For The Love of … ( or, the Roller Derby Play) presents a large and all female cast with a wide range of life drama intertwined within and out of the skating arena where they work as a roller derby team. It is also loaded with abundant New York attitude. As the show begins an at first somewhat timid new girl arrives with her game name Joy Ride and immediately gets the attention of the team captain Diaz de los Muertos. But Joy Ride has a mate, another woman who announces with great delight her recent promotion at her work. But it doesn’t take long for an abundance of challenges and conflicts to emerge.
Throughout there are moments where interesting and in some ways provocative dances are performed and the performances are all superbly executed by the cast and well-choreographed by director/choreographer Rhonda Kohl. Each is committed to in some way exhibiting the feel and look of the roller derby environment.
As you might expect of a group of roller derby players, especially based in New York City, their language is at times shall we say salty but always appropriate to the moment. But many of the woman also display another side of their lives off of the roller rink. Those excursions add depth and interest to the overall show.
Prosecute-Her as played by Jenny Soo appears to be a law student having some difficulty with her studies. Diaz de los Muertos [Crystal Diaz] runs a tattoo parlor when not skating and Yolanda Snowball appears to have a night job as a care giver.
All these diverse interests present a wide range of interpersonal conflicts and struggles. Yet there is a bonding element that propels the ladies to win their first roller derby competition but in a manner that displeases their coach. One stand out moment comes as Diaz de los Muertos [Crystal Diaz] engages in a very strong dispute with the team’s coach. Diaz presents an amazing depth of anger so strong and powerful that it reaches beyond acting.
As the show progresses there are more questions than answers. Will the relationship between Joy Ride and her lover survive a major financial set back and the advances toward Joy Ride by Dias de los Muertos? In one scene Joy Ride goes to Diaz for a tattoo and as that process evolves Dias begins speaking in great detail about all that she would like to do with Joy Ride. Will that ever happen?
And what of the team? Sure they got one victory but will they stay together, will they win even more? Will the obvious deep stress between Diaz and the coach resolve?
I will again point out that through-out the show there are many dance routines involving the entire cast and done with captivating music. This is a very unique show with a very broad range of diverse elements, ideas, thoughts and passions. It is about sports and life and love and struggle. Because of its uniqueness it cannot please everyone but it is absolutely worthy and should you see it you will never forget it.
For The Love Of (or, the roller derby play) is at The Theatre of Note, 1517 N. Cahuenga Boulevard, Hollywood, California 90028 now through May 26th 2018 with shows Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Reservations and ticketing are available either online at: www.theatreofnote.com or by calling: 323-856-8611. NOT suitable for children.
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Also check out: www.ronirwin.net
Photos by Darrett Sanders
Top photo: Crystal Diaz and cast
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.