Monday, February 21, 2011
An American Love Story in London
This gut-wrenching yet surprisingly quick-paced play was set in a bit of a smaller theatre, which lent to its feeling of elegance and intimacy. The strong voices of the leads were coupled by convincing acting, especially by Emma Williams, who plays Jenny, and Peter Polycarpou, who plays Jenny's italian father, Phil. We thought the latter was an absolute riot and forgot in watching him that he was an actor and this was a play we were watching.
We were quite impressed that these English actors had flawless and not overly-forced American accents both while singing and speaking. The only give-aways that we were not in the States were the few errantly-accented words, "pasta," "Debussy," and "Carnegie Hall."
I was somewhat confused by the overarching message of the story--in helping our spouse pursue their dreams, should we allow ours to become entirely overrun? Is that really what love is? And other things-- such as an agnosticism better suited to the 1960s or 70s (when the novel was written) than the 1950s, in which decade the play was set--seemed a bit anachronistic.
Yet I did enjoy the other lessons: love is a choice and what we make of it. Most importantly, as Jenny says once they move into an apartment overlooking Central Park in Manhattan, "love isn't what you feel, it's what you do."