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Posts Tagged ‘Jo Dipietro’

This chamber musical is a new spin on the love triangle. When advertising executive Tom and his wife Lucy, both unfaithful, split over Lucy’s affair with a bohemian artist things take an extraordinary turn. Tom at first stalks the artist, then becomes his flat-mate, then his friend. To say more would be to spoil the fun; suffice to say it turns full circle in a rather satisfying if implausible way – well, it is a musical, after all.

Jimmy Roberts’ score is somewhat Sondheimesque and for me (this may sound odd) has a little too much music, which makes it feel a bit ‘stuffed’; this isn’t at the expense of narrative or character development though and there are some nice songs. The good book and sharp witty lyrics are by Joe DiPietro, who wrote the very funny book for Nice Work If You Can Get It, which I saw last month in new York. It’s perhaps overly slick in that way American shows often can be to British sensibilities, but even so there’s a satisfying roundness to it all.

Andrew Keates excellent staging, on a functional but elegant set by Martin Thomas, has its tongue in its cheek. It zips along and characters sometimes appear to come from nowhere. The chorus of two, who play all 24 other roles, is a great device and in the hands of Steven Webb and Lucyelle Cliffe, is far from a supporting feature. Webb in particular relishes every cameo and many of these were the highlight of the evening, most particularly his one-man double-act as both the French maitre ‘d and American server in a poncy restaurant.

Peter Gerald is very good as an arrogant philandering ad man who becomes more humble, even nice,  as the story unfolds. Kate Graham was in particularly fine voice as lovestruck but-not-as-innocent-as-she-seems Lucy. John Addison’s opposite journey from laid back bohemian to sold-out for love was well played. There’s a lovely three-piece band (piano, cello and reeds) who’s gentle playing enable you to hear every word without the harshness of amplification.

This is a fun evening – a clever show expertly staged and performed; something we’re getting used to at the Landor.

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