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Courtney Love's life makes good theater

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Courtney Love’s relentlessly dramatic life has become literal theater, thanks to the Internet. The Hole singer-guitarist-and widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Co bain — is the protagonist of Love in the Void (alt.fan.c-love), a revealing Off Off Broadway show drawn from 13 sporadic, spirited ramblings posted in her name on newsgroups.

Director Elyse Singer, 28, conceived the show because the postings ”read like a play to me.” She was especially impressed by ”how musical and poetic [Love’s] language was.” So Singer spent seven months creating Love in the Void, an hour-long production at Manhattan’s HERE theater) that follows Love — convincingly portrayed by Carolyn Baeumler — through her cyber-correspondence from July 1994 to January 1995. As Love, Baeumler confronts voiced-over criticism, gossip, adulation, and other issues of fame.

Accompanied by guitarist Eric Sanders playing Hole riffs, Baeumler, 28, turns Love’s sometimes tedious prose into an emotional ride for the audience: ”She’s such a strong presence and she’s not afraid of her aggression and her anger.” Although the performance is more interpretation than impersonation, Baeumler feels that Love’s spirit comes through: ”As opposed to how the media presents her, [the postings are] at least how she’s presenting herself.”

Or is she? Ironically, the postings could easily have been made by others. ”On the Internet,” says Singer, ”everybody sort of takes on a persona. I hope it comes out through the play that you can’t tell [whether] people are telling the truth.” In cyberspace, no one can see who screams.

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