by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

They just never stopped talking…like EVER!

Soundly takes a chapter from Daniel Handler’s novel, Adverbs, a collection of 17 interconnected narratives from the points of view of various people, in various sorts of love.  The book focuses on the ways people fall in love, instead of focusing on whom they are in love with.

In Soundly, Allison spends an evening of “friendship” love, out with her best friend Lila who is dying of a rare disease.  They reminisce about their lives, the things they’ve done and things they’ve meant to do, moments felt and lost, even talking about Lila’s eventual demise.

In the course of the evening, Lily gets a miraculous call to go to hospital for a transplant that can save her life but she never makes it.  The ferry goes down and the women cannot cross over to save her.

Having this story move at breakneck speed is an interesting directional choice that mostly serves the play.  However, too much of it gets lost with the narrator’s overbearing speech. Zero pause utterly forces the moments and it takes away the “land”.

Ultimately, it’s hard to find the reason to stay with this piece.  The emotional payoff is small.