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LOVE/SICK

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By John Cariani

  • Dates: June 1 – 17, 2018
  • Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM / Sundays at 2 PM
  • Ticket Prices: $25 for VIP / $19 for General Seating (Student & Senior Discounts Available)

A darker cousin to Almost, Maine, which appeared on LTM’s stage in 2014, John Cariani’s LOVE/SICK is a collection of nine slightly twisted and completely hilarious short plays. Set on a Friday night in an alternate suburban reality, this 80-minute romp explores the pain and the joy that comes with being in love. Full of imperfect lovers and dreamers, LOVE/SICK is an unromantic comedy for the romantic in everyone.

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LOVE/SICK

Similar to its more-light-hearted cousin Almost, Maine, LOVE/SICK is a collection of nine slightly twisted and completely hilarious short vignettes taking place 7:30 on a Friday night in an alternate suburban reality (where a bride can literally get cold feet and a couple can simply forgot to have a baby). This 80-minute romp explores the tragedy and comedy of relationships. Full of imperfect lovers and dreamers, LOVE/SICK is an unromantic comedy for the romantic in everyone.

 

LTM audiences might recognize John Cariani’s name (and the play’s style) from LTM’s 2014 popular production of Almost, Maine. In 2004, Almost, Maine had its premiere production at Portland Stage Company. Two years later, in January 2006, the play moved to New York where it opened Off-Broadway to warmly welcoming reviews, with the New York Times noting “its whimsical approach to the joys and perils of romance.” In 2010 it headed the list of most-produced plays in America’s high schools, knocking Shakespeare off the top spot, a position he had occupied continuously since 1937.

 

LOVE/SICK has followed a similar production path, appearing at Portland Stage in the spring of 2013 before opening off-Broadway in 2015, with BroadwayWorld.com calling the play “entertaining and fun. A satisfyingly dark look at this thing we call love,” and TheSource.com stating “[LOVE/SICK brings] to light the complexity of communication and what it means to not only love someone else, but yourself as well…Truly beautiful.”

 

Cariani has been nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of Motel the tailor in the Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof,” and won an Outer Critics Circle award for that role in 2004. He has appeared on numerous TV shows, including most recently the season finale of the ever-popular Showtime series “Homeland.” For many years, he made regular appearances on “Law & Order” as a lab tech.

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CAST of CHARACTERS

Sam Boushee
Randy Boyd
Raven Dillon
Brighid Docherty
Lucia Greene
Rodney K
Hunter Parker
Charles Schoenfeld
Bobby Schultz
Christine Voytko

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Enjoy a PLAYFUL COCKTAIL mixed by our friends at Hartford Flavor Company! Fall in love all over again with our LOVE POTION.
Love Potion
2 oz Wild Moon Cranberry
1 oz Wild Moon Lime
1 oz Vodka
2 oz Ginger Ale
Fresh Lime Wedge
“Bright aromas of hibiscus, unripened berries, and sour cherries greet the nose upon decorking. The flavor is at once tangy and sweet bearing resemblance to a cranberry juice cocktail while remaining true to the essence of the berry itself. Conflicting images of winter holidays and summertime picnics collide as the liquid smoothly coats the mouth and warms the back of the throat, leaving floral notes and an energetic zing in its wake.”

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Playwright John Cariani once said, “I love to welcome people into a world and then surprise them that they’re seeing stuff that’s a bit heavier than they anticipated. I like that experience as a theatregoer — to think I know right where I am, then find that I’m somewhere else and not even know how it happened. I’m interested in that.”

These interests and goals are certainly evident in Love/Sick, the writer/actor’s most recent effort and the second of his plays to be produced here at the LTM (you’ll remember the bewitching Almost, Maine from a few seasons ago.).

Indeed, Love/Sick, often referred to as a darker Almost, Maine, is — in Cariani’s words — “a bit heaver” than might be anticipated. This is not to say that the play is not funny. It is — very — and yet, like love itself, the characters inhabit not only the blissful meadow but also the precarious minefield of this most powerful of human emotions. I’m reminded (by its title) of a forgotten but charming Alan P. Pakula film from the 70s, Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing, in which Maggie Smith and Timothy Bottoms make an unlikely pair of lovers working their way through “the whole damn thing.”

Like Cariani’s other plays, Love/Sick is representative of the artistic genre of magical realism, where magic elements are a natural part in an otherwise mundane, realistic environment.

In the theater, magical realism goes back to the classic Greek and Roman plays, where gods and seers and others with supernatural gifts appear and make unlikely things happen. And certainly Shakespeare employed magic in, for example, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In modern theater, Becket, Ionesco, and Pinter have all used some form of magic realism in their plays…and Tony Kushner, certainly, in Angels in America, as well as Craig Lucas in the wonderful Prelude to a Kiss.

Love/Sick is composed of nine vignettes, each exploring an aspect of love and its consequences. The structure of the play, in terms of production and casting, allows for great flexibility, which can be both a gift and a challenge. In our production, a talented company of ten actors navigates the landscape of a vaguely defined urban setting.

Describing Love/Sick, John Cariani has cited this quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry from the memoir Wind, Sand and Stars: “A garden wall at home may conceal more secrets than the Great Wall of China.” So, leave your insistence on “Just the facts, Ma’am” at home, exercise your willing suspension of disbelief, and be prepared to take flight and enter the world of Love/Sick, where anything and everything can —and does — happen.

David Garnes
LTM Dramaturg

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