Reviewed by Dana Martin
Cockeyed Optimist Productions at Sacred Fools Second Stage
Through June 25th
Breaking up is hard to do, something we all find out eventually. Except Adam. When Adam’s girlfriend Kelsey drunkenly makes out with her angry boss, Adam discovers all the symptoms of heartbreak. Kelsey pleads, she apologizes, she reasons, she regrets, but Adam will have none of it. He refuses to acknowledge the root of their difficulties, instead choosing to undergo heart surgery to have the pain removed. Then he promptly moves home to be taken care of by his overbearing mother and hapless father.
Director Maureen Lee Lenker makes the most of what is in reality a 10-minute play spread thin over one hour. The play quickly shifts between several different locations, and Lenker handles these transitions with finesse. Playwright Lauren Gorski seems to be commenting on Adam’s refusal to grow up and wager all in the name of love. His inability to properly deal with Kelsey’s transgression is telling of his character and reveals a gross lack of emotional maturity. Ironically, Kelsey is the real winner in this story of lost love.
The play is well cast. Ben Bergstrom plays Adam as petulant and pouty. Jess Moore finds youthful confusion as Kelsey, and (interestingly) displays way more chemistry with Tim, her angry boss (a singular note performance by Gordon Brown). Colleen Elizabeth Miller finds much needed humor in her role as the quirky doctor.
Emergency Operation seems to find every way to circumvent the messiness and pain of heartbreak, which ultimately leaves the play lacking heart.
Sacred Fools Second Stage, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/4481 Running time: one hour