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A Love Story fit for Mary Shelley

February 22, 2014

PIECES_at_ZJU_Theatre_60-680_FINAL-WEBPieces is a Rom-Com, the latest offering from Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, that will have you in stitches. Written and Directed by Adam Neubauer, it is the perfect answer to all the gushy romance stories that abound during the spring.

The story takes place in the aftermath of John’s (Alex Walters) recent break up. John’s friends, all save one are beautiful women, show up to console him, and sober him up. The each take shifts keeping him company, and stopping him from calling his ex. Pieces takes a unique look at the modern dynamics of society. John and all of his friends are in one giantcodependent relationship, each knowing practically everything about the other. What happens when we know everything about our friends, and are on some level attracted to them?

Pieces turns a break up into something to laugh at. We’ve all been through bad break ups and each joke made at the expense of John makes our past experiences seem a little less harsh. Running parallel to the jokes is a forbidding undercurrent. Something you can’t quite put your finger on at first. This adds a level of suspense to what is essentially a comedy.PIECES@ZJU_PHOTO_2 (2)

In a fit of grief John comes to a disturbing revelation, each of his friends in part make up the sum of his now ex-girlfriend. After an unfortunate drunken argument with Patricia (Chelsea Miltano), John strangles her. Gus (Tucker Matthews) tries to get John to calm down, but only seems to encourage him.

From here the story takes a darker, more sexual turn. With calculating eyes that remind one of Herbert West, John analyzes and weighs each of his friends, finding which piece of them will add up to the perfect form of his lover. If only he could gather the various Pieces from his friends and stitch them together.

In the end John is left with no friends, but the perfect lover, unfortunately all she can do is love him, and that might just be his undoing.

Pieces is full of touching moments, the connection between his friends. How they are willing to drop everything to care for him. All of this emotion is just prelude to the final scene, a very poignant scene. After John’s life is spent, taken by the love of his creation the ghosts of his friends return. Each in turn clothes his creation, covering their respective body part. It’s a silent scene, but you can feel the weight of what is unsaid, each ghost tells what remains of themselves, and their friends “I love you”.

Pieces is not just as Rom-Com, it’s a dark love affair, between a man and his internal demons. His friends, the better angels of his nature try to pull him back from the abyss. In the end, being unable to save him, they were at least given a measure of revenge. Revenge being derived from hate, is a razors edge from love.

Going into Pieces on Valentine’s day I had no idea what to expect. Would it be a gushy love story, a horror story? What I saw was a perfect blend of macabre and romance. A dark story that blends the darker emotions of the human spirit.

PIECES@ZJU_PHOTO_1 (1)

Pieces (Written and Directed by Adam Neubauer) runs Friday Nights through March 21st, at 8:30pm at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater Group.

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  1. The _ Detective review for PIECES @ Chelsea Militano

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