A man and a woman, Richie and Pam, presumably somewhere in their early thirties, that is, just at the point in life where their next successful projects will bring them to a prominent and prosperous stage in life, decide to get married. They seemed full of love and enthusiasm for one another, as well as the impending event. Their friends are full of love and enthusiasm for them, above all, Richie's best friend and best man, Tom, a lawyer, a rather hard-nosed, cynical lawyer, and a loner. He seems perfectly likable and basically all right, but he has difficulty forming close relationships with women. He hasn't met one yet who finds him attractive, it seems. But the story is not about him, he is there to tell the story, as a sort of chorus-participant, sometimes in dialogue with the other characters, sometimes engaging the audience directly, sometimes narrating and responding rather like a sports announcer. The story is about love. As Tom begins the play, "I want to tell you about love." ...and mainly about his friend Richie, who is a love fiend, or so it should say in his obituary, as Tom informs us: "Because that’s what drove him. Like the wind drove the old ships. He thought everything else was irrelevant."
With one hundred productions spread over five weeks, I rather doubt that anyone has seen all of the United Solo Festival. After the sessions I previously reported on, I returned for one show I didn't want to miss, Tim Collins' On the Outskirts of Everything and Heather Ehlers' Spin, and later for the final weekend, when I managed to take in yet another show, John Jiler's Ripe, as well as the United Solo Awards Ceremony. It may sound like an especially wheezy cliché to praise a contemporary institution for carrying on a tradition of the Greeks, who, in religious ritual, presented competitions and awards of many sorts, but there seems something essential in this characteristically Greek custom, that strengthens the artists, the organizers, and their audience, making the muscles spring, the brain ignite, and the blood flow with an electric thrill.