The Actor's Company Theatre presents this story of a divorced Jewish Orthodox couple forced to reunite after the children from their new marriages become romantically involved. More…
In Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim district, Hannah and Zvi are forced back into each other’s lives after a loss of faith tore their marriage apart 20 years earlier. Now that the teenage children from their second marriages have become romantically involved, the estranged couple must deal with their past, their present, and their future in this romantic drama of love, faith, and passion.
"It's an ideal stage for drama, and Lerner finds plenty of it in the sundered, but not really finished, relationship of Hannah and Zvi…Lerner's dramaturgy is shaky from time to time…But the author has a fine appreciation of his characters' messy, unresolved lives...In a production tautly directed by Scott Alan Evans, Ian Kahn and Victoria Mack make a fine pair of passionate adversaries…I found myself thinking about Hannah and Zvi for hours after (always a good sign)." Full Review
"A remarkable tale of the complications faith brings to the development of a loving relationship and how hope can transcend realism and create a fantasy of the most dangerous kind. Everything about the production contributes to the success of the telling of Hannah and Zvi’s interesting story...'Hard Love' is definitely worth a look." Full Review
"Scott Alan Evans helms the play with a feel for its rhythms. He keeps the two actors in constant motion, allowing their personal fields of gravity to attract the other. Evans understands the social milieu and personal idiosyncrasies of the ultra-orthodox depicted in Lerner’s writing...The company has succeeded admirably in branching out to include new dramas in its repertory, if this production is an example of what’s to come." Full Review
"I could tell that some of Lerner’s lines, which I’m sure are unforgettable gems in Hebrew, don’t have the same ring in translation...Kahn and Mack are exceptionally convincing…'Hard Love' is sure to intrigue and challenge all who pride themselves on religious tolerance. But be forewarned: you are likely to find this play foreign to your American sensibilities." Full Review
"Director Scott Alan Evans and The Actors Company Theatre respectfully took the audience on an emotional journey filled with relentless passion and controversy...'Hard Love' is a unique story and worth the trek to the intimate Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row." Full Review
"I can’t say I recommend 'Hard Love,' but I can say I respect it...The script is in desperate need of some humor or a noteworthy subplot, or both — the unvarying tone can be didactic. Ian Kahn, as Zvi, and Victoria Mack, as Hannah, carry the piece well enough, with Mr. Kahn given more to work with. As directed by Scott Alan Evans, they are a believable pair…Even with the show’s faults, and a disconcertingly blunt ending, the troupe’s efforts remain admirable." Full Review
"The twists and turns that Lerner provides border on ones that theatergoers might expect from a daytime (or even nighttime) serial drama, and often, the piece can becomes less than credible. Thankfully, director Scott Alan Evans has two graceful performers at his disposal who help make the production feel a bit more substantial...Unfortunately, 'Hard Love' itself, even though it’s grappling with some fascinating issues, is often difficult to swallow." Full Review
"This a particularly contrived plot. But it would be unfair to say it is without interest...The give and take even manages to surmount unexceptional acting. Even with Evans's overuse of distracting and overly dramatic lighting, the play moves steadily towards its conclusion — a conclusion so unclear the audience was not quite sure the show was over, but a conclusion nevertheless." Full Review
See it if the consequences of leaving a (Jewish) faith based enclave. All perspectives are exquisitely portrayed. Intense. Great acting & writing.
Don't see it if you are not open to different perspectives on belief and their affect on everyday lives.
See it if A compelling and absorbing theme , well directed, beautifully acted. The first act could have used some pruning but worth seeing!
Don't see it if If you are not interested in a complicated romance fueled by religious elements.
See it if you enjoy plays that are going to make you think.
Don't see it if you do not like thought-provoking plays that offer no definite conclusions, but lets you consider all possibilities.
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