Love In The Time Of Swine Flu: A Comedy About Sex, Dating And Everything Else Terrifying
nytheatre.com review by J Jordan
August 15, 2010
According to the men and women of Love in the Time of Swine Flu, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. And love. It's a big, crazy, germ-filled world out there, and it's basically impossible to meet a nice person, let alone get through the terror of meeting her family. Life is full of things to fear; things like oil spills and STDs and our elected officials don't actually do anything to soothe those fears. What could be worse than that?
How about meeting your fiancee's parents and looking like a jerk, being in love with your boss but also terrible at your job, or anything having to do with modern travel. Still not sold? What about being cursed with lycanthropy (werewolfism) or, shudder, coming out to your parents...as a Republican! And the horrors are not limited to the living. Even Dracula, it turns out, can't get a break. So what to do? Well, laughter is the best medicine, it is said, and there's plenty of that to be had vis-a-vis the fine folks at Stupid Time Machine. Generally the laughter is at their expense, but don't worry—that's the way they like it. Anyway, it sure beats dating.
A solid script, refreshing pace, and energetic performers with can-do-anything-anywhere confidence bring a real sense of life—even to the vampire!—to concepts that could be very pedestrian otherwise. A set comprised of nothing but four chairs, some minor, well-edited costume choices, and props and a great soundtrack round out the experience, which had me wanting more. Rare is it that I actually want a show to be longer, but there you have it.
It speaks volumes that the same actor plays both President Obama and Dracula. CJ Hunt, who embodies these two characters among others, is, frankly, hilarious as the straight man dealing with such huge crises as the Gulf oil spill and not being able to get the fangs out, if you know what I mean. He is in danger, however, of being outdone by his clever comrades Grace Blakeman, Derek Dupuy, Joella Fink, and Mika Spara, who are individually uproarious and a collective force to be reckoned with.
STM's timing is great, which matters so very much in comedy. Their commitment to the characters they play is solid and the result is very believable. Most importantly, however, they seem to be having a lot of fun while doing all that work. It's hard to make people laugh, dang it, and STM does an excellent job of that. In fact, I'm still talking about them and trying to explain to people this funny skit or that funny character; really, you'll just have to see for yourself.
It's a shame STM hails from out of town and we'll soon lose them to New Orleans, from whence they hail. Since they'll only be in town for a short stint, you'd best get down to Dixon Place and let them show you just how poorly it can go to meet your future in-laws for the first time or explore the minds (and in one case mindlessness) of those responsible for pitching ideas for movies. But, like I said, it beat's dating. Especially if you're dating a werewolf.