Robin’s Show Review: Love Therapy

In this new play by Wendy Beckett, a psychology counselor herself in Australia, we become a fly on the wall to therapy sessions led by a junior, 30-something therapist new to NY, Colleen, and we are taken along for an intriguing behind the scenes ride.

Colleen Fitzgerald (Margot White) is seeking certification, and reports into Carol (Janet Zairsh). the crackerjack supervisor who is concerned about Colleen’s technique, as well as her questionable relationship with some challenging patients.

Colleen’s goal is to prove her theory that it’s okay to hug a patients, administer pills to them, give a gift,  etc….all in the name of love and affection and supreme concern for their welfare.  But is this acceptable and effective treatment or leading down a dangerous path of expectation and intimacy?

We gradually learn that Colleen has her own emotional baggage including a mother who didn’t love her and a failed marriage that left her wounded.  Things ultimately take a costly turn for Colleen, as she blurs the lines between love, sex, self-discovery, professionalism and restraint.

White is appealing as Colleen.  Allison Fraser, the two-time Tony-nominated actress, who plays a sassy Irish punky-looking waitress in a coffee shop that Colleen frequents, has the best dialogue and delivery, and her appearance is a breath of fresh air when she dishes advice to Colleen.

Other cast members are all effective….David Bishins who plays Steven, a married, philandering blue-collar worker; Janet Zarish who does double duty as Mary, a grieving mother who lost her husband and daughter….and the supervisor, and Christopher Burns who plays an uptight businessman going through a divorce.

Beckett clearly knows her therapeutic-stuff, and the material moves quickly in the slick 85 minutes, no intermission, production. 

Wendy Beckett (playwright)  has written more than 25 plays and directed more than 40. She has also written biographies, books, librettos, radio plays for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and articles of academic study and journalism. At 22 she founded a theatre company Colours Inc. in Adelaide, Australia where she was the playwright and company director with a staff of50. On ABC radio, she conducted interviews with some of the best minds of our time including Gore Vidal, Leonard Bernstein and Paul Bowles. Her academic background includes literature,psychology and science and she has lectured in universities in those subjects.  Her first play performed in the US was Anaís Nin One of Her Lives, which opened at the Beckett Theatre in NYC in 2006.  Wendy is a qualified psychologist who completed her registration while working as counselor to the Australian Society of Authors. She started her academic career in medicine and changed to psychology and literature. Because of her later work writing and directing in theatre, this play contains a certain truth, which gives the audience a rare insight into the process of therapy -from the therapist’s point of view. Wendy has anon going commitment to write and direct a new play every year in New York.

Evan Bergman (Director) most recently directed the New York premiere of Jack Canfora’s Poetic License at 59E59 featuring Geraint Wyn Davies. Other credits include Off Broadway’s long running New York and Los Angeles productions of The Director starring John Shea, The New York premiere of The Glass House at Theater Row with Harris Yulin (Three IT Award nominations) and The Tangled Skirt by Steve Braunstein (Nominated for 2011 EDGAR Award-Best Mystery/Thriller).

Love Therapy is playing  at:

THE DR2 at the 

APRIL 20 – MAY 25, 2013



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