Sunday, June 19, 2011

Five Course Love

FIVE COURSE LOVE, a pleasant musical review at Actors’ Summit

Neil Thackaberry and MaryJo Alexander, the producers at Actors’ Summit, know their clientele. Mature, somewhat conservative and loyal describes the group. The loyalty has been built on years of the producers picking the right shows to appeal to this demographic. Musical reviews, light comedies, and non-controversial scripts are the norm. Their latest offering, FIVE COURSE LOVE fits the bill well.

In 90 minutes, with no intermission, 3 actors play 15 different characters in 5 different restaurants, on the hunt for true love. Scene 1 takes place in Dean s Old-Fashioned All-American Down Home Bar-B-Que Texas Eats, where a blind date goes wrong. At the Trattoria Pericolo, a mob wife has a secret rendezvous behind her husband’s back with devastating results. In the scene at Der Schlupfwinkel Speiseplatz, a waiter, a sexy German siren, and her kept man discover that they are all dating each other. Yes, gasp, a ménage à trois. In Ernesto’s Cantina, a Mexican restaurant, a bandit and his rival battle for the hand of the beautiful Rosalinda, a hot salsa-woman. And at the Star-Lite Diner, a romance novel reading waitress pines for her true love and gets a little help from Cupid in making her dreams come true as the jilted blind dater from Scene 1 finally comes full circle to find love. Throughout the evening, “There is trouble in the kitchen.”

FIVE COURSE LOVE is slight summer fun. The little bit of tantalizing double entendre humor brought giggles, the finding of true love resulted in “aws” of glee, and all in attendance seemed to have a good time.

Gregg Coffin’s serviceable score combines pop, light rock, and ethnic musical sounds. None of the songs are well known and have such titles as Morning Light, Risk Love, The Ballad of Me, and Hey Cupid. These are names not likely to appear on Billboard’s top ten list.

The show, which is co-directed by Thackaberry and Alexander, moves along quite well, but needed more exaggerated farce to get across the intended ridiculousness of various scenes. This was especially true in Der Bumsen Kratzentanz and If Knicky Knew.

The three person cast is highlighted by Keith Stevens, whose premiere number is A Very Single Man, concerning a lonely geek who really wants to find love. His facial and body reactions on Nicky Knows were delightful. The pretty Aubrey Caldwell, has a nice voice and was delightful in I Loved You When I Thought Your Name was Ken. Stephen Brockway performed several nice duets, but struggled with various characterizations and accents.

Marcia Snavely’s musical execution was well done.

CAPSULE JUDGEMENT: FIVE COURSE LOVE is a musical review which gets an acceptable production at Actors’ Summit. It’s the kind of show that should please their targeted audience.