San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

“Mysterious Mr. Love” Is Lovely

“THERE are two kinds of people in this world — the takers and the took,” says George Joseph Love in Karoline Leach’s “The Mysterious Mr. Love,” directed by Susan Hall Liang and presented by the Little Theatre Group.

Love is out to make sure he’s the one doing the taking, seducing women who have had little luck when it comes to men. A schemer, Love is always on the lookout for the next woman to woo, marry and rob. Of course, he points out, he’s not completely heartless, staying long enough to give each woman a proper wedding night before running off in the morning.

Love is on the prowl when he comes across Adelaide. She is just what he’s looking for – lonely, insecure and saving up her inheritance for a rainy day. Laying it on thick, Love convinces Adelaide in what seems only a matter of hours to run away and marry him in secret.

HOWEVER, things don’t turn out exactly how Love plans and when it’s time to leave, Love hesitates, just a moment too long: Adelaide may not be as naïve as one might be led to believe.

Love finds himself in a predicament that even he may not be able to get himself out of and is forced to deal with the unexpected. And then, just when the audience thinks it has the ending all figured out – BAM!

Of course, you have to see the play to find out what happens.

The play opens with both actors on stage, who deliver intertwining monologues, giving personal takes on the events that lead up to their meeting. It is through this that the audience gets a feel for the personality of each character.

The love ’em and leave ’em George gives matter-of-fact and often humorous insights that contrast sharply with the descriptions given by a dreamy sounding Adelaide. While Adelaide relishes in describing a lovely lunch at a French bistro, George is the type who slips out the bathroom window to avoid paying the bill. Five minutes into the first act the couple meets and slowly the monologues begin to run into one another, as if they were finishing each other’s sentences.

THE comedy does have dark moments, touching on some of the underlying issues within each character that have shaped him or her into whom each has become.

The chemistry between the real-life husband and wife team of Tom Humes and Lisa DeFuso carries over on to the stage: key to this dialogue-driven script.

Humes is extremely convincing as the conflicted con man. DeFuso plays Adelaide wonderfully, capturing her insecurity early in the play and conveying her character’s movement away from naivete toward an awareness and understanding of the situation later on.

Running just under two hours, “The Mysterious Mr. Love” is lovely. The show runs for three weekends, Feb. 27-Mar. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, at 2:30 p.m, Sunday, at the Blanche Brown Theater in Bello Horizonte.

For info, call 289-3910. For Mar. 7 show only, 282-4830. Prices are ¢2,500 ($6) adults, ¢1,000 ($2.50) students.


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