Secrets kept and lies told back in the 1960s are still embedded within the troubled relationships of one disparate family. In Simon Mendes Da Costa’s Losing Louie, the trouble begins when a traditional father, cold to his sensitive six-year-old son and pregnant wife, has a love affair with a young woman boarding with the family. When she becomes pregnant and has a little boy, the affair indeed ends, but the effects on the family extend well into the next generation. Time proves anything but healing when the two sons return to their father’s home after his death to bury him, and in the process are confronted with their own ghosts.
The master bedroom of this home in upstate New York, left unchanged over 40 years, serves as the location for two generations of intimate issues. Throughout, as one door closes, another opens to reveal someone removed by time, but nevertheless still wallowing over the same problems. The technique of fluidly flashing back and forward in time from the same physical location is simple and effective, and it sets up a solid frame. But the characters, for all their troubles, and even the multi-generational layering, are really rather dry.
Even after resorting to a barrage of lewd jokes including, but not limited to, refrences to a clitoris piercing and more than one instance of oral sex, De Costa still manages to be more boring than he is funny. In one present day scene a character chides another for his method of coping, saying, “If you can’t see it, you don’t have to deal with it.” I shall let these words stand as my final take on the play.