Patty & Emily at Love Letters

If you don’t know anything about Love Letters before you see it, don’t let the title fool you. This was not, in our opinion, a romantic show. It was a tragic one. If you find it romantic, we’d love to talk to you about why. It also wasn’t much of a show. While we may gravitate towards bigger, splashier shows (and musicals), we don’t need those elements to enjoy ourselves. But this was two actors sitting at a table on an otherwise empty stage, reading their lines. That’s not to say they weren’t performing. But the nature of the play has them literally reading the letters to each other. It was like seeing a staged reading, but this was no benefit. It was a full price, for profit Broadway show.

The story itself is not anything that hasn’t been told before. An upper class boy and girl (then man and woman) weave in and out of friendship and more as their lives pull them apart. But they can’t seem to stop writing letters to each other. Emily was pretty angry that it seemed as soon as Melissa said they were better off friends, her life went downhill. Patty just wasn’t very moved by the relationship between the two, many problems which seemed to arise by bad decisions by one or both of them. The redeeming part of the show was Mia Farrow, who had some really great moments, and gave humanity to what could be a thankless role. Brian Dennehy was commanding, but we weren’t able to sympathize with or like his character at all.
All this being said, there is a rotating amazing set of actors tackling this play. And since it’s really just the actors on stage alone, with no sets, costumes, sound, etc., you really are paying to see them. So if you want to see Brian Dennehy, Mia Farrow, Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Candice Bergen, Stacy Keach, Diana Rigg, Martin Sheen, or Anjelica Huston, here’s your chance.
You can get tickets to Love Letters here.

Patty & Emily at Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter

Yes, that is the full title. This dystopian musical takes place in the elbow of a man, Ragnar Agnarsson. Throughout his body, there are cities and colonies, as if the Magic School Bus took a field trip there and never left. We went into this pretty blind, which was fun, so we don’t want to tell you too much. But based on the ideas of one resident, Peter (Marrick Smith, giving us Jonathan Groff realness), the residents of Elbowville find themselves in a financial crisis mirroring that of 2008.

Egging Peter along and profiting off her residents’ ignorance is the delightful Cady Huffman, as the Mayor of Elbowville. Her elaborate plans are matched only by her elaborate costumes. The main industry in Elbowville is fishing lobsters, which end up being a running theme in her amazing costumes. Peter also wants to help his brother Stein (Brad Nacht) and Stein’s wife Asrun (Kate Shindle — who also has her own costume moment in an amazing latex outfit), so pulls them unknowingly into the financial spiral. (There’s another brother played by Graydon Long, who leaves Elbowville as part of an unnecessary love triangle.) When the bubble bursts, Kate Shindle gets pissed off and confronts Cady Huffman in an amazing, but WAY too short belt off.

Without giving anything away, the ending is pretty satisfying. It’s not quite Urinetown in its clever and bleak truth, but it does point out interesting things about society. There were a few strings left untied; it seemed as if Kate Shindle was going to have a bigger role in the end. But Revolution in the Elbow… was a fun, strange, thought-provoking musical.

Revolution in the Elbow… runs through September 20th, so go see it! Get your tickets here.