All is Fair in Love and War

Evan Charest and Lindsay Nesmith star in “Canvas Falcon.”

The dramatic emblem of an actor’s mask, revealing both tragi-comic aspects of a performance, best suits Canvas Falcons, a love story/musical set against the backdrop of World War I.

It’s not everyday that you see a show where canvas flyers’ lives are truncated by the fickle foibles of war casualties. This story is set to original music and lyrics, each song sung with considerable energy, charm and panache. The melodrama revolves around two young lovers, Bill (Evan Charest) and Anne (Lindsay Nesmith), infatuated with each other and not ready to let go. Amidst the deep bond developed by the soldiers, akin to Spielberg/Hanks’ mini-series, Band of Brothers, an intricate romance blossoms between Bill, the idealistic hero prepared to give his life in the name of freedom, and his beloved Anne, who follows her heart and volunteers as an American Red Cross nurse.

From primitive canvas airplanes to today’s sophisticated missiles, the play’s message is fraught with modernity and striking parallels to world events. War is ongoing, most especially in the human heart. War is eternal; human beings are not, and the biblical phrase rings so true: “Teach us to number our days, that we may grow wise in heart, for it is soon ended, and we fly away.”

One song, with stirring lyrics, sung by the ensemble’s range of sopranos, tenors and baritones reveals that the flyboys are as fragile as toy soldiers: “The stars at night are not so bright, when all you see is black and white.”

The play runs through Oct 2,

Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2p.m. Secret Rose Theatre, 11246 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood. For more information, call (877) 620-ROSE.

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