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A CurtainUp Los Angeles Review
Limonade Tous Les Jours

It seems to me the trouble always begins with love. People always say the trouble is differentness or even hatred or prejudice, some such bad thing that is the root of all troubles, but really it's love that always disrupts everything. Once you set love loose in the world, anything can happen if human feelings give free rein to love. — and if they don't, you can hardly call it love.— Andrew
Peter Lewis and Megan Boone in <i>Limonade Tous Les Jours
Peter Lewis and Megan Boone in Limonade Tous Les Jours at 2100 Square Feet.
(Photo : Adam Rigg)
What's been called Charles Mee's most accessible play, Limonade Tous Les Jours (Lemonade Every Day) seems to be about nothing much but actually it's about everything. It's a wry exploration of lovers' meetings studded with laugh-out-loud moments of truth and makes a delightful and refreshing change from the sturm and drang in most relationship stories

This everyday encounter between Andrew (Peter Lewis), a 50-something American in Paris, and Ya Ya (Megan Boone), a 20-something Parisian singer, follows their questions, their qualms and their passion in a series of funny, fearful vignettes. Andrew and Ya-Ya meet at a café where Ya Ya has been assigned to meet Andrew by his friend Pascal, who can't show up. They talk about their recent divorces and how neither wants to get involved again, never, never, ever.

It's no surprise that, after dinner and a soulful solo from Ya Ya in the cabaret where she sings, they wind up in bed. They thrash out their affair, both literally and figuratively, on a park bench, in a bath tub and in a dress shop, where Andrew waxes philosophical about the nature of love while Ya Ya tries on a series of dresses, distracting Andrew from the cerebral aspect of love every time she takes one off.

The age thing is of course a major bone of conversation. Although Andrew, the more reticent and courtly partner, merely mentions in the beginning that, after his disastrous marriage to a woman ten years younger, he's looking for someone his own age, Ya Ya, smarting from her marriage to a much older philanderer, calls a spade lots of things. Her friends will think she's only "screwing this old hulk because he must be amazingly rich" and his friends will think she is a bimbo "who must fuck like a firetruck." "Who could be more hostile than your liberal friends with all their tolerant ideas except for me every pent up wish they have to be intolerant finally could be dumped on top of me", cries Ya Ya.

These ruminations alternate with back stage projections of the two romping through Paris as seen off-kilter through the lens of Andrew's hand-held camera. This highlights the juvenile nature of the affair, as well as the photogenic beauty of Ms. Boone.

The third actor who plays waiter, dress shop clerk and nightclub singer is Ethan Lin whose dazzling male sopranista deliverers the musical highlight of the play with an impeccable French accent. During his song, Andrew and Ya Ya perform a free-style dance which winds up with Ya Ya flopping like a puppet, underscoring the manipulative nature of passion. Boone, who also produced, indicates her French accent and sings in an unaffected manner, taking advantage of her limitations in both departments. She plays Ya Ya with vivacity and sly charm and, like Lewis, gives understated credibility to what is basically a relationship story. Lewis gives the man Ya Ya calls boring integrity and makes a whole character out of the quality of the attention he pays to the girl during her existential monologues.

Director Michael Connors focuses on the characters' worries at the expense of their excitement, alteration in pace and dramatic build. With Mee's plays, it's always a trade-off and aficionados of his perceptive wordplay may not care. Adam Rigg's set features a double bed colorfully backed by French dresses and indicates other playing spaces with a bathtub, park bench and café table, augmented by his impeccable lighting design.

This west coast premiere has been extended through September 9.
Playwright: Charles Mee
Director: Michael Connors
Cast: Megan Boone (Ya Ya), Peter Lewis (Andrew), Ethan Lin (Waiter/Shop Keeper/Singer
Set & Lights: Adam Rigg
Choreography: Kara Wiley
Sound Design: Damon Harris
Running Time: One hour 15 minutes, one intermission
Running Dates: August 3-September 9, 2007
Where: 2100 Square Feet, 5615 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, Reservations: (323) 960-7785
Reviewed by Laura Hitchcock on August 3.
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