“It’s 1928 in Chicago, and all three Fail sisters are soon to die.”
Failure: A Love Story – Local playwright Philip Dawkins, and local actor/director Joshua Campbell (currently onstage at the Guthrie as Spike in Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike) have teamed up with a large and lively cast in period clothing to tell this quirky tale. The preview gives a sampling of the inventive staging – a desk on wheels that doubles as a car, a large bolt of blue cloth that represents the water than drowns the girls’ parents in a bizarre auto accident, a perky narrator saying all kinds of really sad things, and actors that are quick with a smile and pose, and surprised by their unfortunate fates. If I’m honest, I’m a little uncomfortable with the premise that leaves the men standing while the women all die, but the artistic team all seems good-natured enough. I’m willing to give the premise a shot. After all, it’s not like they’re hiding the ending. It’s the mystery of how we get there that’s supposed to be the point. I’m up for the journey.