[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts theatre review of “An Infinite Ache” written by David Schulner, directed by Mia Christou and produced by Crimson Square Theatre Company, running through October 1 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
The folks at Crimson Square Theatre Company and the Beverly Hills Playhouse never disappoint. Honestly, every time I see a play here I am blown away by the extraordinarily high quality of the material and the commitment of the actors. The energy. The intensity. The absolute belief in the material.
This play, “An Infinite Ache,” is written by the very talented David Schulner, a prolific playwright who is also a very successful TV writer, producer and show runner. “Everwood,” “Desperate Housewives,” “The Event,” and his newest creation “New Amsterdam,” are just a few of the TV shows he has either written or produced or both. So to see his work as a playwright is something of a surprise…and with his play, “An Infinite Ache” a truly wonderful one.
This play is fundamentally about love. Two people meet. They could part ways and never know what would have happened. But, the moment when any of us would have walked away, or second guessed or listened to some very bad advice and moved on is completely removed from the equation. These two unlikely partners take a chance on each other. Basically, they don’t screw it up when presented with many, many occasions to do just that. They love each other, for the most part just as they are. So what if we all did that I wonder? Trust that the universe has tripped us into each other’s paths for a reason and not let everything else distract us from the evolution of a love. A tantalizing thought.
The play is told in moments. One emerging from another in a continuous spiral of life. Magical moments, painful moments, pivotal moments. Waves and waves of polaroids in the relationship between a woman and a man from the beginning to the end and for their entire lives. It’s poetry acted out in a love story of shadow and light. Wildly funny at times and brutally honest, I was absolutely mesmerized by this raw unfettered outpouring of emotion.
You know when you see two people flirting, before anything happens, unable to tear themselves away, giddy with the possibilities, flushed with anticipation of what’s to come, “An Infinite Ache” is exactly that. A voyeuristic and beautifully intimate play whose unfolding creates the perfect opportunity for two actors to utterly possess each other onstage. Or not, depending of course on the caliber of the actor and the connection between them.
I am extremely happy to say that these two wonderful, fearless actors, Luka Oida and Miles Cooper, took this exquisitely written play and absolutely knocked it out of the park. What could have been cute was astonishing. A stage with a bed and nothing much more became a labyrinth of love. Every motion seemed unrehearsed, every turn and twist fresh and real. It’s a lot to ask of two actors.
To maintain the rhythm and the pressure and the pace without rushing or contriving or forcing a line or a mood or a tragic turn. Everything that happens on the stage and in these lives felt completely honest and true and none of it was for our entertainment…which of course was the utter entertaining charm of it.
There was a sweetness to the direction too, a lightness of touch, hidden amongst what is choreography of epic proportions as they glide from one year to the next in seconds with timing and fluidity of motion that belies belief.
I absolutely loved this play, I think you can tell, and cannot recommend it highly enough.
Bravo to the director Mia Christou for teasing out these brilliant performances and to the actors themselves for being so open and raw and in love and putting everything on the stage…
“An Infinite Ache” runs through October 1.
Friday & Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 7pm
The Beverly Hills Playhouse
254 S. Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Miles Logan Cooper – “Charles”
Luka Oida – “Hope”
THE PRODUCTION TEAM
David Schulner – Playwright
Mia Christou – Director
Derrick McDaniel – Lighting Designer
Allen Barton – Mentoring Playwright/ Mentoring Director/ Owner of Beverly Hills Playhouse
Karla Kamm – Producer
Jeffrey Sun – Stage Manager
Caprice Ott – Mentee Producer & Front of House Management
Tati Jorio – Mentee Social Media Manager
Katerina Kim Podell – Photographer