‘L.O.V.E.R.’ a Frank Conversation

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How do people in our past, specifically those with whom we’ve had intimate relationships, shape our lives?

Veteran actress Lois Robbins asks herself such a question in her one-woman play “L.O.V.E.R.,” which premiered Friday at the Zephyr Theatre, and runs through May 12.

Robbins, a familiar face from film and TV (“Kingfish,” “Law & Order,” “Blue Bloods”) and previously daytime TV (“One Life to Live,” “Ryan’s Hope” and “All My Children”), is kind and comical in the exploration of her character’s journey, based loosely her own memories. But she fearlessly shares romantic failures, details of a boob job gone bad, and a breast cancer scare as well. She frolics with lifelong friends and, at the heart of the piece, introduces us to a string of males that inform her life, from adolescence through adulthood.

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

“Sex is a metaphor for the psychological journey my character embarks on,” Robbins said in press notes. “As she explores her lifelong relationship history with other people, she ultimately discovers herself.”

The piece begins with Robbins reminiscing about her sexual awakening at the age of 3, and fearlessly reenacts a life-changing discovery—seated atop a washing machine. 
She follows with a fun romp through her teen and college years, nicely supported by visuals projected on props and screens.

Director Sonia Sebastian said the visuals were the challenging part of directing her first Los Angeles play. A veteran of the theater in her native Spain, Sebastian is also a filmmaker, and originally landed in Los Angeles after a project of hers screened at Outfest. She connected with Robbins through a friend, actress Jane Badler, who appeared in a Sebastian film.

Robbins seems to have a knack for weaving relatable stories of young love, impulsiveness, missteps and lessons learned with comedy and matter-of-factness—and some sage advice from her mother, under the ever-watchful eye of her father.

There’s nothing mean-spirited or tragic in the play, which makes for a light-hearted, interesting and pleasant evening. “L.O.V.E.R.” is a humorous look at one woman’s journey, which holds an audience’s attention, and, once the lights dim, encourages introspection.

“L.O.V.E.R.,” written and starring Lois Robbins, is produced by Racquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners. Tickets are $25:  (323) 960-5770 or www.plays411.com/lover; visit on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoverPlay

Performances run through May 12 at Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles CA 90046:
• Thursdays at 8 p.m.: April 12 (preview), 19, 26; May 3, 10
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: April 13 (opening night), 20, 27; May 4, 11
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: April 14, 21, 28; May 5, 12
• Sunday at 3 p.m.: April 15

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and produces content via Saving Grace Films.

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