Friday, October 15, 2010

American Heartland Theatre: "The Love List"

It is the start of the new season at Kansas City's best theatre venue, The American Heartland Theatre. As usual the play was funny, Mark the bartender made some great scotches to have before, during the show and at intermission and the local restaurant Streetcar Named Desire made us fine pork tenderloins. Greg and I are creatures of habit if nothing else.

For its opening show this season, AHT chose the KC premiere of "The Love List" by Norm Foster. Veterans Scott Cordes and Sean Grennan star along with newcomer Shanara Gabrielle and her wardrobe of incredible shoes.

The play is short on plot, as usual for a comic romp, and a little slow to get started. I was thinking "this will be a leave during intermission evening" but as the show progressed and the gags rolled on, it became a light and amusing entertainment.

Needing a 50th birthday present for Bill, his long divorced, terminally boring number-cruncher of a friend (Grennan), Leon (Cordes) buys him a "love list" from an unseen gypsy. This seemingly harmless list of ten qualities that define the perfect woman soon turns mysterious when Leon leaves and the gorgeous dream woman named Justine appears (Gabrielle).

We all soon figure out what is going on. As Leon puts it in the shows best line "a tear in the cosmic pie crust" makes their perfect woman come to life, endowed with the 10 traits they ascribe on the "Love List". The fun begins when they start changing the list, and Justine instantly reflects the new personality. Here is where the play takes off as Gabrielle is amazing working through the lightning quick mood and costume changes.

It all kind of ends with everyone getting basically what they deserve and learning to be careful what you wish for.

Deep, emotional, riveting, topical theatre? Nah, for that read the paper. To escape the trauma of the end days of the US empire, see a play like this... and have a drink or two.

"The Love List" now through October 24th.

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