SAY YOU LOVE SATAN
nytheatre.com review by Garth Wingfield
Dating is hell.
August 15, 2003
Been there, done that, right? Yet when this sentiment is taken literally and to its most extreme (as in "dating is hell when your boyfriend is SATAN"), all bets are off, as Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa proves mightily in his endlessly clever, wonderfully fresh and truly hilarious new comedy, Say You Love Satan.
Andrew, played with a sweet charm by Joe LaRue, is a twentysomething gay guy stuck in today’s dating trenches. He’s got a best friend named Bernadette (a very funny Courtney Dickerson), who is in dating hell herself (please see for reference: her two weekly personal ads). He’s also being pursued by Jerrod, an adorable med student who is the goodest of good guys. Played with a winning sensitivity by Greg Felden, Jerrod is the kind of guy who not only returns Andrew’s videos for him, he rewinds.
But when Andrew and Jack (John Patrick Higgins) meet cute at a laundromat on a Friday night, Andrew can’t help yielding to his own darker longings. In short order, he finds himself whisked off by this devilishly handsome stranger for a night of clubbing.
But hold on. Why do they keep zipping past the bouncers and long lines? And what to make of Jack's collection of DVDs (including Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist), let alone the "666" on his forehead?
Sure enough, Andrew soon finds he’s dating the demon spawn of Satan (or is it the Big Bad Guy himself?). More troubling still is the fact that Andrew actually likes it.
Playwright Aguirre-Sacasa knows how to keep the surprises coming, helped by some well-placed plot devices. And under Claire Lundberg’s savvy direction, the action clicks right along as we’re pulled onto this journey as swiftly as Andrew is.
Say You Love Satan features many recent grads of the Yale School of Drama, the playwright included. A word to the wise: At the performance I attended, they turned away at least 30 people from the waiting list. Get your tickets right away if you want to say you love Satan.
I know I did.