POST: 'The Changeling' - is love worth the hassle?

What's it about?

A virgin woman is meant to be wed to a man she does not know and does not love. Before her marriage she meets a handsome man and almost instantly they fall in deep unforgiving love. Through her trials and tribulations this woman has her most hated servant by her side. A servant who embodies the worst qualities a man can have, ugly and poor. The servant lives day in and day out awaiting commands from the wicked woman, to be able to show his servitude, his devotion, and his love.

While the main story continues, another one blossoms. This play is set in a mental asylum that is run by a keeper, the doctor, and his wife. Once the doctor is set to leave the castle his wife finally sees that there are bizarre opportunities to fall in love. That the insane patients are not what they seem to be.

What'd I experience?

My left hand grips onto the thin blue faux leather strap of my bag nervously, my fingers clench and unclench to the steady beat of the music pounding in my ears. My right hand grips my sleek phone with the same intensity, every 5 minutes I press the smooth home button to check the time.

“2:25PM… 2:30PM… 2:45PM…”

I check what stop this rickety old F train is on, the words “Carroll Street” flash by and I wonder if maybe this is a good time to text him I’m close by. I take a deep breath to collect myself, but it sadly does not help.

My fingers fly across the screen as I type “Hey! I’m 3 stops away.” My heart jolts out of my body because almost immediately I get a response, “okay cool, see you in a bit.”

I look up from my phone, close my eyes and try to quiet down the nerves that seem to be vibrating my whole body.

I just barely make out the words “7th Ave Brooklyn” from the muffled voice of the conductor. I rise from my seat, check the time once more “2:55PM” and a single inaudible moan escapes my lips.

“I hate first dates.”

On the day I watched The Changeling, I had also gone on a first date. I find it funny and awfully convenient how my personal life seems to correlate to what I watch at the theater. I had decided to watch a play that said to me “love is really not that great” on the day that I decided to go out with a man in hopes to maybe find love. My life is so ironic it is laughable and almost unreal.  

Throughout the play it seemed as though love was the direct reason why the characters go insane. When I word it like that it’s kind of poetic, right? It would be, except in this play the idea of “insane” surpasses your typical “crazy ex-girlfriend who reads through your texts” and goes into the realm of “call for help she’s outside my house holding a knife again.Perceived love was the cause of a handful of deaths, a bucket ton of lies, and an ocean’s worth of tears in The Changeling

The play really made me wonder if love is worth the hassle and the heartbreak. Take for instance the main woman who falls victim to it twice. After each time she succumbs to the feeling, something bad lurks around the corner. And that bad not only negatively affects her but also the men and women around her, and not just mentally but physically as well. Not a single person in the play is left untouched by the poisonous feeling.  

So I guess in a way, it could have been worse. The universe could have been a lot crueler and decided that it would have been funnier if I had gone on the date after I had seen the play. Imagine that! That would have been such a bad experience for everyone involved. I would be so absorbed in the idea that love would bring my demise, that in turn it would negatively affected me and ultimately the man I was sharing the afternoon with. It would have brought my demise.

Truthfully speaking I would love to be able to say I totally agree with the play. That it’s better to be an independent young woman that does not need the comfort of love to be happy because it's 2016 and being independent and alone is the hip new thing everyone's doing. Except, that’s not who I am. At all. Sure, I’m cynical and I may joke about being a crazy cat lady by the age of 25 but it doesn’t mean that deep down I believe that to be my future. Or fingers crossed, it won't be my future. 

To me, love is worth the sweet hurt, the over analyzing, and the aggravating late nights because I like to believe that the most precious thing in this world would never come cheap or free. Or maybe you shouldn’t listen to me because I’m just an insane fool bent on ruining my life and those around me with the evil notion of love. ;-)


Want to see it?

$25 Tickets
(thru TDF Membership)

The Changeling
Red Bull Theater
@ Lucille Lortel Theatre
thru Jan. 24