Friday, September 9, 2016

"all of what you love and none of what you hate" ☼ ☼ ☼

Playwright Phillip Howze has taken a simple story, one that has been around since the dawn of time,  and written it into a genre-bursting multi-media performance. The World Premiere of "all of what you love and none of what you hate," presented by SF Playhouse's Playground, is uneven in spots, but gives us a lot to like with even more to build upon.

Britney Frazier plays Girl A. Sad, sad, sad, she has a problem. Depressed into near silence, whenever she tries to talk to her friend Girl B (Tristan Cunningham) about it, Girl B won't stop chattering. Girl A is depressed and Girl B won't listen.

Girl A's mother, played by a self-absorbed India Wilmott, is no help. She seems to be the kind of mother Girl A is trying to avoid becoming.

Meanwhile, Boy (played by Cameron Matthews) has all the youthful exuberance Girl A lacks, but then again she has the problem, not him.

It would have been nice if there had been a little romance. 

...but things really weren't that way. And Boy is not exactly thrilled to hear Girl A's news.

Complete with video screens, cell phones, Facebook, a topsy-turvy set, some magic realism and a long series of nightmares, "a lot of what you like..." makes us ponder the lives of each of these characters.


We have quibbles with Girl A's lack of character development, wherein a long soliloquy at the end seems to arise out of nowhere. The nightmares -- represented by the actors crawling in the dark -- don't make a lot of sense.

But Girl A's story, the young girl overwhelmed by angst, is an eternal one. She may have figured things out by the end. The reviewer's wife thought she had.

RATINGS: ☼ ☼ ☼ 

The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "all of what you love and none of what you hate" Three Stars. It is new and it is flawed but it is also unique. You can never go wrong in the Playground's Reuff Theater. Give it a shot.

"all of what you love and none of what you hate"
The Reuff Theatre at the Strand
1127 Market Street, San Francisco
Thurs-Sun through Sept. 27

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