By Pat Launer
Here’s something you don’t do every day – theatrically speaking: Follow a relationship – literally – as you go from location to location and watch a couple work out their differences, in a wine bar and bookstore, a coffee shop, a gay bar, even a back alley.
This is the setting – or, multiple settings, if you will – of Circle Circle dot dot’s latest (ad )venture . It’s site-specific theater of a thoroughly enjoyable kind.
You start out at Jake’s Wine Bar in Hillcrest, and in a small group of around ten, follow a leader holding a little flag aloft (Disneyland-style) from spot to spot. Sometimes you can sit; other times, you stand. But each little segment only last about 10 minutes, and then you’re off to the next venue, each a delight in its own right. Fortunately, it wasn’t too busy at any of these places midday on a Saturday (The Brass Rail was completely empty). The lack of midday patrons was also fortuitous at Bluestocking Bookstore, where the action runs the full length of the long narrow emporium, and you follow the gals through the racks as they banter and battle.
Oh, did I mention that not only do the actors change at each stop, so do, at times, the genders of the principals? With their ambi-sextrous , interchangeable names, Chris and Alex start and end as a hetero couple, but in between, they’re two men or two women, and at one point, there’s a third (S&M) hookup who enters the mix, even an outside coupling.
It’s all great fun, and just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s even more pleasurable that several real-life couples are involved. Patrick Kelly directs, and his main squeeze, Katherine Haroff , who co-wrote the piece with company member Soroya Rowley, plays Alex in the first scene. C2D2 regular Samantha Ginn wasn’t participating, since she was reprising her “Car Plays” scene in L.A. on preview weekend. But her boyfriend Evan Kendig , was the third-wheel intruder in Scene 3, in which Alex and Chris are played by happily-linked Justin Warren Martin and Shaun Tuazon . And in the final vignette, Laura Kaplan-Nieto and Michael Nieto, husband and wife who actually met in a theater production, gave extra jolt and juice to their passionate kisses at the reconciliatory end.
So, best friends really can ease into a relationship. No, wait. There was nothing easy about the evolution of this relationship (push me/ pullyou is more like it). But it sure was enjoyable to watch, fascinatingly staged and delectably unique. Consider giving THIS to your Valentine – with or without chocolate.
“I Love You, San Diego” runs weekends only, February 9, 10, 16, and 17, every half hour from 1:00-3:30pm.
Tickets ($15-20) are available at www.circle2dot2.com