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"Love! Labour! Loss!"

Isis Arts Collective's trilogy of one-acts

This trilogy of one-acts was cobbled together by Isis Arts Collective after the success of Counting the Ways, a brief Edward Albee bagatelle, at last year's Fringe Festival. Counting the Ways starts with the line, "Do you love me?" and so -- too cleverly -- do the other two plays in this trilogy, Decaf by Mike Ward and Points of View by Tom Kelly. Counting the Ways is the reason to see the show. An English husband and wife who might have been strong competitors in Monty Python's "Upper Class Twit of the Year" contest discuss their relationship in quick, sometimes very funny scenes. Danielle Thys plays "She," in silk blouse and pearls, describing how distasteful sex with her husband has become. "Do you think you can just shove it in me?" she asks, in a snooty, fluting voice, as if asking the gardener if he thought there might be asparagus this season. Leo Lawhorn plays her portly, befuddled husband, "He," who admits to loving his wife only in the vicinity of crème brûlée. The play is a bit formal and dry, but also well chiseled and totally meaningless (in the best sense). Decaf, a play about Loss, consists of a strange therapy session involving a husband, a wife, and a domineering psychologist. It's mostly space filler. Points of View, the piece about Labour, deconstructs the experience of theatergoing, and features a good routine about an audience member (Micaelee Ellswythe) and her cell phone. Points has the quality of a clever comic strip. Neither add-on play reaches Albee's inspired senselessness, and the evening as a whole doesn't work nearly as well as its centerpiece.

 
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