The new play Vignettes on Love playing at the Potrero Stage incorporates nine short music videos filmed by Dances with Light and local filmmakers, and music curated by Noise Pop. The play offers a glimpse into the lives of six San Francisco residents who interconnect via long-term friendships and sexual trysts.
The story opens with Jason and Tess having an afternoon delight that is disrupted after her phone rings. As she’s getting dressed to go back to work Jason drops a bombshell on her, he’s been promoted, the job is in New York, and he wants her to go with him. He’s even gone to the extent of finding a position for her. She brings up all the reasons she shouldn’t go like his history of flings and, oh, her husband.
Tess is married to Jonas, he believes in monogamy and wants a point A to point B life. He knows exactly what he wants and when he wants it. Currently, him and Tess are trying to have a baby, or so he thinks. He ignores his suspicions of her relationship with Jason until he finds birth control in her purse. She finally reveals her anxieties and confesses that she’s not ready for a baby. He leaves to a bar and ends up meeting Kat.
Kat likes to make plans with Mia (Tess’s friend) and then disappear on her without explanation. Mia opens up to Kat about wanting more; Kat seems to agree until the end of the night. For whatever reason she tends to sleep with whoever is the last patron in the bar. That ends up being Jason one night.
Jason’s friend with benefits, Carla, is thrown in to the equation towards the end. She’s also Tess’s best friend and has no idea Jason and Tess finally got together after years of him pining over her. Tess also doesn’t know about Carla and Jason’s transactional relationship. More secrets are unraveled and eventually everyone finds out what they need too.
The set, multimedia integration, and acting were really good but the story, not so much. If the intention was to make everyone feel that these characters were complex in their dealings with love, it failed. Love doesn’t seem like the correct word for what they’re dealing with.
Featuring performances by Kunal Prasad, Heather Gordon*, Ayelet Firstenberg, Emma Onasch, Colin Johnson, and Rebecca Pingree. Performances are Thu-Sat at 8pm and Sun at 7pm, and tickets are $25-$55. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit http://playground-sf.org/vignettes.