POST: 'The Awful Truth' - what is the basis of love?

Photo by  Jacob J. Goldberg Photography

Photo by Jacob J. Goldberg Photography

What's it about?

What is the basis of love? This question is raised by Lucy, a woman in the early 1900's, who is soon to marry Dan, a wealthy business man with status. You would think that they are in love, but Dan's aunt thinks otherwise. There is a rumor that the reason for Lucy's divorce from her previous marriage was an affair; raising the question, why is she marrying Dan? Lucy, not want to admit to this, asks her former husband, Norman, to speak with Dan's aunt to ease her thoughts about her. Norman does as Lucy asks, and Lucy and Norman keep meeting and discover their differences but more importantly that their love still exists for each other.

What was my experience?

It was awkward. I entered the venue gasping for breath, and suddenly all eyes were on me. The waiting area was filled with men and women of the third age. Time froze and although it didn't last for more than three seconds, I felt the outcast at that moment being the only young person. It's not that I've never interacted with seniors, conversing with them is quite nice and their wisdom makes one expand thoughts and opinions, and I don't fear them, but standing in a room surrounded by only them was unexpecting. Waiting and withdrawn for a while, I made myself comfortable as best I could and after a small cross of words here and few friendly smiles there, I felt better and a part the audience.

As the time for the show to start approached, we took the stairs up one floor. It seemed like I was headed to an apartment, and the size of the room we entered was similar to the size of my living room; the stage was the smallest one I had ever seen. I contemplated it for a while, the elements of a 1900's home were resembling.

It then stood out, that special piece that hung at the center of the wall. I imagined myself standing at the center of the stage and looking at my reflection in it. It wasn't the same.  I was that little girl who stared at herself while her grandmother combed her hair through that wondrous rectangular mirror that clung at the center of the wall in the living room of my old home, catching the attention of anyone who walked passed it.  Memories sunk my head and melancholy took over entirely. How do you react to feelings like this when you don't want to let them go?

It is suddenly all a blur, you don't wish to concentrate but you have to. While I watch the performance get started, I realize nothing makes sense and I am worried about not understanding. I couldn't help but ask the question: how a show is capable of provoking feelings and thoughts on an individual? To make you think not only about that present moment, but even question your life so far? It was a thought that I couldn't block easily, but I managed to focus on the play.

And the play moved, Lucy and Dan are soon to be married, a convenient engagement (at least for her) for one reason: money. She had no problem admitting it when questioned by her friend. As I watched her so loose with her reason, I thought "Wow, this woman has no decency". She was admitting to marrying for interest, and I thought women of this era didn't do those types of things, I thought they actually married for love. I guess I was probably stuck by the story my grandparents, but I learned something new.

What made it more interesting was when Lucy was confronted by her fiancé's aunt, Mrs. Leeson. She doesn't really trust Lucy and demands an explanation for that rumor (her previous marriage ending in divorce because she of an affair). Lucy immediately denies it and invites her ex-husband, Norman, to "clarify everything" in front of her fiancé and his aunt.  I just couldn't believe her, again she spoke shamelessly. And I definitely felt some rage, she was a manipulator and at this point a liar in my eyes because I couldn't help to think that she wasn't innocent of the rumor. 

In the midst of all of the drama, I was delighted by Lucy's french maid, Celeste. Whether the performer was actually French was unknown to me, but every time I heard her speak it was indulging enough that it made me desperate to learn the language.

Pretty soon conversations between Lucy and Norman started to become more frequent. At first suspicious from my point of view, but between memories from their past relationship to claims about the reason of divorce, the truth came up. Lucy confesses that the "rumor" is actually a big misunderstanding between them. Norman believed it once and Lucy never clarified. My only question then was why? Why lose years of what could've been a great start to an amazing relationship? Was she confused or scared of anything? It was right here where she raised many ideas on the subject of love in my head. But in the end, they admit to still loving each other, even more than before,  and this time want to start truthful to each other in every way.

Want to see it?


$21 Student Tickets
The Awful Truth
Metropolitan Playhouse
thru Oct. 18