In this sardonic play written and directed by Cyle Durkee, we are taken through the life of an actor, both of how he became to be one, and why all these qualities are things that we (normal people) detest.
As the audience files in, two friends look for seats. One man stops his friend as he goes to sit in the front row and says, “nah, man. We’ll get pulled onstage or somethin’ if we sit here.” His friend laughs, tells him that won’t happen, and sits. I smile to myself. Obviously, he hasn’t been to many Fringe shows.
The play starts out in Cyle’s childhood, with musings such as having a priest for a father and being bullied at school for his sexuality. We then journey with Cyle as he grows up, traveling and acting all over, while living a chaotic sex-drug-rock-and-roll lifestyle. From bartending to teaching strippers how to dance, Cyle does it all, before finding a (somewhat cramped) home in Washington, DC…with eight roommates.
The acting is good. Standout performances include Alex Vaughan as the jaunty Narrator, and Ethan Slater as sweet and feisty Cyle. The cast is very energetic, but they perform and speak at a break-neck speed, making it hard to keep up with the rapid plot. While the speed is deliberate and mirrors Cyle’s hectic lifestyle, there are moments when it’s hard to understand the actors because of it. This play does wield genuinely entertaining moments, but you have to be quick enough to catch them.
With honest, raw writing and a talented cast, Love Me! (Why Everyone Hates Actors), is both engaging and compelling.
Oh, and the man who sat in the front row despite his friend’s warnings? He eventually got a lap dance from one of the actors. So keep in mind: if you’re not a people person, steer clear of the front row at the Fringe.
Running time: 60 minutes
Love Me! (Why Everyone Hates Actors), information and tickets.