Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay

In Love and Warcraft
Custom Made Theatre Company
Review by Richard Connema | Season Schedule

Also see Richard's reviews of The Kid Thing, The Monster-Builder and If/Then, Eddie's reviews of Steve Cuiffo Is Lenny Bruce and Mother's Milk: A Blues Riff in Three Acts, and Patrick's review of Disgraced

Laura Espino, Drew Reitz
Photo by Claire Rice
Custom Made Theatre Company, who recently moved to their new location at 533 Sutter Street, is presenting Madhuri Shekar's timely play In Love and Warcraft. This is a play about Evie, a geeky college senior and confirmed virgin who is very smart, sensible and controlled. She is a very avid and committed World of Warcraft player, and that takes up most of her time. She also has an online "boyfriend" who is also a passionate player of the game. Evie makes a little cash on the side writing love letters for people who have screwed up their relationships.

Raul has entered Evie's life and she falls hard for the handsome man. She is now torn between her fantasy and her real life. She does not want to give up her fantasy life, not from past disturbances or spiritual conviction—she simply is scared of having sex with Raul. What happens next I won't tell.

In Love and Warcraft has some wonderful characters, such as Kitty the loud best friend who is sort of a nymphomaniac; a high-spirited and campy gay hairdresser; a loud-mouth non-sexual partner in the online game who lives in his parent's basement; and a woman gynecologist who actually gives Evie her first organism.

The game is portrayed late in the drama. This is a bold and inventive move on the playwright's part, though it does not help the plot much. However, it is fun to see all of the characters dressed up as warriors and villains. We see that the "monster" comes back what seems like a dozen times in that scene. It might have been better if the video game scene were threaded throughout the two-hour comedy/drama.

Monica Ho gives an engaging performance as Evie. Her wonderful, expressive face reveals Evie's longings, pangs, and susceptibilities. Laura Espino is excellent as the bouncing, sensual Kitty, her roommate. Ed Berkeley, a recent transplant from the New England theatre region, is splendid as Raul, while Drew Reitz is fine as the loud mouth Ryan. Amanda Farbstein and Sal Mattos play many parts; Sal is especially wonderful when he camps up superbly as the fey hairdresser, and Amanda as a woman geologist examining Evie's lower parts.

Bottom line here, this is a cute little sitcom comedy well played by the cast and well directed by James Nelson.

In Love and Warcraft runs through December 12, 2015, at the new Custom Made Theatre, 533 Sutter Street just off Powell Street, San Francisco. For tickets go to Coming up next is Rachel Bublitz' Of Serpents and Sea Spray opening on January 7th and running through January 30, 2016.

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