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Lascivious Something – Vancouver Fringe Festival 2014

Lascivious Something, on the surface, is about a love triangle in a scenic vineyard in Greece. It sounded like I was heading straight into some Nicholas Sparks territory going in. I was thankfully very wrong as the play proved to be on of the more challenging dramas I would see at The Fringe this year.

The story, by Sheila Callaghan, follows an American expatriate who has settled into a quiet life in Greece with his young wife, peacefully trying his hand at producing wine, with a baby on the way. This all gets shaken up by the sudden appearance of a former lover from the States. What follows isn’t a predictable love triangle, but rather a truth bomb that is slowly revealed in the undercurrent of the show. And when hits, its a big one.

The cast is stellar, giving ample depth to some very complex and layered characters. Sean Bygrave was a solid protagonist, wrestling with his past and present, and Crystal Weltzin’s Boy was absolutely fascinating every time she was on stage (I actually wish the play had more of the character). But the compelling core was definitely the tete-a-tete between Lori Watt and Mersiha Musovic. Any time they were facing off it was dynamite. Granted, sub-textual dynamite, but dynamite none-the-less. Truly, the whole cast was amazing to watch.

The only thing that let the play down was some of its transitions. There were a number of spots where scenes would awkwardly stumble into a lighting change, or hold too long. Possible a tech issue at the show I attended but it was taking me out of things personally. There is also a “rewind” element used in the story, giving two different outcomes to some scenes. It’s interesting, but could be hit-or-miss with some viewers. I didn’t mind for the most part, but it did in effect give two different endings to the story. Presumably it was the second, albeit open to interpretation, but I think some will find it an unsatisfactory conclusion.

Overall, Lascivious Something is most definitely worth a look, if not just for the fantastic performances alone. It’s a strong story, backed by a very strong cast.

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