‘Fool for Love’ is an impeccably acted piece of theatrical intensity

The folks at Capital T Theatre have a rare talent for picking the right scripts, finding works with a certain dark comedy mode, containing a certain enrapturing intensity. With their latest, they’ve selected Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love”, a fast-paced and shocking play from one of the nation’s greatest writers, and pulled in a pair of performers with engrossing chemistry, all kept moving under the strict, sturdy hand of director Mark Pickell.

As the past has shown, Capital T and Sam Sheppard are a marriage made in heaven, so we can be assured an exciting prospect with “Fool for Love”. In the play, Sheppard shows his talent for keeping the audience on their toes, throwing us into the middle of an already fiery situation, as two estranged lovers come together under mysterious circumstances. Director Mark Pickell keeps the action constantly moving, never slowing down to let the audience take a breath, keeping his foot planted firmly on the gas. This constant assault of action is at times exhausting, but it keeps the audience rapt, tied to every word. As the play turns to monologue in the later stages, the strength of both the actors’ presentation and Sheppard’s writing shine through, , as the writer doles out his fascinating tale of dark family secrets. As the play reaches its final moments, we find ourselves in shock at what just came to pass, Patrick Anthony’s stellar lighting helping to cast a disturbing hellscape.

As many audiences discovered in “Exit, Pursued By Bear” a few years back, Molly Karrasch and Joey Hood play incredibly well off each other, and in “Fool for Love”, the electricity between them turns incendiary They keep in even step, meeting and matching intensities, taking us on a harrowing emotional journey in the process. Molly Karrasch plays tarnished innocent more than just about any actress in town, and here the sorrow is palpable from the moment she hits the stage. Hood meets this sorrow with a sense of power and bravado, a shell of masculinity and anger that shows the actor has a fine psychological understanding of the character hes taking on, as he masks his own jealousy and pain. When joined together, these two emotionally tortured souls create crystalline moments of escalating action, which keep the audience breathless.

In a year of several intense plays, Capital T has thrown their hat into the ring with this dark chamber drama, featuring a pair of eviscerating performances and crisp, sharp direction from Mark Pickell. The pairing of Sam Sheppard once again strikes gold, and we can only hope that the two forces come together again sooner rather than later.

“Fool for Love” run around 75 minutes with no intermission, and is playing at Hyde Park Theatre through November 22. For more information, and to purchase ticket, visit CapitalT.org.