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Old Love
a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Norm Foster

COMPANY : Staged Right Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Lilburn Alliance Church [WEBSITE]
ID# 5213

SHOWING : January 26, 2018 - February 04, 2018

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

"Old Love" is a classic romantic comedy thirty years in the making! The story spans three decades and half a dozen meetings between Bud, a salesman, and Molly, his boss’s wife. One of them is smitten from the very first meeting - the other, let’s just say, less so. The story is straightforward, easy to follow and funny, often very funny. Canada’s pre-eminent comic playwright Norm Foster has written a clever and witty dialogue celebrating the pursuit of love, the kind of love that "makes you breathe just a little bit faster."


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Paul Franklin
Young Bud/Arthur/Arthur Jr. Nick Fressell
Kitty/Young Molly/Kendra Ilene Miller
Bud Mitchell Allen Stone
Molly Graham Angela Van Tassel
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REVIEWS

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Everything Old Is New Again
by playgoer
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
4.0
Production values can’t be expected to be top-notch when performances need to be split between two venues for the two weeks of a run. Nevertheless, Staged Right Theatre is performing Norm Foster’s Canadian rom-com "Old Love" on a well-constructed set designed by David Huenergardt that uses black curtains for a backdrop, but features multiple levels of platforms, a table and chairs stage left, a sofa center stage, and a two-story housefront stage right with a patch of grass in front. When the housefront is covered by black curtains in the first act, the patch of grass doubles believably as a gravesite. Add in a fairly complex lighting scheme designed by Thomas Huenergardt, nice costumes designed by Lisa Croteau, and workable props by Lea Herring and this is a good-looking production. It also sounds good, with special thanks to sound designer Thomas Huenergardt for choosing non-distracting soft jazz as the background for multiple Christmas party scenes.

The plot concerns Bud Mitchell (Allen Stone), a "road warrior" salesman who was smitten years ago by his boss’s wife Molly (Angela Van Tassel), and who is now courting her, following his divorce and the death of her husband. Younger people in the cast (Ilene Miller and Nick Fressell) fill in the plot, often in flashback. There are lots of monologues to narrate the history of their relationship, and director Paul Franklin has ensured that the monologues hold as much interest as the dialogue scenes. The transition of lighting from spotlights for the monologues to general lighting for the scenes clearly marks the scene transitions.

Actors also do a splendid job of using voice, expression, and body language to delineate their different characters. The same younger actors play both married couples (boss & wife and "road warrior" & wife), and there’s no question as to which couple is onstage after a line or two is delivered (although wigs would help the delineation). Ms. Van Tassel plays multiple characters only at the top of the play, when she portrays a couple of dates and a secretary, but she clearly shows her skill as an actress in those roles, a skill that becomes abundantly clear as she takes on her major role as Molly Graham.

Mr. Stone plays only one role, that of the older Bud, but he creates a likable character we root for as he attempts to light a spark with Molly. His Southern accent doesn’t suggest Canada at all, but thankfully there’s no attempt in the production to make things stereotypically Canadian. He has the largest share of monologues, and he performs them fluidly at the start, with some minor stumbles cropping up as the show proceeds.

"Old Love" tells a charming story of two older individuals connecting romantically after a shared history only one of them (Bud) remembers, but that the audience gets to see playing out in flashback. Staged Right Theatre’s production brings the story to life under the capable direction of Paul Franklin, sparked by a particularly memorable performance by Angela Van Tassel (although all the cast has memorable moments). It’s worth a visit during their second week of performances, wherever their Facebook page says that will be. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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