Lois Robbins remembers more than just her first kiss. And in L.O.V.E.R., the actor-writer is baring it all, from first experiences to recent discoveries. The solo show is “a woman’s coming-of-age story as she recounts her sexual history from childhood masturbation all the way through her adult life,” says Robbins.
Directed by Karen Carpenter, L.O.V.E.R. stars Robbins as Woman in what is ultimately a 75 percent autobiographical story, says the playwright. The rest is either made up or material borrowed from friends who have willingly shared their stories. “I’m calling it historical fiction,” says Robbins. “You don’t remember things exactly as they happened; it’s my recollection of events, so I can’t say [it’s] complete and total accuracy. I’m also trying to make it theatrical and tell a story that resonates with people.”
The show has already resonated. Now playing a limited run through November 2 at the Pershing Square Signature Center, L.O.V.E.R. arrives Off-Broadway following hit runs in upstate New York, Los Angeles, and at the United Solo Festival. “I feel like I’ve hit a chord,” says Robbins, who has been approached after performances by men and women of all ages who say they see themselves in the stories and relationships depicted onstage.
Just as the play has touched audiences, the writing of L.O.V.E.R. has been a journey of self-discovery for Robbins, too. “I feel like it opened me up and has allowed me to be my most authentic self,” she says. Though it’s a comedy about life, love, and sex, at the heart of L.O.V.E.R. is the idea that the most important relationship is the one we each have with ourselves.
“[Writing and performing the play] has been completely therapeutic,” says Robbins. “I feel like I’m finally in a place where I’m willing to just take my life as it is, a day at a time… The best thing we can do is be happy being above ground.” Her hope is that audiences walk away from L.O.V.E.R. feeling the same.