Written by Israeli playwright Motti Lerner, Hard Love, is an eye opening peek into the lives of a culture many of us have not had the chance to understand. Director Scott Alan Evans and The Actors Company Theatre(TACT) respectfully took the audience of the Beckett Theatre on an emotional journey filled with relentless passion and controversy.
The play begins 20 years after the divorce of childhood sweethearts, Hannah and Zvi. Reuniting becomes necessary when they discover that their children, from each of their second marriages, have fallen in love.The romantic connection of their two children however, is promptly overshadowed by a lot of unfinished business between Hannah and Zvi.
Right from the beginning, the play took the form of one giant, resounding argument. Many of the scenes felt awkward and rushed. In the beginning of the play there was a lack of chemistry on stage. However, Victoria Mack’s portrayal of Hannah brought the scenes back to a nice flow throughout the play. The passion thankfully amplified between Hannah and Zvi as they became more comfortable with one another, they allowed Lerner's writing style to shine. Lerner flawlessly adds a new detail in each piece of dialogue, adding a new twist to intensify the connection between the two characters. Throughout the constant loud moments, there were a lot of beautiful quiet moments delicately delivered between both Victoria Mack and Ian Kahn. Their abilities really shown in the less violent moments of the play. It gave time for the audience to to get a much needed breath, and let the affinity Hannah and Zvi have for one another be the focus.
The scenic design by John McDermott was perfect. One act took place in Hannah’s simple, neat, and humble apartment in the Me’a She’arim district. The only thing that really decorated the room was a bowl of brightly lit apples, which we later learn connect to Zvi. The other act takes place in a drastically different apartment in the heart of Tel Aviv. The apartment is full of clutter and mess, clearly depicting the mind of a confused writer. People say
that you can learn a lot about a person by looking at how they keep their nest. McDermott seamlessly delivered that in his portrayal of Hannah and Zvi’s homes.