“Love’s Not Time’s Fool” opened Friday, May 14 to a full house and bows this weekend.
The Warehouse on Bartlett has inspired and entertained the hearts of RCC students, faculty members, and just about anybody who has seen a show there in the past six years or so, and when it’s decked out for a show, you wouldn’t recognize it as the building you take Yoga or Karate in during the day. The entire theatre is set up and struck down nightly by the power of love, dedication and elbow grease, which lends the Warehouse its funkadelic rustic charm.
“Love’s Not Time’s Fool,” a compilation of 38 Shakespearean sonnets, will be the last show to take place in RCC’s Warehouse. Helmed by the very ambitious RCC Instructor Ron Danko, the play opened on May 14th to a packed and enthusiastic house. In the lobby, pictures of past productions were set up on display, and Danko and producer John Cole mingled with the audience, ready to answer any and all questions with a smile.
Danko has combined the sonnets into a loose, stream-of-consciousness narrative that depicts the story of a poet struggling with feelings of optimism, lust, fear and resentment as he embarks in a complicated love triangle. Divided among a cast of 17 performers, ranging from seasoned professionals to eager newcomers, each piece is conducted as a brief glance into a different place and time. From lonely desert highways to back alleyways, Irish weddings to Elizabethan courtyards, the sonnets take us on a frantic emotional journey that is at times funny, poignant, and profound. Many of the
sonnets deal with themes of sexual politics, and Danko makes sure that the jokes and innuendos deliver promptly.
The stage, constructed almost entirely of psychedelic-patterned blue and purple building blocks, created a dreamlike atmosphere wherein the actors play with the kind of fervor and tenacity that can only be found at the theatre.
In her fifth and final show at RCC, Jennifer Phillips gives this performance her all, portraying wide range of emotions and contrasting characters. She adds a sense of refinement to the proceedings and holds the show together
with her superb skill and professionalism. Rob Hirschboeck was saddled with a hefty share of sonnets and delivered them clearly and articulately, with great command of the stage. Also saddled, (though in a different sense), was Robert Kuhn, who played a horse in
three consecutive sonnets quite convincingly, utilizing a great physical discipline and humility that deserves applause. His rider, David Dials, showcased his knack for dialects by playing a Cowboy, an Italian music instructor, and many other nationalities in one evening without a hitch.
A large number of the sonnets were performed as songs (songets?) with music composed by SOU musical composition major Gina Scaccia. The styles of the songs range from Gregorian monk chants to rock, and the singers did the songs justice, particularly Sarah Schwarz, who boasts a lovely set of pipes indeed, and Windy Gish, an RCC graduate who returned to lend her vocal talents to the performance. The avant garde nature of the production allowed for some bold and unusual choices, like the integration of dancing, pantomime, painting, and a power-point presentation, all of which make for a showcase unlike any other. The understated black costumes, designed by RCC student Chelsea Raikes, managed to unify the performers as an ensemble while giving each character their own unique style and “look.”
“Love’s Not Time’s Fool” sucks you into a world where people speak or sing in couplets and quatrains; where a character is as ephemeral as a lighting cue; a world of swirly bluish-purplish bricks and black curtains. The sudden jolt of the fluorescent houselights pulls you back out into the real world, and it makes the show all the more striking for this sharp juxtaposition of fantasy with reality.
It really is a show that needs to be seen in order to be believed.
Performing from May 21-23 at 8pm Fri-Sat and at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. For reservations call (541) 245-7637.