True Love Lies
Some may call Edmonton born playwright Brad Fraser’s work edgy, controversial, and racy. For me the word truthful comes to mind and his latest production True Love Lies did define the definition. Family secrets are very common but at times when the truth comes out it can propel to a near explosion!
It starts with the daughter Madison, played with enthusiasm by the amazing Nicola Elbro, revealing to her parents that she is looking for work as a server at a brand new hot spot soon to open. Madison’s parents Kane (played by Frank Zotter) and Caroline (played by Kate Ryan) express concern and encouragement for their daughter to pursue a post secondary education instead of embarking on a position with no future. She was about to learn a lesson no one could have taught or predicted: a lesson in life!
When she applies for the position the owner David (played by David Keeley) recognizes some familiarity in her face and then seeing her surname immediately makes the connection of the coincidence. He knows her father Kane from the past. One revelation after the other starts to spew like a volcano. We then are taken on a rollercoaster ride of revelations, hidden secrets, mental disorders, and promiscuity.
The direction by Ron Jenkins was flawless and each performer portrayed their role with believable enthusiasm. This was Thomas Barnet’s first professional production but I am certain (and hoping) it won’t be his last. Nicola Elbro made her character so believable you would swear she was the girl that was the source of high school rumors. Frank Zotter portrayed the middle aged “average” dad to a tee, complete with pot belly and frustration. David Keeley has an amazing scene of negotiation and confession that makes you believe all is not what you see.
That brings me to Kate Ryan. Ryan is fabulous as the middle aged mother who has strived to be a perfect provider but slowly you see her develop into what she strived to be. One of my favourite scenes is when a revelation from Kane to Caroline is made and you can feel the expression on Ryan’s face! Ryan is of course part of what I call the “Ryan Royalty” Spawn from the late, great Tim Ryan, daughter of Marilyn and sister of actress and TV personality Bridget (the closet Edmonton could get to the Barrymores is the Ryans!)
Of course, Brad Fraser’s writing (like everything else I have ever seen by this super talent) is spot on!