Theater review: 'Lavender Love' at Macha Theatre
Odalys Nanin’s new play, “Lavender Love,” at Macha Theatre, is an unadulterated camp fest as wild as it is undisciplined.
The rambling plot commences in the present day, as struggling actress Alas (Lidia Ryan) flees the police, who are chasing her for stealing food from a McDonald’s -- that same McDonald’s located on the former site of the Garden of Alla (later known as the Garden of Allah), playground of lesbian film star, Alla Nazimova.
Abetted by a sympathetic security guard (O’Neil Cespedes), Alas escapes into an underground tunnel that leads her to Nazimova’s mansion in the year 1920. Nazimova (Nanin) is presently (or is that pastly?) partying down with her lover, Natasha Rambova (Stephanie Ann Saunders), who is about to enter into a “lavender marriage” of convenience with closeted Rudolph Valentino (Kristian Steel), who is having a torrid affair with Nazimova’s husband and beard, Paul Ivano (Drew Hinckley). The sexual round robin doesn’t end there. Seduced by Nazimova in short order, Alas finds herself in very hot water when her lesbian lover, Evie (Michelle Bernard) follows her down the rabbit hole.
Speaking of water, did we mention that, back in the present day, a monstrously powerful tsunami is about to separate California from the mainland?
But that’s another story –- or should be. Nanin, who co-directs with Ilmar Taska, approaches her fractured fable with winning light-heartedness. Unfortunately, her segue into sci-fi misses an obvious bet. We want more details about the divinely decadent Nazimova and her privileged playmates. As it stands now, “Lavender Love” is a kitchen-sink play with too much soap and not enough dirty dishing.
-- F. Kathleen Foley
“Lavender Love,” Macha Theatre, 1107 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood. 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 7 p.m. Sundays. Dark May 27-29. Ends June 18. $30. (323) 960-4429. www.Plays411.com/lavenderlove. Running time: 1 hour.
Photo: Odalys Nanin and Stephanie Ann Saunders. Credit: Chris Hume.