What About Luv?
Book by Jeffrey Sweet, based on play by Murray Schisgal
Music by Howard Marren
Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Directed by Robert More
Choreographed by Kerry Gage
Musical direction by Chris Mounteer
Performed by Murray Furrow, Jenny Hall, Larry Herbert
Victoria Playhouse Petrolia
June 14 to July 2, 2011
Reviewed by Mary Alderson
Quirky Musical Comedy about Luv!
What About Luv? is a quirky little musical comedy now playing at Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia. It’s the classic love triangle with some funny twists.
Harry is depressed about his lack of a relationship and is contemplating jumping off Brooklyn Bridge, ending his sad life that is hampered by his many phobias. But his old college buddy Milt happens along and prevents him from jumping. Milt is having an affair and wants out of his marriage. He introduces his wife, the pretentious Ellen to Harry, and the two fall in love, leaving Milt to pursue his other interest.
But a year later, Harry’s many neuroses are driving Ellen crazy. She returns to the bridge and runs into Milt, whose relationship failed, and the two fall back in love. They plot to push Harry off the bridge, in the very same spot where they had saved his life the year before. But it isn’t as easy as it would seem.
The dialogue is cleverly written with several surprises, and the song lyrics are funny, giving the opening night audience many laugh-out-loud moments.
Murray Furrow is hilarious as Harry with all his idiosyncrasies. Charlie Brown-like, Harry pulls a brown paper bag over his head when things upset him. Larry Herbert is excellent as Milt, the guy who thinks he’s a player but finds out it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Jenny Hall is exceptional as Ellen, who is just too brainy for her own good. All three actors have great comedic timing with hilarious facial expressions. They go over the top, but without exceeding the storyline’s demands.
They are all excellent singers and handle the musical numbers well. Hall surprises the audience switching back and forth from a belt to opera. Musical director Chris Mounteer keeps the show moving with great energy on the keyboard.
The set is amazing – New York’s Brooklyn Bridge is re-created right there in Petrolia. It is high on the stage, so that the audience is looking up at the characters. The bridge is so realistic that you expect to see cars and trucks zoom past. Kudos to set and lighting designer Stephen Degenstein.
While none of the tunes is familiar, and the dialogue is not typical, this unpredictable little musical with a few surprises provides an entertaining evening.
What About Luv? continues with eight shows a week at Victoria Playhouse Petrolia until July 2. Call the box office at 1-800-717-7694 or 519-882-1221 for tickets.