Presented by Boston Actors Theatre
by Kirsten Knisely
Directed by Caroline L. Price
March 7 – 22, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Black Box
Boston, MA 02116
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Trigger warnings for drug use and super fun, adult naked times.
Review by Kitty Drexel
(Boston) In The Symposium, Plato famously describes three human genders (man, woman and androgynous) whose strength equaled that of the gods. They were made of two faces, 4 arms, 4 legs and 2 sets of genitalia. Zeus, rather than kill the humans for pride, uses his lightning to tear them asunder. Their powers halved, humans were cursed to spend the rest of their existence looking for their second half, their “soul mate,” so they could be complete again. Most people assume that their “other half” is their one romantic partner to have and to hold for all time. Life isn’t so simple. People are complicated animals.
In Soul Mates, playwright Kirsten Knisely defines a soul mate as a person with whom you have an affinity. This person can be a romantic partner, a family member, a friend, just about anyone with whom you make a personal connection. In nine excellently written vignettes, Knisely examines the relationships that sustain us. She balances saccharine sweetness with heavy dollops of comedic-drama for a play that will make you laugh, cry and snuggle into your date.
To be completely honest, I was so entertained by this production that I forgot to take notes. I was swept up by the romance and the versatile acting of the cast. Angela Keefe, Laura Menzie, Joe Kidawski, and Brett Milanowski are excellent as a range of characters that cover all the platonic or otherwise relationship bases. Their chemistry is authentic, and all four actors are believable as friends, family and other. In 10 minutes they were able to create rich, fully developed characters; no small feat in a show featuring non-recurring characters.
This is not a show for someone who has recently suffered a breakup. This is not a show for the bitter. It is a perfect show for couples young and old looking to be reminded of why relationships are worth the struggle. It’s a reminder that romance is not just fluffy poetry and flowers; it’s sweetness is real. In our case, my wife and I started the show seated apart, lightly touching. By the time the actors took their bows, we were leaning on each other, holding hands and snuggling. We weren’t the only couple exhibiting this behavior either. It’s that kind of show.
Many, including therapists, believe that “soul mates” are a load of hooey, that there isn’t only one person for everyone. And if one doesn’t believe in fate, destiny or even God, then waiting for your “soul mate” could be pointless. Yet, a reason to hope is a reason to keep living so Plato’s myth lives on. Romance lives on. Check out Soul Mates. You and your special someone will be glad you did.