Clever, poignant, and heartfelt – a touching look into the realities of relationships and their COMPLICATIONS! At times tear-inducing and at other times a collective “Awwwww” came from the audience as they witnessed a very personal and vulnerable conversation – peppered with humor from the “therapist.” Great, witty writing and the catchiest show tune that viewers will be humming long after the show.
Anonymously submitted by a member of the PortFringe Independent Review Team
First off, kudos to the cast for being comfortable singing in a such a small theater space … the venue was intimate, singing (especially as much singing as this show has) can be very stressful, and the performers carried it off with aplomb. The piece had a clear shape to it, and while the ending wasn’t unexpected, the audience responded very well to it; this appears to be going for “mainstream crowd-pleaser,” and is definitely on the right track.
The song lyrics are quite clever throughout, but the married couple are playing stock types (angry wife, apologetic husband) that I wanted to know a bit more about them. Why is their relationship in particular not working out? And why should I be rooting for them to get back together? Right now, there’s a lot of emphasis on the song line “It’s complicated,” which is a decent running gag, but the actual relationship as we hear it doesn’t sound particularly complicated; if anything, it sounds like these are two people who don’t like each other very much and should probably not be together anymore. Obviously that’s not the intention, so if there was a way to build more organically to the final reconciliation, I think it would really help to nail what is already a very sweet moment.
Oh, and be careful about unintentional sexism …the stock types here make it very much “wife is bad guy to sad sack hubby,” and the therapist saying “In my experience, women don’t usually need instruments to express themselves” kind of feels more pointed than it should have as a result. I think this piece would work a lot better if the audience’s allegiances shifted throughout, and I suspect, given the back and forth singing, this was the intention, so that could be something to watch out for.
…The concept of a “therapist” who gets people to express themselves via guitar is very cute and good (I wanted them to lean into the “wait, is he making us sing?” humor more–it’s a neat bit, make the most of it), and the lead couple had nice chemistry. This is a solid premise/execution, just needs some refinement.
submitted by Zack Handlen
PortFringe Independent Review Team