"Love Person" review 

3 stars

Phoenix Theatre; directed by Bryan Fonseca

Love Person likens American Sign Language to poetry, in that both use imagery to communicate ideas. I think sign language is more like dance, which is also image-heavy, but involves the whole body, instead of just the mind. How you relate to sign will make a difference in your appreciation of Love Person, which is sign-heavy; while there is spoken language, you could get the feeling that you are watching a subtitled movie, as the actors sign with the dialogue projected behind them. The whole play examines how we communicate by setting up a love triangle between a deaf woman (Tami Lee Santimyer), a Sanskrit professor (Sandeep Pamireddy) and the woman who loves him (Karen Irwin). The play, by Aditi Brennan Kapil, is part of a rolling world premiere (it will also premiere in Minneapolis and California). It has some good lines and uses the Cyrano de Bergerac premise well. While the chemistry between the two couples (Angela Plank and Santimyer and especially Irwin and Pamireddy) is weak, the three women are still enjoyable individually. (Pamireddy is leaden.) Plank, especially, deserves recognition for tackling dual scripts: one spoken and one in sign, performed at the same time. Irwin easily embodies the reckless spirit of Vic, while Santimyer, though relegated to being a bitch for almost the entire show, gets some good funny moments (often while being a bitch). Interesting stuff, overall. Through Jan. 31; 317-635-PLAY, http://phoenixtheatre.org.


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