Arts Runoff: LOVE SONG

Arts Runoff is a Middblog series of performance reviews, originally written by JP Allen ’11. We’ll do our best to continue his thoughtful, thorough, and timely work!

Summary: Written by Middlebury graduate John Kolvenbach ’88, Love Song is an “off-kilter” comedy centered around four characters: playful  Harry; his high-strung wife, Joan; her quirky brother, Beane; and his mysterious girlfriend, Molly. The characters interact in different pairings and occasionally as threes, but never all together for reasons made clear in the play’s final scenes. In this production, 10 actors (for nine of  whom  Love Song is a first performance at Midd), take turns playing these four characters.

About the First Year Show: ” The Theater Department selects actors, a stage manager and an assistant to the director from a large group of freshmen and sophomore-feb hopefuls, then pairs them with a director who’s a recent alum.” (thanks, JP)

Good: Some great performances by newcomers. Standouts included Charlotte Michaelcheck ’15 who opened the show as a hysterical, totally-but-not-annoyingly neurotic Joan, and Adam Milano ’15 who starred alongside her as Harry. He seemed to genuinely love pushing her buttons. Chelsea Melone ’15 was a stellar Joan as well. // Transitions:  switching roles posed a challenge, but the cast made them work with momentary mirroring and the use of a single prop to transfer from one actor to the next.

Bad: As with most shows on opening night, there were a few minor line flubs. I expect the show will only get better as the weekend goes on. // Having different actors play the same role is risky; there were times when I felt like the Mollys were a little too dissimilar. Overall, though, the cast navigated the roles well.

Contextual Rating: If you have something important to do this weekend,
…do it, and see this show if you can.
…put it off and see Love Song. Bring the parents, why don’t ya?!
…skip it. SEE THIS SHOW.

“Love Song” in the Hepburn Zoo.  Three more shows: Friday at 8:00 and 10:30, Saturday at 8:00. Tickets $4.