I overheard another audience member remark before the show “I think I’ve been in this seedy motel before” and she was right. Long time fans of the Jungle will recognize the set from the previous production of Sam Shepard‘s Fool for Love the theatre produced years ago. The set designed by Bain Boehlke was adapted to fit the dimensions of their current stage. The sparsely furnished room – just a bed and a table with two chairs serves as the setting for two former lovers at a crossroads.
May (Jennifer Blagen) is holed up at a run down Mojave Desert motel ready to move on with her life and leave her past with Eddie (Terry Hempleman) behind her. In fact she’s awaiting the arrival of the new guy, Martin (Jason Peterson), in her life when Eddie arrives. But with Eddie’s arrival after a long absence and their tumultuous past can May really walk away from Eddie as easily as she thinks?
Throughout the play an Old Man (Allen Hamilton) sits off to the side of the motel room rocking in a rocking chair taking in all that transpires in the motel room. At first its hard to decipher what his connection to the story unfolding before us is but in time its clear he is a central figure to what we are witnessing. From time to time he interjects his opinion of what happened in May and Eddie’s past.
Jennifer Blagen’s May is full of conflict with her relationship with Eddie. On several occasions you see how much she needs to have Eddie in her life and yet hates that fact at the same time. Terry Hempleman‘s Eddie plays off of May’s need for him in her life and pulls all the right strings. Jason Peterson’s Martin provides one moment of comic relief with a one liner. Allen Hamilton‘s Old Man offers the glimpse into the past needed to tie all the pieces together.
Overall, the show is superbly acted and directed. At times you can cut the tension in that motel room with a knife. The story is beautifully written by Sam Shepard. The characters are raw, bruised, vulnerable and strong.
For more information about Fool For Love at the Jungle Theater visit their website. The show runs through October 20.
Photo Credit: Michal Daniel