Eddie and May have been knocking us out since 1983, when Sam Shepard first directed "Fool for Love" at the Magic Theater. The new 2017 Magic production, directed by Loretta Greco, features Jessi Campbell as May and Andrew Pastides as Eddie, with Patrick Russell as Martin and Rod Gnapp as The Old Man. The original cast could scarcely have been any better.
Andrew Pastides brings Eddie that Sam Shepard vulnerable macho. He is good with a lasso rope and apparently is irresistible to May, no matter how she tries to be rid of him. (We do wait for him to tie the rope around her.)
Jessi Campbell's May is tortured at the prospect of getting back together with Eddie, who has just shown up into her new life, and yet, as we see at the end, this is not an avoidable love affair.
Rod Gnapp plays himself, as Shepard pokes holes in the wall between actor and audience, and Patrick Russell makes us feel for the hometown boy who has no idea what he has stepped into. Both Eddie and May have memorable monologues towards the end, as we finally figure out who The Old Man is, along with the torment that haunts Eddie and May. These two monologues are Sam Shepard at his best.
People don't change. We are still Fools for Love.
RATINGS ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
We award "Fool for Love" Four Stars. Cast, staging, direction and text deserve a star each. This is a rather pricey show, for the Magic, but it is worth every penny.
"Fool for Love"
Fort Mason, Building D, San Francisco
Through Feb. 26