The best moment of To Be Loved is walking in and seeing the interesting arrangement of space at the provocative Lafayette theater. Little stages hang to the sides and back, and a big deep space in front is inhabited by two actors on a ladder. Actor Deena Jiles moves about seductively, like an African princess, on a platform to the left. Shadows hang about the walls of the theater, and people fill the rows of the theatre. The first scene is interesting to watch. A monk and his young lover move about together in a sweet flying motion as they make their way off their ladder. Beyond this scene, there are interesting stage configurations, ominous mood lighting by Chris Ghaffoor, and attractive costumes designed by Mark Richard Caswell and Kate Pinner. But the play unfortunately meanders into meaninglessness within minutes.
Inspired in part by Japanese Kabuki,To Be Loved, written by Alex Defazio and directed by Jody P. Person, tells the story of a monk confronting the reincarnated soul of his dead lover, a young male prostitute. The story, although unclear and overly acted, is relieved by moments of interesting physical movement and shadows cast on different parts of the stage. This long show (2h 15m) does pick up somewhat in the second act. Nevertheless, To Be Loved is an exploration of sexuality, gay and straight, that leaves everyone but its creators out of the loop. The ongoing sexual action and innuendos, including actors gyrating on each other, young boys seducing older men, women seducing monks with twenty dollar bills, ultimately left this spectator decidedly dis-aroused, sexually and otherwise.