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Highs and Lows at the Alliance Theatre

2014 February 10
In Love and Warcraft

Lily Balsen and Evan Cleaver, Photo: Greg Mooney

Just after presenting one of the all time highs in original plays,  Janece Shaffer’s “The Geller Girls,” the Alliance brings a major low, the winner of the Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition winner “In Love and Warcraft” by Madhuri Shekar.

Just cause I hated it, doesn’t mean it’s awful as so much of the audience laughed and laughed. My date and I, both in our 50s,  had no idea what all the laughter was about. Perhaps if I were in my twenties or thirties, the attempts at romance and the references to computer games may have resonated with me, but the script seemed to lag and lag. What made it worse was the “acting.” I have seen high school students act better than these actors, far better, save for an excellent performance by Diany Rodriguez who played multiple characters, all exceedingly well. Bobby Labartino also did a good job playing a number of characters. I won’t get started on the other actors as there is no need to be mean.

I’m afraid I just got so busy with my work that I couldn’t find the time to review “The Geller Girls,” but I want to state this for the record: It is an outstanding play, with twists throughout it and a script that steadily moves forward at a rapid pace with sentient characters from the late 1800s you feel as if you know them. If Broadway is looking for a great play, “The Geller Girls” is the answer.

Schaffer’s plays have been performed at theaters around Atlanta for a few years, and never before have I been a fan of any of them. However, “The Geller Girls” is a homerun. Perhaps in a few years, a Shekhar play will strike me the same.

“In Love and Warcraft” runs on the Hertz Stage at the Alliance Theatre through Feb. 23.





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