It was on her third wedding anniversary that Isaac (Maya Parish) lost her love. The love of her life, Junior just up and disappeared, as if he’s walked into the ocean and kept on walking. What does a girl do when her husband simply vanishes? The one person she abandoned a great career for, and travelled far from home to be with, to build a life with? What’s a girl to do?
It was on their birthday that Steady (Max Williams) lost his twin brother Lucky to a heart attack. Inseparable since their parents’ death at the age of nine, the brothers shared a rewarding yin-yang relationship that extended into their professional lives as shipbuilders and persisted even after Lucky finds a wife and starts a family. What’s a man to do when the passing of a close sibling leave him scrambling to find meaning, some semblance of wholeness?
What does one do when they lost the person that makes them feel whole? That is the narrative exploration taken on in Maya Parish’s World Premiere play, Lost Limbs.
Lost Limbs is a deeply lyrical, dual monologue piece, recounting the stories of two people who lost a loved one in the prime of their relationships. Isaac and Steady share a single stage space, but are only occasionally aware of each other, as they each tell the tale of a time of great love and how that love is lost, and how they eventually moved on.
This show is for people who love language. The text is quite thick with imagery and will try the patience of an audience that needs things to happen. It is definitely material that is perhaps best consumed as literature than performed, but Parish and Williams do a fine job of animating this bursting bouquet of balladry. Parish and Williams are rimming with intensity, passion and melancholy, which makes for quite engaging performances. Also, the performers handled the occasional overlapping stream of thought quite well, making it feel organic and co-incidental. In fact, it is perhaps those spurs of chemistry that keep the audience engaged and fuels the desire to see them finally connect.
The piece itself is staged as a synchronized dance between Isaac and Steady, infused with its deliberate syncopation in the language. Director Christopher Hall echoes that particular eccentricity in his staging, with the characters mimicking the action one another the other. It becomes predictable after a while, but works to give the piece a bit of movement in the small studio space, and to convey the constant presence of the ocean and the sea that inhabits the stories and the characters.
Lost Limbs dares to assert that from great lost can come even greater reward and self-awareness; I applaud the optimism of that message. It is a piece that plays all in one act without intermission. Kudos to Parish for being judicious and succinct in the story she has lovingly crafted.
The World Premiere of Lost Limbs runs through May 13, 2012 at:
The Studio Space @
6322 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
For reservations call: 323.960.5774