Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay
Steve recorded interviews in which he asked couples what kept them from pulling apart despite annoying the hell out of each other. He also spoke to singles about why they couldn't seem to settle down. Thirty-five couples and 25 singles were involved; in this show, he brought a total of 12 characters to life from the hours of interviews, in no particular order. He brought out the words and phrases with lightning speed using a different voice for each character. It reminded me of the two actors in ashcans in Samuel Beckett's Endgame. It was an amazing performance.
Included were Gaby and Matt who met on Craigslist, a single man who was attracted to women who are similar to his mother, and Sarah and Connor who met at a Halloween party. Also portrayed were a single woman who dated homeless men in her neighborhood, New Age couple Claudia and Wayne who owned four cats, Bridget and Rick who both owned motorcycles and had tattoos, and a pair of metal heads who thought it would be a hoot to get married on 6-6-6.
This was documentary theater at its best and Steve is following in the footsteps of Anna Deavere Smith. What They Said About Love was funny, poignant, thoughtful, and revealing about the search for love. Steve Budd will be fine tuning these interviews, perhaps for a piece of longer length to be presented in a longer run.
Steve Budd's What They Said About Love performed through September 20, 2016, for the San Francisco FringeFestival which closed on September 24th.