Regional Reviews: San Francisco
David Pumo's Love Scenes is Terrific with a Flawless Performance by Moe Bertran
Bertran tugs at your heartstrings when he recounts his first love affair with a person who takes him to a Barbra Streisand concert. His take on a hustler with his "Brooklyn's" accent is hilarious. The character tells how he met an older sadomasochistic photographer who, like Dr. Henry Higgins, gave him a home and educated him in a world he never knew. He talks about their trip to Paris when they go to the Père Lachaise cemetery where he learns about such great personalities as Gertrude Stein and Oscar Wilde, whom he describes as "a white dude." He even gets an appreciation of Chopin. The ending of this scene is wonderful as he has stolen the photographer's French language tapes and is now learning French while hustling for a new "john."
Bertran's take on a middle-aged, vodka martini drinking man in a 22-year relationship who is shocked when his partner wants to start seeing other men is priceless. He wisely and contemptuously expresses what he feels about the altercation of their lives.
Moe plays a very well developed young man in a boxing training gym talking about a man he has met during the rehearsals for a stage production of Grease 2. He smoothly switches his character to '30ish Daniel who is directing Grease 2 and has just found out that the muscular lead actor has fallen in love with his voice coach husband. The last scene is beautiful as he portrays a drag diva doing a Torch Song Trilogy type scene before a mirrorless frame getting ready to put on a wedding dress.
Love Scenes is an indisputable delight. It is brilliant, poignant and infused with wit and insight. Moe Bertran skillfully captures the quintessence of the six different characters. He gives a tour de force performance with a Brooklyn accent that reminds me of a young Tony Curtis.
Love Scenes has been extended to November 20th at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, San Francisco. For tickets please call 415-861-8972 or on line at www.nctcsf.org.