Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Now Playing: I Do! I Do! and The Last Five Years

Live theater is, of course, ALWAYS a challenge to produce. Whether the production is in a 99 seat theater running on a shoestring, or in a Broadway house with thousands of patrons and multi-million dollar budgets every live performance is a virtually miraculous combination of human effort, artistry, plain old hard work, and sometimes (one suspects) sheer dumb luck.

Why then, would a sane theater company tempt the gods by running two productions in repertory?

Why is the Pasadena Playhouse now doing just that with its current productions of I Do! I Do! and The Last Five Years?

F. Kathleen Foley, writing in the LA Times asks much the same question:
The Pasadena Playhouse mixes apples and oranges — or make that chestnuts and pistachios — with its latest production, "The Marriage Musicals," a program of two musicals playing in repertory through Aug. 6.

The musicals are Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones' "I Do! I Do!" and Jason Robert Brown's "The Last Five Years." Both are two-character shows about marriage. Beyond that obvious similarity, however, these strange bedfellows are so wildly dissimilar in tenor and theme, one wonders how they ever hooked up.

Here's what Playhouse artistic director Sheldon Epps has to say:
These are two shows that are very different - in tone, texture, structure and style, indeed in their very feelings about marriage. They reflect the challenges we all have faced in learning to make our relationships grow and remain whole. [Emphasis mine - SK]

I'm personally tempted to rant about yin and yang sorts of dualities and such, but more importantly, what do you think?

1 comment:

California Highway Guy - Daniel said...

I have some comments on the two musicals viewed together in this entry in my blog. Basically, I address the question of: Why does Michael and Agnes' marriage work, whereas Jamie and Cathy's marriage falls apart.