Talhotblond, presented by Ruskin Theatre Group, in Santa Monica, is a powerful look at how our technology driven society has such a strong effect on interpersonal relationships, and things are hardly what they seem, in the abstract world of cyberspace 'love' and dating. This play, following the huge success of "Catfish," and "Her," is a timely, topic-sensitive story, centering on love, longing, loneliness, and a yearning for human connection in a wired world of online dating sites and chat rooms. It is a profound examination of the world wide web, entangling and intertwining people, serving as a compelling, addictive force in so many lives. It reveals how 'virtual fantasies' can turn into 'disappointing, even dangerous' realities. The talented young actress who portrays Talhotblond, Erin Elizabeth Patrick, lends charm and innocence to her role, with a southern drawl, that draws the audience's compassion, making her seem less manipulative and more believeable. As a result, in charming the audience, she is seen as a victim, rather than a phone sex operator. The exchange between herself and Thomas Montgomery (Mark Rimer) seemed more like a romantic rendezvous. Eric Elizabeth Patrick's aura was reminiscent of an ingenue starlet, a la Marilyn Monroe. Rimer perfectly depicts Thomas, who appears to be facing a mid-life crisis, and for kicks, falls in love with an ideal of love, but never in his wildest dreams, thinking of the future repercussions.
The fact that this play is based on a true life story, makes it all the more compelling, with a most catchy tagline, "Everybody lies online." The show's wonderful O'Henry plot twist at the end, leaves the audience with genuine surprise. The show had masterful blocking, with each character perfecting the nuance of their lines. Rimer, as Thomas Montgomery, in particular, does an excellent job of navigating through the emotional turmoil, roiling inside him, as his online love life fantasy evolves.
Ruskin Group Theatre 3000 Airport Avenue
Through April 26th
Fridays and Saturdays 8PM; Sundays 2 PM
(310) 397-3244 www.ruskingrouptheatre.com