Romance Romance - Review
Updated: Sep 28, 2019
Romance Romance is a reimagining of an 80’s broadway musical made up of two short stories with a common theme.
The first act is based in Vienna in the late 19th century where two wealthy men both pretend to be poor in order to escape the mundane men they meet in their mundane lives. It’s a classic story of misdirection which makes you feel like you’re watching a “sweet little comedy of love”. But underneath it is a story of deception. The show itself even deceives the audience from implying it’s a whimsical musical whereas it’s a witty and intelligent look at society. The theme of masks is evident throughout with masquerade masks hanging on the walls, watching the action when not worn. A subtle nod to the masks gay men at that time would have had to wear.
Alongside this is clever and innovative choreography which makes perfect use of the space. The acting is excellent and the voices really need to work their diction round some fabulous ditties. There is a lot of comedy in the first act and the comic timing of the cast is impeccable.
The show rolls merrily along and you can take from it what you want, be it a fun whimsical comedy or a deeper look at relationships.
The second act takes quite a different turn. The action here is based during the present day in a summer share in New York with two gay couples, both of which have children. The focus is on two best friends from college discussing what they would do if their husbands were to cheat, but all the time having their flirting taking them closer to cheating themselves.
While this conversation is happening you get to see their husbands view as they look on to the situation helplessly. This positioning makes for a very poignant and emotionally charged story.
The acting is excellent with emotions laid bare. You can’t single one actor out, this is a superb cast of four displaying heartfelt vulnerability in each role. The second act also allows the actors to show off the impressive power of their singing voices. This is in contrast to the first act where at times the orchestra overpowered the singing.
The change in this act to gay couples makes it feel fresh and modern, particularly as this story wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago.
The lighting in the show is well thought out and the set is ideal. The set change as they move into the summer share is particularly innovative yet simple.
This is another great offering from Above The Stag. It’s a strong production with great direction and heartfelt performances. It shows two different viewpoints of relationships at very different times but looks at the deception that’s laid bare in each.
We give this show a 4 Laura Michelle-Kelly star rating.
It’s playing until April 6th and tickets are available here https://abovethestag.ticketsolve.com/shows/873602245/events/128927906