Love is eternal, but not always with the same person. Sometimes, even after years of what seems a loving relationship one of the couple will say something like; “Well yes I really do love you, I just need some space.” That is, of course, not all that subtle code for good-bye and the beginning of the always dangerous period of rebound that makes life truly complicated.
This is the essence of the latest offering from the After Hours Theatre Company I Love You Because. It is a musical comedy about six New York City couples, depending how you define “couple,” but anyhow six people each with their own relationship issues trying to sort things out.
The show is severely amusing in large part because it very accurately portrays situations nearly every human being over the age of 30 has experienced in one way or another, making it very relatable. The New York atmosphere adds a dimension all its own and the musical performances by both the actors/singers and the live band range from excellent to outstanding.
It is influenced by Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice with its own modern urban context. Austin [Austin MacPhee] is an uptight greeting card poet who is deeply distraught after being dumped after a five-year relationship. He happens to meet a flighty photographer Marcy [Aly French who I also recently saw in The Real Housewives of Toluca Lake].
With some not always appreciated and ultimately not very much followed advice from their friends, some sort of relationship is formed, but can it possibly have any chance given the well-known risks of a rebound relationship? It is a horrible bet but a thoroughly enjoyable story well told.
The After Hours Theatre Company is a new and young group of professional performers committed to bringing exciting new material to the Los Angeles theatre scene and perhaps beyond. Their first project at the Hudson Theatre was tick, tick…BOOM! and it was very well received. I Love You Because is their second production at the Hudson and I believe destined to receive substantial critical acclaim.
The other performers are Nick Bredosky, Shelley Regner, Harrison Meloeny and Reesa Marie. Music is by Joshua Salzman, book and lyrics are by Ryan Cunningham and orchestration by Larry Hochmann.
I Love You Because is produced by Graham Wetterhahn, Rebecca Kenigsberg and Mark Heidel. The Director is Rebecca Kenigsberg, the music director is Elmo Zapp, the choreographer is Aja Gomez and Shen Heckel is Associate Producer.
In these days of so much horror on a global scale we need now more than ever some well-done comic relief. I Love You Because delivers, but it is a short run so make your reservation now.
I Love You Because is at the Hudson Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California now through August 7th. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available on line at: www.plays411.com/iloveyoubecause.
Photos by Bryan Carpenter
Top photo: Austin MacPhee and Aly French
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.