Thursday, October 1, 2015

Review of With Love and a Major Organ at Strawdog Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called With Love and a Major Organ. It was by Julia Lederer and it was directed by Thrisa Hodits. It was about a girl Anabel (Abby Pierce) who falls in love with a man George (Tom Murphy) who she meets on the subway, and she gives him her heart--literally. She ends up going to his mother, Mona (Melissa Riemer), and staying with her and they bond. It is about love, determination, and respect. I think the interactions that the characters had with the audience were really fun. This show is funny and sad and it makes you think that love is not you seeing someone and liking them; it is getting to know this person's heart and getting to know what this person is really like. It is hard to talk about this play without giving spoilers, so if you have not seen or read the show, probably you do that before you read this.

The mom of George does not have a husband at the moment, so she goes to speed dating events. I think it is really cool and I think it was really funny how the audience would be who she was speed dating with. Sometimes the people she was pretending to speed date with weren't in the mood to interact, and I think it might have been kind of awkward for her but she did handle it well by going with the flow that the person was a bad date, or if they interacted sometimes they were an okay date. And finally the good date was with an imaginary person. It was funny because she wouldn't let the other person talk at all during the date. I found that the speed dating experiences that she had were kind of like the comic relief because the rest of the play is very sad for most of the time.

I felt like the boy and the girl had a very strange relationship at first because she was just a overly-attached girl on the train who fell in love with a guy on the train. It wasn't a healthy thing. And then she started going too far, but then when she went too far good things came out of it. To give him her actual heart in a plastic bag as a gift is going too far. But then he actually gets to know her heart. And it shows that even if you are weird and crazy someone might actually love you for that. And once they get to know who you actually are other than just "the girl on the blue line" and that underneath it all that you actually have some kind of personality and you like ice cream and The Golden Girls and plaid, you might actually be loved for who you are. We give people our hearts because we want them to accept it as a gift and cherish it and love it. But the thing is that sometimes they throw it away. And that is what she is afraid is happening. But he gets to know the heart and then he realizes he can spend time with the owner of that heart and they can still be happy if she has her own heart.

I think it was sad how George seemed to be pushing his mother away a lot of the time. I think that is because he felt like he couldn't do without her, so he pushed her aside to prove to himself that he didn't need her help anymore. That made his mother feel really sad. She said that she gave him a paper heart so he wouldn't be hurt. I understand that she gave him the paper heart because she had been hurt very deeply and didn't want him to feel the same. It makes him not able to feel anything though. And if you don't feel love or pain, you can't really be a part of the world.

People who would like this show are people who like funny speed dates, beautiful love stories, and ice cream. I think people should definitely go see this show. I feel like it was beautiful, the acting was great, and I really loved the story.

Photos: Tom McGrath

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