It has been said that we cannot rise above our heredity. There are also various philosophies and beliefs that state fate is dictated, we are mere puppets on the world’s stage. These themes are explored in Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love. The story follows star-crossed lovers who have yet to find the avenue for any salvation. They are trapped in their bitter world by choice and circumstance and are unable to see an avenue of escape. But they have a love, which is undeniable, strong, and tragic.
The plot is simple and straightforward: Eddie (a dynamic Demetris Hartman) has returned from various work and travels to take May (Alexandra Freeman illuminates the stage) to a bigger and better life. It seems like a wonderful proposition, but of course, such offers come at a price. They share a past, which although not completely sordid, inexplicably binds them to deafening retribution that not even love can mend.
The stage and sets are barren reflecting the emptiness in their lives. It is set in the Mojave desert, but the story rings true in any small town Americana. The physicality of the roles is admirable. Freeman and Hartman move like dancers, which bring an intense vitality. Alexander Karavay as the old man brings a poignant chorus-like dimension to the show. Never underestimate the power of story. Jose Corea as Martin is left holding the proverbial bag, as he is the voice of normalcy.
The mood is bleak, somber, seasoned with dark humor. The ensemble of Scrap Metal Theatre does more than an admirable job with this production. They prove that simple staging, sets, and blocking can produce an ordinary floor to theater extraordinaire.
Fool for Love runs through May 18 at the NoHo Actor’s Studio located at 5215 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. For tickets, visit scrapmetaltheatre.org.