Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mini review - eLove: A

written (book, music & lyrics) and directed by Wayland Pickard
NoHo Arts Center
Second Stage
through December 21

Anyone who has seen Wayland Pickard play Liberace onstage has experienced close to the real thing. This actor/musician/musical composer is a multi-faceted dynamo. His latest one-act eLove is a sweet ode to love and cute satire on the effects of computer dating. He has composed and recorded the beautiful background music to his original songs (to accompany the live singing onstage) and cast two delightful actors - Lloyd Pederson and Bobbi Stamm, who are funny and appealing, like folks next door, and both with consummate vocalizing.
However, all is not perfect. The book's major problem lies in the repetitiousness in the opening scene. Many of us know what it's like to be alone, single and lonely. Here, the lines practically stand up and hit us over the head. A suggestion: why not cut about 15 minutes off the dialogue and let the songs tell the story? Isn't that what music is supposed to do in a musical - say what the lines do not? "I'm Single", "Pity Party", "You've Got Mail", "My Ex", "We're Already There" "Fault". I think these tunes already move the plot forward. Much of the dialogue is superfluous.
With a major trimming, the show will gain momentum, allowing the showdown that occurs at the top of scene two - I won't spoil what happens, to come sooner, sustaining more audience interest. Both Pederson and Stamm cook in this scene; it's real fun, but right now, it takes much too long to get there.
Applause to Chris Winfield for his economical set of 2 modern apartments in this tiny space and to choreographer Stan Mazin for his fine dance movements.
Oh, the computer age! Can computers really create the Perfect Match? Well, anything's worth a try; it sure beats staying in on a Saturday night!

4 out of 5 stars


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