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Dominion Stage Presents DC Premiere of Say You Love Satan

By • Jan 12th, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Dominion Stage’s production of Say You Love Satan [MP3 4:26 1.3MB].

Laura: This evening we saw the final dress rehearsal of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Say You Love Satan performed by Dominion Stage in Arlington, Virginia. This is the DC area premiere of this show.

Mike: This play focuses on the relationship of Andrew and Jack. One night in Baltimore Andrew, a sullen graduate student, meets the man of his dreams in the form of Jack. A shirtless stranger with an ominous “666” tattooed on his forehead. When Andrew learns the Jack is Satan’s only living son. Will the man of his dreams become his own worst nightmare?

Laura: I feel this show was edgy just to be edgy. It contained references to drug usage, a lot of four letter words, and the central theme of homosexuality.

Mike: The relationships between the main characters didn’t need to be homosexual. The main character of Andrew could have easily been a female named Andi. I think that would have allowed the playwright and the characters in the show to explore more of the relationships and the dynamics of the relationships between friends and ex-lovers as someone starts exploring a new relationship with a “bad boy.” I don’t think the show really explored how the relationships changed.

Laura: The main character Andrew, the graduate student played by J. R. Owens. I felt like he held back. Maybe because there were only a few people in the audience. I feel like he didn’t have a lot of energy and he didn’t stand up for himself. For example, he didn’t put a lot of effort into trying to end the relationship once he realized who Jack was.

Mike: And Jack, the son of Satan was played by Richard Isaacs. While he was well cast for that role, I don’t think he was quite devil enough for the part. For example, I think of the Devil as being very diabolical and very manipulative. I feel like he came across as almost very monotonous, one tone fit all. He did show a bit of anger in that scene when he was confronting Andrew’s friends. In general, all of the different roles in the show tonight were very subdued. Part of that could be that it was a very small audience since it was a dress rehearsal.

But the characters just didn’t feel very real. They didn’t interact very well, it felt very forced. Some of the scenes did call for a wide range of emotions. Such as I mentioned earlier, the night club scene where there was a confrontation. and then in the closing scene there was another big confrontation between several of the characters. That was also very subdued. You could have played that a couple different ways. I’m not going to give the plot away, but you could have played that closing scene as kind of teasing, or you could have done it as kind of relief and a lot of anger. There just wasn’t a lot of emotion in this play.

One thing I would have liked to have seen was a little bit more exploration of how in a relationship you change. Anytime you meet a new friend or you start dating someone, or even when you get married after you’ve known someone for a long time. Relationships change, including your friends and family. It’s going to be a little different. I wish they’d explore that a little bit more. It was just kind of thrown out there. For example, Bernadette and Chad and Jarrod all at some point said, “Why don’t you return my calls anymore?” And that’s just where they left it, they didn’t explore it any.

Laura: The set for Say You Love Satan was simple. It had a nice skyline of the city of Baltimore in the background. An area that represented the night club. The apartment that was sometimes Andrew’s apartment and sometimes Jack’s apartment. And then an area that was the laundromat where Andrew and Jack first met.

Mike: Say You Love Satan is playing at the Gunston Arts Center. Performed by Dominion Stage. January 12th thru the 28th. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sunday the 28th at 2:30 PM.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

2 Responses »

  1. I can’t believe what I just read! A wise woman on “Beauty and the Geek” once said “I am an expert at things that I know.” After reading this review I feel that the reviewers obivously do not know anything about gay people and their culture. It feels that you are homophobic and out of touch with reality. Saying that the role of Andrew could easily be played by a woman and turning the whole story straight is obsurd. That is like saying the Vagina Monologues could be performed by men. This is a gay show! It might have been EDGY in the 70’s or 80’s but this is the year 2007.

    It also feels like you are saying that gay men cannot have relationships like straight people. Turn the play straight and then you might understand the dynamics of the show. Gay people are just as normal as straight people and go through life dealing with relationships, friendships and ex-lovers just like anyone else.

    You’re probably saying to yourself right now that you have gay friends. Are they really your friends or do you tolerate them and wish they were straight?

    Maybe the director should have put Jack in horns and a tail to make him more diabolical. Do you feel that Andrew would have dated him then? Would a woman want to go out with someone like that? Maybe he should have had a big mustache and twirled it like in the black and white movies of old. Sometimes less is more!

    We all have a right to our opinions and I am an expert at mine.

    K. Clayton

  2. Ken, thanks for your thoughts. You are right, we made a mistake in our review. We did not separate out the script from the performance. Some of our comments are aimed at the script, and that was wrong of us to do. Our thoughts should primarily be about the effort put forth by the theater company. I apologize for not staying focused on the show.

    Ken was the producer of and a performer in this show, and we thank him and Dominion Stage for allowing us to attend the final rehearsal of the show.