Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Andrew Nicholls is UCD’s Granada Artist in Residence for Spring 2019. He comes with an impressive list of credits. He began writing comedy with Darrell Vickers in junior high, and the team wrote for TV, radio and stage, as well as for comedians and cartoonists. They have written for George Carlin and Mickey Rooney, and for NBC’s “Tonight Show” from 1986-92 as Johnny Carson’s head writers. They’ve since created 20 TV series and written over 400 episodes of children’s TV.

Now Nicholls brings his talents to UCD in “{LOVE/Logic},” directed by Josy Miller.

It’s not exactly a drama because there are so many funny situations and lines, though not exactly a comedy because there are serious situations as well. What is not under question, however, is its R rating, filled with adult themes, situations and language.

Rory Gaynor-Flynn plays twin brothers, Daniel and Michael. While he gives a good performance, his self-confidence grew throughout the play and it was nice to see a stronger performance by the end. (According to his bio, he is a neurobiology/physiology major studying to become a diagnostician, but he hopes that one day he can become a full-time actor, which may make him the perfect person to play this role!)

Daniel is a physicist, headed for a conference in Switzerland, when he meets Bronwen (Olivia Coca), another physicist. Through a series of interconnected things, the two become mirror images of each other, unable to physically pass by each other, speaking the same things simultaneously.

They sit on a large train car, designed by John Iacovelli — his final design for the department of theater and dance after three decades in the UC system. The train car breaks into two pieces, moving each piece to the side of the stage, allowing other set pieces to be brought onto the Wyatt stage. The stage crew (Tristan Atkinson, Riley Morris and Stephanie Nielsen, who also play minor characters) are dressed in train uniforms and move the set pieces with choreographed precision.

On the other side of the world is Daniel’s twin, Michael, who has an obsession with women, but who tries to convince Carol (Rabiya Oberoi) that she alone is the love of his life and if she will marry him, he will give up his philandering ways. Oberoi gives a strong performance and, before accepting his offer of marriage, Carol agrees to an odd way to prove that Michael remains faithful to her.

Reagan Price appears as Michael’s adult daughter, both before she is born and years later when she is really an adult. She’s there as his conscience.

Olivia Coca appears later as Elaine, a femme fatale determined to seduce Michael, in one of the raciest scenes in the play. Coca is so successful as Elaine that it’s difficult to find her other character, Bronwen, in her.

The program includes a glossary of what it admits are probably unneeded definitions, but thanks to the list, we can understand that Michael is using a multi-variable associative analytic analysis to predict the origins and result of his interaction with Elaine.

Says director Miller, “The play is a masterpiece in physical comedy and a simultaneous critique of contemporary gender and power relationships. Reality is many-layered, and actors embody characters real, imagined and that occupy the spaces in between.”

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