Transatlantic Love Affair, or TLA for those who like acronyms, is one of my favorite theater companies in town. They are completely unique. Every piece that they create is original and devised in the rehearsal process. They also don’t use any set pieces of any sort. They take a blank stage and build a world on it using only the performers on stage, which usually includes at least one musician.
For their latest show The Privateer, that world is the world of piracy in the early 18th century. It is roughly based on life of Stede Bonnet, a real life pirate who was a wealthy land owner before turning to a life of piracy. The privateer or pirate in our story has a similar background. He owns “more than half of New York Colony” but is bored so decides to search for excitement among the high seas. Along his journey he meets the famous Blackbeard (as did the read Stede Bonnet), and in the end his over confidence and complete lack of experience and skill turns disastrous. It is hard not to see the parallels between this pirate and another wealthy New York Landowner who now resides in the White House.
The story that TLA has put together is very engaging, finding the balance between making the audience laugh and making the audience sigh (it doesn’t quite get to the cry point). But what is the most impressive is the way that the show flows. I feel like I say this about every TLA show that I see but they just keep getting better. The scenes flow effortlessly along as they do into each other. You would think it would be awkward to see a performer change from being a bar door to being Blackbeard but after just a few minutes it seems to be the most natural thing in the world.
The Privateer is playing at the Illusion Theater through November 18th. More information about finding tickets can be found by clicking here. If you have not seen a show by Transatlantic Love Affair before, do yourself a favor and introduce yourself to an entire new way of experiencing theater. And if you like me are an existing TLA fan, their latest show The Privateer is not one to miss.
*Photo credit: Lauren B Photography