“Two Fisted Love,” by David Sessions, centers on a quintessential dysfunctional family, each individual searching for love, loyalty, belonging, and acceptance, quite apropos, as Valentines Day is auspiciously upon us. The main conflict facing the family is obvious, from the start, as Caroline Connors (Serena Scott Thomas) has an advanced case of multiple sclerosis; while her husband Kevin (David Sessions) is a wandering eyed philanderer and her son Justin (Jacob Osborne) is unlucky. Kevin’s sexual madness includes an affair with the maid, Maria (Paula Lafayette). He’s a seemingly high society man, guiding promising college students in the upscale Silicon Valley, yet things aren’t always what they seem, as the plot thickens. There are references to the economic crash in ‘08, along with references to the timely “me-too” ism. Gadflies play a prominent role as well: one is male, one is female. The daughter, Rachel (Laura Long) unwittingly becomes a gadfly, when in one humorous scene, she plays naive and asks her father, Kevin, where the maid is, as she has mysteriously disappeared. Rachel becomes the voice of conscience, as she puts her father in his place, in a foreshadowing tone. The other gadfly is Andy Wainwright (Jason Downs), the randy Englishman, who seems to have wanderlust, as he visits Thailand and engages with exotic women, even under age, with quite devastating consequences. Kevin lives in a forever state of denial, yet is constantly reminded that one cannot afford to live in denial in the 2008 crash, much like the 1929 depression, when the world is crumbling around him, both financial and personal. If you only care about yourself, which on the surface he seems to do, then you’re just irresponsible and narcissistic, which Rachel calls him on. In light of our current presidency, which cannot be ignored in this review’s context, so much of this play refers to our current, insane state of affairs. The topical nature and voracity are truly evident in the wonderful writing and superb acting. Director Jules Aaron is a genius, proven multiple times over. I was moved by the pathos, dry humor, irony of an absurd degree, and melodrama. Two Fisted Love is a dynamic production at the Odyssey; well worth a ticket.
Through March 11
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm Sundays at 3pm
Odyssey Theatre 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. (866)811-4111. http://www.twofistedlove.com