I Do, I Do
I Do, I Do
By Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt
Directed and Choreographed by Janet Watson
Orlando Theatre Project
Garden Theatre, Winter Garden Florida</strong>
Marital happiness can become a slippery thing once the champagne wears off and the bills start rolling in. It needn’t be, and this Jones/Schwartz classic emphasizes the positives of legalized heterosexual union. It skates on the edge of sappy, but makes up for it with great songs and a huge faux Victorian bedstead. Dashing Michael (David Kelly) and his blushing bride, Agnes (Laura Hodos) nervously prepare for their wedding, which requires wearing clothes one would wear under no other circumstances except to star in a musical. They then proceed to sing their way thought lust, pregnancy, vanity, adultery, separation, graceful aging, and finally downsizing to a condominium in the less fashionable section of Boca Raton. It took them 50 years, but the ride was great.
While Hodos charms and Kelly seems a bit full of himself, the two belt to the great numbers and do justice to the less memorable one. High on the list of hits is Hodo’s “My Cup Runneth Over” and “Love Isn’t Everything”, with “Where are the Snows” the best duet. The large bed spins around, and with the relatively large, deep space on the Garden Theater stage, the show sometimes feels a bit exposed, as if it wanted a more intimate setting and a closer audience. That space does allow for some nice lighting effects – Ryan Gravilla makes real magic appear around the singing couple, and there’s even a follow spot light. Now THAT’S glamour!
There’s a subtle difference in the script from the recent Winter Park Playhouse production. When Michael admits he’s seeing someone else, a line is left out about just how much he saw of the Other Woman. Without the line, he comes across a bit harsher than I’ve seen him played before. It’s not a huge issue, it’s just a choice Director Watson made, and I congratulate her on it. Either way, the show is a crowd pleaser and one of the most positive takes in intimate relations to regularly see production. It’s worth the drive down the turnpike to sit under the twinkly stars in air conditioned Winter Garden.