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When an older man brings home a much younger woman home for dinner, drinks and companionship, both wind up getting more than they bargained for in "Love Drunk" by Romulus Linney, now at none too fragile theater in Akron.
Jim Viront plays Wilbur and Rachel Roberts plays Karen in the show. Wilbur and Karen meet at a local diner; whether this is by chance or by design is unclear since both characters enjoy indulging in tall tales. Even by the end, it's difficult to tell whether or not the information they divulge is true. What does become apparent is this relationship is not going to last, with the considerable age difference (she is 20-something, he is 60-something) being only one difficulty.
Roberts' Karen is both vulnerable and abrasive. Karen, in many ways, is still a child, looking for guidance and love from the older Wilbur, but she also delights in pushing his buttons. Like a child, she pushes his limits to see how far she can go, but when Karen seems to have passed the limits of Wilbur's patience and he snaps, she crumbles completely. Wilbur, on the other hand, is a meticulous individual to the point of OCD (the running sight gag with the pop can was humorous.) But Wilbur also suffers from having a failed marriage and from isolation.
The play is sweet and uncomfortable by turns, as Karen and Wilbur try to get past each others' facades and fiction. Both actors do a wonderful job presenting devastatingly flawed but sympathetic characters.
The show was directed by co-artistic director Sean Derry.
Ticket and show information
"Love Drunk" will run through March 15. Shows start at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on March 9.
Tickets are $20, or pay-as-you-can at the door. Tickets also can be purchased online at www.nonetoofragile.com.
None too fragile is at 1841 Merriman Road in Akron, within Pub Bricco. Free valet parking is available on Friday and Saturday evenings.
For details, call 330-671-4563 or visit the website.
None too fragile also announced the rest of the shows for its 2014 season.
The next scheduled show is "Gidion's Knot" by Johnna Adams, which will be staged April 4 through 19. The world premiere of "Possum Dreams" by Ed Falco is slated for May 2 through May 17. Eric Lane's "Ride" is scheduled for sometime in August. "Sunset Limited" by Cormac McCarthy is scheduled for around September, and "In a Forest Dark and Deep" by Neil LaBute is slated for around November. At least one other show will be announced at a later date.