit that I went to the recent performance of Forgeries, Love and Other Matters for no other reason than that I really liked the title. (I have a habit of doing this with music, too: “Hey, what a great album title! I’ll buy it!”) To see the words ‘forgeries’ and ‘love’ in the same title was immediately intriguing, and seemed to promise something messy and complicated. I’m definitely for that.
I was intrigued by the set – this large, man-made brown hill with a series of holes and rooms underneath that the performers used to move around. It seemed to set the stage for an emotional landscape, something wide and encompassing. I also liked that composer Hahn Rowe was set up in the corner of the set, actively involved in the piece.
Things started off slow – really slow. The two characters sat at one corner, seemingly absorbed with some sort of grief. That transitioned to a lot of sliding around the hill (on their backs, heads, and butts – or whatever surface was available as they slid down), running up and down the hill, and these sort of jerky half-motions. That then moved toward full-out spastic episodes with plenty of shaking and trembling.
I was starting to lose my patience with it. I thought maybe the two people were going through the destruction of a relationship, but I was so frustrated with this kind of ‘interim’ dance. I just wanted to yell: “Would you just break up, or get back together, or something?? Just do something!”
I really loved Hahn Rowe’s musical contributions, and the dialogue – though sparingly used – was a really great addition, but the repetitive movements, and flailing around on the hill really started to wear on me as the piece continued. All I could sum it up with was: “Love is a battlefield. And this is what it looks like when you’re the victim, left bruised, bloodied, and seizing after the war.”