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LALT reveals its backbone

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By Kirsten Laskey

Love is a subject that the Los Alamos Little Theater has tackled in the past. A woman falls in love with Van Gogh in “Starry Night;” a personal ad brings a woman from Maine to the plains of Kansas to get married in “Sarah, Plain and Tall;” a Shakespeare festival brings romance to two strangers in “Time Enough.”  

The community theater has shown love is all sorts of situations, but in its latest play, “Fool for Love,” the subject is taken to a whole different level.

The play takes place in a ram-shackle motel room in the Mojave Desert. May (Susan Wilcox) lives in the motel and has just received an unexpected and unwelcome visitor, her ex-boyfriend, Eddie (Corey Steven New). While May and Eddie open up every can of worms in their relationship, the audience meets May’s new beau, Martin (Todd Graves) and the Old Man (Larry Gibbons).

Honestly, there were parts of this play, which Sam Shepard wrote, that I just don’t understand.  

What I do understand is that it takes a lot of guts to tackle this show and LALT certainly proved to have the stomach to take this play on.

There is swearing, drinking, groping, crotch cradling and undressing in this play. Plus, May and Eddie really duke it out at certain points. It can make you feel as though the stage is a large peephole and you are spying on things you shouldn’t be seeing. On the other hand, all of this raw, uncensored material really brings out the high quality of acting in the cast and their ability to engage in this material shows a lot of bravery.

New is awesome as Eddie. Being a rodeo cowboy, New definitely nails Eddie’s rough, macho, crudeness but also peels away that tough exterior to show his vulnerability and emotional side.

Not only did New star in the show, but he invests in the show in many other capacities including director, set designer, fight choreographer and logo designer.

It may be Wilcox’s first production with LALT, but you would never know it. She shows May’s rollercoaster of emotions as well as her pain from all the trials she has had to endure throughout her life like a real pro. In fact, Wilcox has acted on the silver screen. The program reports she has appeared in ABC’s “Wildfire,” as well as the films “Swing Vote,” and “Have You Heard about the Morgans?”  

As the Old Man, who is allegedly both May’s and Eddie’s father, Gibbons once again proves that his skills as an actor are extremely large. He portrays an individual who has a mixture of sneakiness and loneliness.

My favorite character in the play is Martin. Graves exhibits such a sweet, wholesome innocence that you cannot help but love his character.   

Another strength of the play is the set. It is really a work of art. I love all the details like the lumpy water damaged spot on one of the room’s avocado green walls. Besides New, Larry Cox, Martin MacRoberts and John Stewart helped construct the set while Teddy MacKenzie, Tessa Alyce New, Lily Eliza New and Wilcox helped with painting. Shay Lower, who worked with sound and light operation, offered great effects including the squeal tires and the glare of car headlights from the room’s window as well as the blinking glow  from a neon light.

This play will not inspire warm fuzzy feelings but it will, I believe, initiate a lot of conversation. So I encourage the adults in this community – this is no play for children – to throw back their shoulders and bravely walk into the Los Alamos Little Theater to see “Fool for Love.”