POST: 'Fool for Love' - a tug of war

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What's it about?

Former lovers, May and Eddie, meet once again. This time it’s in a Motel in the middle of Mojave desert.

What'd I experience?

I always wondered what Woody and Jessie’s backstory was. It is very likely that this isn’t what Dreamworks wants me to assume, but this is such a messed up love story that I’m gonna pretend it’s about the beloved Toy Story couple.

Clearly I have a thing for under dressing at the theater. I’m pretty sure my ‘vulgar’ shirt wasn’t appreciated by all the older individuals that attended this show. Can’t please them all.

                                                  The Shirt.

                                                  The Shirt.

Anyway, after having seen the ads on Youtube for this show, I decided to check it out. I read it was a western romance and I was about to skip out on it, but after talking with my brother (shoutout to Steve!) I decided to try something out of my comfort zone. I was expecting this to be some typical romance about forbidden love between two cowboys and a girl. I am so glad I was wrong. This story had so many ups and downs and hidden surprises... the only western thing about it were the accents and the desert motel.

The show immediately opens with an emotional (even a little physical) tug of war. May (Nina Arianda) screams and frantically tells Eddie (Sam Rockwell) to leave, and just as he heads to the door she runs and clutches onto his leg like a child. There was this constant struggle that she tried and failed to hide as she directly contracted her hurtful words with affectionate actions of desperate love. Those passionate fights really set the tone for what this forbidden affair had done emotionally to both people. 

Eddie had a calmer demeanor. I was surprised that I connected a lot with him. Not that I have ever been in love (unless cats count), but I’d like to assume that I’m likely to handle this forbidden affair the same way he did. Not to say it’s the best way, but it was distinct the way Eddie loves May. Where May craves that stability and balance, Eddie seems more of the go with the flow (maybe?) type. He doesn’t want to plan his life. This could have something to do with him being a stuntman or simply someone who hates structure. It doesn’t stop Eddie from loving May anymore than she does he, he just loves differently. At first, I thought it could have been machismo, but after noticing that Eddie wasn’t hesitant in telling May he loves her - and confessing the forbidden love story to May’s date - it seems to me that Eddie’s wants to think he is the type of person that can commit and endure a relationship with such a dark history.  

The Old Man (Gordon Joseph Weiss) that sat at the corner of the stage was pretty much the only insight into Eddie’s mind. I am pretty sure he is Eddie’s father, but he is also a representation of Eddie’s struggle with this tumultuous love. The old man speaks of his own issues with his affair as a married man - with May’s mum. It seems that same entitlement that has been passed onto Eddie might be another toxic factor to this relationship. He believes that May will continue to wait for him to makeup his mind, because of their pact, except May is getting tired of all the bullsh*t - unlike her mother.

It did take a while for the scandalous part of the story to take off.  Given my expectations, I definitely didn’t think May and Eddie were gonna turn out to be siblings. Well half-siblings, but that’s still pretty screwed up.

As the vicious cycle of May and Eddie’s bipolar relationship continues - it becomes evident to me that there is a hidden part of their unconscious that knows they simply cannot be together (for health reasons - rather than judgment). Being in love doesn’t disprove that they aren’t tearing each other apart with their deadly love. This isn’t Televisa’s latest novela (Spanish soap opera) that gets a happy ending with a huge wedding. The ending is just as uncertain as the beginning - just as May is uncertain that Eddie will come back.


Want to see it?

$27 Student Rush

Fool for Love
MTC Theatre
@ Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
thru Dec. 13