True Love

This biographical play, written and acted by Walter Williamson and Larry Thomlinson, deals with the relations between Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright John Patrick (Williamson) and his lover-companion of 41 years, Bill Meyers (Thomlinson). Patrick’s plays, The Hasty Heart and The Teahouse of the August Moon, had been great hits in the 1940s, but by the end of his life, he was regarded merely as a writer of slight, outdated comedies for amateurs and dinner theaters. But Patrick was “the talent” and the breadwinner (having amassed a large fortune with his movie and television writing), while Meyers was the adult, housekeeper, manager and facilitator. (Apparently in his writings, Patrick referred to Meyers as The Tall Man and himself as The Little Boy.) This arrangement served them well, despite Patrick’s egotism and emotional demands, till their 80s, when Meyers’ health began to fail, unleashing fears, rivalries and insecurities, and causing their relations to turn toxic. The play is set during their last months together, when bitchy gossip and affectionate exchanges give way to lacerating quarrels and estrangement. These “celebrity-portrait” plays seldom achieve real depth, but here, the passionate commitment of the two actor-writers makes this a thoughtful, moving picture of emotional ambivalence in a tempestuous relationship.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Sept. 5. Continues through Oct. 12, 2008


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