The Little Comedy

Show: Romance/Romance: The Little Comedy
Venue: Yellow Venue (Tupperware Theatre at Orlando Repertory Theatre)
Times: 5-20 @ 7:40pm, 5-21 @ 1:25pm, 5-22 @ 6:00pm, 5-24 @ 11:00pm, 5-26 @ 7:40pm, 5-27 @ 1:55pm and 5-28 @ 3:35pm
Tickets: $10

The opening number of Romance/Romance tells you everything you need to know about the play: there will be facades put up (or in this case torn down), "The Little Comedy" refers to the dance lovers go through when pursuing each other and feeling out the situation, and the male lead has some notes that were a bit too high for his vocal range. I went to this show because it was a more serious offering at this year's Fringe, promising "no nudity, no improv, no cross-dressers", and it certainly delivered. There was no adult content, and the story was very straightforward. I thought the ending left something to be desired, but it is promoted as a one-act piece.

As romantic comedies go, Romance/Romance falls right up in line with Rob Reiner, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Janeane Garofalo. Two well-to-do lonely lovers in Italy are looking for a change, and decide that pretending to be one of the "common folk" will prove that they can be loved for who they are instead of for their money or their social position. They meet, court, and date, all the while not knowing the other's true identity. You can guess the ending.

The story is carried along (rather nicely) by the main characters dictating letters to his or her pen pal elsewhere in Europe. As opposed to inner monologue-ing, the characters are justifying their actions to their closest friend, almost as though they were breaking the 4th wall and speaking to the audience. I never found this means of exposition to be used improperly, in fact, I welcomed the pace provided by the letter-writing. Just about the only part of this musical that didn't flow as well was the scene where our hero and heroine realize they are in love - "The Polka". This song and the scene were just a bit too long for me.

All things considered, I am a sucker for a good love story, and I really enjoyed watching Kristen Owen and Todd Allen Long fall in love - they acted their parts to the letter and let us know what was going on in word, deed and song. Well done, and my regards to the accompanist as well.

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