Shows R

ROMANCE, ROMANCE Two Musicals each in One Act. Book and lyrics by Barry Harman. Music by Keith Herrmann. Directed by Barry Harman. Originally produced Off-Broadway - Actors Outlet Theatre, 30 October, 1987 (37 perfs) Opened 1 May 1988 at the Helen Hayes Theater and closed 15 January 1989 (297 perfs) THE STORIES THE LITTLE COMEDY Even though they have not as yet made each other's acquaintance, two worldly Viennese - the rich, unattached and reasonably handsome Alfred Von Wilmers and the elegant demi-mondaine Josefine Weniger - known as Pepi - set the proper mood of playful cynicism as they sing the title song together. Both then relate their romantic adventure through letters they are writing to friends - he to Theodore, she to Helene - which begin with their mutual admission of total boredom. First, Alfred will try something different by accompanying friends to an amusement park and mix with the rabble, and Pepi will end her relationship with her current lover, Emil. After Alfred's night on the town finds him no less jaded than before, both he and Pepi express their desperate longing for genuine romantic fulfillment. By coincidence, Alfred and Pepi come up with the same plan: they will masquerade as members of the bourgeoisie with the hope of finding someone who will love them for their true selves. And, of course, they meet. And, of course, they are instantly smitten. Alfred passes himself off as a struggling poet and Pepi reveals that she is a seamstress in a millinery shop, a deception that leaves them both smugly pleased. Now convinced that destiny has brought them together, they gaily spend night after night dancing the polka to the band in the park. Alfred confides to Theodore that he is so happy he could cry, even though he has the uneasy feeling that what Pepi finds most attractive in him is his poverty In an attempt to keep their romance blooming as long as possible, the couple decides to spend a week together at a provincial retreat and Pepi is ecstatic at the idea - though she, like Alfred, realises that their affair cannot go on indefinitely. They discover the Rustic Country Inn to be just as charming as they had hoped - but they hadn't counted on it being so dismally boring or that the wine would be undrinkable and the food inedible. To make matters worse, there is a sudden rainstorm. In desperation, Alfred tells Pepi he has had a dream that his mother needs him and he must return to Vienna at once. Back in the city, Alfred writes to Theodore that he must end the masquerade and confess everything to Pepi. Pepi too feels that the time has come for a full disclosure, and she writes to Helene that the affair will soon be over. Wearing formal dress, the lovers meet and quickly realise what the other has been up to. Both are happily relieved to see the end of what Alfred acknowledges has been operetta, pure operetta. Now with the truth revealed and the dream destroyed, they make plans to go off together to Dieppe - and even admit that they still love each other a little. SUMMER SHARE A musical prologue propels us into the modern era. Two contemporary couples, Sam and Barb and Lenny and Monica decide to escape the frenetic pressures of Manhattan by sharing weekends at a beach house in the Hamptons. An intriguing aspect of the relationship is that Sam and Monica have been each other's best friend for some thirteen years. One night in August - at 2:30 a.m. to be precise - Sam and Monica are alone, indulging in their favourite pastime: talking about their friendship and their marriages. Their spouses are fast asleep, but very much in