Category Archive for: ‘Richard Connema’

An Excellent Production of “The Couch”

Where else but in San Francisco could you find two “furniture” plays the Cutting Ball superb production of “The Chairs” and now 3 Girls production of Lynne Kaufman’s “The Couch” now playing at 533 Sutter Street, San Francisco through April 7th.  This production has a terrific cast of Bay Area actors and direction by Amy Glazer with abundant style. “The Couch” premiered at the Magic Theatre in 1985 and has been rarely seen in recent years.

“The Couch” is an intriguing comedy which has an affinity for the sort of unconventional, provoking piece that will get you the think.  It takes place in just day in the life of Sigmund Freud (Louis Parnell) and Carl Jung (Peter Ruocco) on a Sunday in 1911 at Jung’s home in Kussnacht, Switzerland.  The comedy centers around Jung’s inability to commit to Freud’s theories which were equivalent to his incapacity to be monogamous with his wife Emma (Courtney Walsh) since he has a mistress on the side Toni (Maggie Mason). In fact they have torrid relations right on the property in which the wife knows.  Needless to say she is liberal minded life who does not seem to mind since she is trying to write a book.

Jung wants to break away from Freud’s strict theories.  He wants “roads, not fences” as he says in the play. He want to encourage life’s urges in all shapes and forms and not suppress them for the greater good as Freud advises. Freud is an uncompromising old man and is very threatened at the idea that Jung who is his star protégé and heir apparent is planning to challenge his theories.

The actors under Amy Glazer’s stylish direction give stellar performances. Louis Parnell and Peter Ruocco give engaging performances as Freud and Jung.  Their confrontations in the second act are pitched perfect.  Maggie Mason as Toni vividly sobs, screeches and seduces. Courtney Walsh as the beleaguered wife Emma who says “Freud demands absolute fidelity and Carl is incapable of it” gives a consistently wonderful performance as the acerbic, deadpanning Emma.  Rounding out this cast is Hatti Rose Allen Bellino who gives a first class portrayal of Katherine Jung, the Jung’s younger daughter.

“The Couch” boasts great production values such as Alicia Griffith’s excellent period set of the Jung’s dining room and Jung’s office.  Susannah Mason’s costumes are gorgeous period costumes.

The 3 Girls Theatre is currently presenting Lynn Kaufman’s along with “The Things We Do for Love” at the Tides Theatre 533 Sutter Street, San Francisco through April 7.  This is part of their second annual celebration of Women’s History Month Festival.   For tickets please call  415-275-0348

 

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