Home Musical play “Love in fact? »Stage Parody Review: The Show Takes A Cheerful Musical Goal On The Big Screen Rom-Com

“Love in fact? »Stage Parody Review: The Show Takes A Cheerful Musical Goal On The Big Screen Rom-Com

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There is very little common ground when it comes to the movie “Love Actually”. The 2003 Hugh Grant romantic comedy is as deeply polarizing as canned cranberry sauce.

People either love it as a bubbly and heartwarming holiday flick, or they hate it because it’s sweeter than, well, saccharine, populated by men behaving like creeps, while completely wasting the talents of the great Laura Linney. All of this is covered in “Love in fact? The Unauthorized Musical Parody ”, currently playing at the Apollo Theater.

“Love in fact? Denounces the flaws of the film, including the dubiously legal maneuvers undertaken by the British Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) when he fires the assistant he is flirting with because he believes the President of the United States has also flirted with her, and followed up the layoff by finding out where she lives and crushing her family Christmas party. Coarse.

Music by Basil Winterbottom and book and lyrics by Bob and Tobly McSmith, “Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody ”ends up celebrating Christmas and love with a holiday cheer that is hard to resist. But long before it gets to that point, he pokes fun at everything sexist and stupid in the movie. In the light of Saint-Nicolas, there is a lot of material. The McSmiths attack him with such a false mixture of intelligence and childish pimping. Both are entertaining in director Tim Drucker’s direction, which is more campy than an ugly holiday sweater contest.

What makes the show happy and bright instead of silly and boring is the McSmith’s clever writing, their clearly encyclopedic knowledge of the film and its cast, and the enthusiasm of a flawless ensemble.

Jake Elkins and Amanda Walker are featured in “Love Actually? Unauthorized musical parody.
Timothy M. Schmidt

The six actors play up to 11 roles in the 85-minute production, including the actors in the film and the characters played by those actors. There are nine love stories woven through the sextet, and the pace is deservedly frenetic.

We have Emma Thompson (Ann Delaney) who is worried about the necklace her husband didn’t buy her for Christmas. Meanwhile, teenage Keira Knightley (Amanda Walker) gets married, while Mark, the best man who longs for her (Jake Elkins), creeps her out throughout the marriage. There’s also, of course, Colin Firth (also Elkins), who is embarking on an affair with his housekeeper Areola (Walker), who doesn’t speak English.

Liam Neeson (Christopher Wayland) comes to us via Snape from Harry Potter, which shouldn’t work or doesn’t make sense, but it does. Speaking of: Wayland’s turn as failed rocker Billy Mack captures both the ego and the absurdity of an explosive has-been.

At the center of the madness, of course, is Hugh Grant (Dan Plehal) as Premier of Roma-Coms (instead of England). Plehal put Grant to bed, blinking and blundering throughout the vacation. He’s hampered – or perhaps enhanced – by an excruciating wig, one of the countless on display as the actors change characters at breakneck speed.

Finally, there’s Peter (Ryan Foreman), who doesn’t have a last name but provides a Greek romantic comedy chorus to someone providing excellent commentary on the inanity around him, often without saying a word. .

Winterbottom’s score serves the show well. It’s forgettable, but it’s fun. There’s a rap on the party dip. In “Dark Deeds, Laura Linney’s Lament”, Delaney-as-Linney criticizes the agent who asked her to play this role, clearly inspired by “Diva’s Lament” from “Spamalot”. There is a whole invented language in “Language of Love,” which Walker says needs no translation.

On a set dominated by bright red doors and iconic London phone booths (festive work by Joshua Warner), the cast establish the various plots and subplots in the opening tune, “A Message of Love, Actually. “, which will probably make you laugh out loud. loud before the end of the first chorus.

Brooke Engen’s perfectly manic choreography helps set the scene as the cast explore timeless holiday questions: What is love, anyway? Is love really a comedy? A tragedy? A romantic comedy of totally inexplicable duration and popularity?

Yes, Virginie. It’s all of those things.

“Love in fact? The Unauthorized Musical Parody “is also a good time – whatever you think of the movie.