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Theatre Wed Mar 10 2010

Love Won't Let Go

Relationships can be easy to get into, but in some cases, they are hard to get out of. In the stage play Love Won't Let Go, premiering this week in Chicago, playwright Damian Hines tells why it isn't always easy to let go.

You have a very artistic background--writing, directing, and producing--have you always had a deep love for the arts?
Absolutely. It all started back when I was in grade school, where I first started acting. From there, I acted in high school and later, wrote music when I was in college. But writing has always been one of my strongest suits and it paved the way for a neat transition to writing stage plays.

You have your own production company, LaurDon Entertainment--how did you get started?
My partner Vernard Lomax and I have been friends for 15 years. We met right out of college when we both worked in a corporate America job. We both had acting aspirations and together, decided to leave the company. Later, we became involved with a local playwright here in Chicago and did work for his production. After a while, we both realized, "Hey, we can do this, too!"

And LaurDon Entertainment was born.
Yes. But I have to say that Vernard is on the business side of things and I handle the creative side.

Your stageplay, Love Won't Let Go, debuts in Chicago this weekend. It's been described as a "gritty, urban love story with a comedic edge." How does the play deal with the "funny" side of love?
A lot of times, the funniest things in relationships are the simplest things and those simple things are usually based on some sort of misunderstanding. That's where we got most of the comedy for the play. Also, those small things can really destroy relationships and the play brings that to light.

But through the funny moments, there's still a message there.
Yes--there are strong messages--things that I don't think are really being discussed in relationships, especially from the other side of things.

The other side?
Yes. In lots of stage plays, the female point of view is dominant. Men are always depicted as womanizers. In this production, we try to look at things from a male point of view; we want people to see that not all men fit this stereotype. We want people to see that men want healthy, productive relationships just like women do.

What else will we see in the play?
Well, it isn't always talked about, but there are men who are abused in relationships. There is physical abuse, but also, a lot of verbal abuse. I feel it is important to discuss this because men don't quite know how to address it. We will tackle this issue in the play.

Tell us more about Love Won't Let Go.
Love Won't Let Go is a story about couples, each with its own set of problems. Their lives intertwine, and we get to see the struggles and challenges they face with keeping their relationships together.

The play stars Grammy-nominated R&B singer Carl Thomas and Chicago comedian, Damon Williams. Did you set out to have an "all-Chicago" cast?
This is one of the most talented casts I've ever worked with. And yes, it was intentional to have an all-Chicago cast. I love to showcase all the talented people here. And Damon Williams--he is one of funniest and nicest guys in Chicago, and he's hilarious in this play!

For the female fans--I have to ask: Will Carl Thomas treat the audience to a love song or two?
Of course! There's no way Carl can be in the play and not sing. He will definitely be singing some of his greatest hits!

Love Won't Let Go is playing one night only, Saturday, Mar. 13, at 7pm, at The Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, in University Park. Tickets are $25 and can be reserved online or by calling 708-235-2222.

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LaShawn Williams / March 14, 2010 12:43 AM

Thank you, Damon Williams, for making the audience laugh so hard that it forgot about Mr. Thomas being a "no-show." Wow!

Tee / March 15, 2010 9:36 AM

I thought the play was good and kept me laughing. I must say I was disappointed about Carl Thomas' NO SHOW however Maurice Mahone (whom I've heard sing before) was a great replacement. The lady that played the crazy church lade was over kill. She was funny at first but after awhile I was thinking ok get her off the stage this is too much. Over all good play and I look forward to seeing other plays from the writer.

LaShawn Williams / March 15, 2010 12:09 PM

Ahhh--so THAT'S the singer's name. I've heard of him before--and yes--he did a GREAT job.

I also agree that the "church lady" schtick wore very thin after a while...

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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