A theater review of “For Love Or Money” at the Whitefire Theatre Solofest. Written and performed by Mitch Feinstein, and directed and developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson.
This solo performance is part of the extended Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest Best of the Fest program with solo shows ranging from experienced solo artists to those just beginning to explore this wonderful genre.
From the very first moment of “For Love Or Money,”,we dive right in to Mitch Feinstein’s very interesting life. The show is set around Mitch’s self-confessed addiction to money and how he shed it, slowly, and came to be the man and the actor he is today. Clearly being an actor is almost diametrically opposed to the concept of making money, regardless of the very few who make a good deal of it. His story begins, like so many others, with his parents and his childhood.
Using a myriad of timeless and hilarious characters from his life, aunts, uncles, boss’s, mentors and parents, Mitch guides us through his development as a young man, his fascination with the arts and how he ended up a successful lawyer living in Beverly Hills.
The fascination with money and all that it can bring is not a uniquely American phenomenon of course. But if money itself is the goal, then the drive to obtain it and to keep obtaining it can overwhelm a life. For Mitch, this obsession began early. Always the youngest, always the poorest, he was driven to prove himself and when he meets the women of his dreams, the creative in him was pushed to the side as his urge to protect and provide overcame it.
With the use of characters representing different parts of his personality, the artist, greed, goodness, regret, we follow Mitch from child in Baltimore to successful lawyer in Beverly Hills. Each choice he makes, each opportunity offered taking him further from his artists heart and entrenching him more and more in the universe of financial dependency and the lure of supposed financial security.
It’s quite an unusual subject for a solo show. At least not one I’ve seen before. Mitch is now a professional actor, having studied at the Lee Strasburg Institute and become a member of its elite Strasberg acting ensemble, The Group at Strasberg.
Mitch deftly shares his journey from a world revolving around wealth and stress and keeping up with everyone one else, to the world he lives in now. One of creativity, performance, community and storytelling. It’s a really fascinating piece. Full of honest revelation and surprisingly intimate candor.
Mitch is a natural performer, but he has something more, he has a kind of sweet mortality, hidden behind the brusque attorney and the years of regret. He has found himself, finally, and the genuinely found self knowledge and self discovery oozes from him. He is someone whose story we should treasure and his journey, much like all of ours now after this year of terror, is one to cherish and admire.
I hope you get the chance to see Mitch Feinstein’s “For Love Or Money.” I’m not sure where you might be able to see it again, but you can always go to https://www.whitefiretheatre.com to find out.