If a play about single life is right up your alley, then make sure not to miss Brad T. Gottfred and Joanne Mosconi’s Marry, F*** or Kill running through Jan. 20 at the Magic Mirror Theater in the NoHo Arts District.
This is a story about four sets of singles at New York City’s Pink Dinosaur Café where anything goes.
Arden has fallen for the alluring Jacqueline, only neither of them is ready for the chemistry between them.
Arden's business partner, Billy, has proposed to Lily. At first glance they appear to be the perfect couple, but both harbor desires they have not had the courage to confront.
Lily's best friend, Jean, tries to use the engagement news to escape her violent marriage to Vince only to be trapped by her own destructive tendencies.
Jean's brother, Doc, finally breaks up with the eccentric Victoria, yet cannot seem to find the freedom he so yearns for.
Each of the couple's promises and problems clash at the engagement party, leaving every one unsure of who they want to marry, f*** or kill.
This raw and sobering look at the oft-turbulent and unforgiving single life is both incandescent and brutally naked, yet misses not a beat.
Co-writer, director and producer Mosconi crafts brilliant performances from all the actors while maintaining a substantive and clear story line.
Indeed, this is one of the most powerful and robust plays this critic has seen this year. Each moment matters and the flow is crisp, clean and clear while adding to the principals of the plot.
Winner of the 2011 NYC Roar of the Crowd Award and making its third run in Los Angeles after an Off-Broadway stint in New York City, Marry, F*** or Kill carries a message not necessarily intended for singles.
While on this earth, it seems to be saying, stay true to yourself and your essence and life will be simple, rich and rewarding. But stray, and doubt, fear and suffering are your constant companions.
The play is as much a warning as a tribute to the healthy spirits and voices of the single world.
Cat Lacohie (Victoria) is sultry and believable. She shows a deep understanding of her character.
Kevin Peake (Arden) not only possesses a Brando-like stage presence, but a masculine air that should help him land many more roles on the stages of Los Angeles and beyond.
Kate Bergeron (Jean) gives a memorable and deeply vulnerable turn that can best be described as nothing less than heartbreaking.
Travis York (Doc) is wonderfully intelligent and human in an understated portrayal that almost steals the show.
But it is Nayelie Adorador-Knudsen (Jacqueline) who owns the day by breaking the rules. Adorador-Knudsen is generous beyond belief and courageous to a fault. She flows like a river in search of whatever existence has to offer. Certainly one of the best performances, male or female, of the year.
A powerful and rousing Frank Sinatra soundtrack adds to the proceedings.
In the end, Marry, F*** or Kill stakes-out enough territory to inspire, engage and entertain all at the same time. That is no small feat for a relatively young cast that manages to elevate a story about contemporary American single life to high art.