Reviewed by Matt Ritchey
Jim Blanchette’s new play Transference is a fun and thought-provoking look into the concept of past lives, relationships, and belief.
Mrs. Clark (Lisa K. Wyatt) has decided to get hypnotherapy to cure her smoking. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Herbert (Esther Mira – oh, and that’s pronounced “Err-BEAR”), puts her under only to have her awake with an entirely new personality. And this personality has known Dr. Herbert before… many, many times.
A game of psychological Pepe le Pew ensues (and I mean that in the best way) as Clark amorously tries to seduce her doctor, spinning tales (or memories) of their many past lives together as lovers. It’s a funny, heady romp and an interesting take on a subject we all love to ponder. Esther Mira is wonderfully grounded as the no-nonsense doctor and Lisa K. Wyatt shines as the multi-persona of Mrs. Clark – truly an impressive, care-free performance. Script and direction are also very tight, never lagging to pick up the next major (and they’re major) beat.
Confession: I am a pun fan. But there is a very long lead up to a very specific pun that took a bit of the wind out of my sails, if only because the lead up was just so engrossing and well-done that it went out with a groan rather than a bang. (Pun intended.) That aspect could very easily be enclosed in the body of the piece and the show rounded out to be a bit less of a rimshot finale.
That quibble aside, Transference is a good time with two wonderful actresses, a great script, and terrific pacing.
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