Diverse Dividends

Well, we got through Hell Week and got our show opened. There were various challenges and hiccups along the way, as there often are, but we conquered them all.

Sometimes, we don't really need all our run-throughs to fix all the problems. Other times, we need every second we have to get the work done. With this show, we needed the time. It's a very tricky show and finding exactly the right tone and style took some time. We found that even a small letdown in energy really deflates the show. It's a very high energy, perpetual motion machine, and that's exhausting for the actors.

We had a slightly shaky preview on Thursday -- no real problems but the show was still finding its footing and the audience was small-ish and very quiet. They were laughing, but not like we had expected. Then on opening night, we had this incredible audience and the show just exploded with energy. The pacing was amazing, the audience was totally tuned in to the characters and story, and everybody had a blast. We had a party afterward to celebrate the start of our 20th season, which was really fun -- a lot of the New Liners came that night.

Then Saturday, the audience was quiet again, which I think made the actors doubt themselves. Plus, I think they were all exhausted. The show still went okay, but I could tell the confidence level wasn't quite the same. But we're getting some great reviews, so I think we'll get bigger crowds now and bigger crowds always laugh more. This is a show that really needs that back-and-forth with the audience.

Look at the nice things the critics have said so far...

“New Line Theater bows I Love My Wife, an often hilarious musical spoof of the so-called ‘free love’ era and how two married couples discover the truth about ‘four play.’ New Line Theatre always does great work. When they perform, you’re always up close and personal. Sometimes the performers are only three to four feet from where you’re sitting, so you really get involved in the show. I Love My Wife also happens to be a very funny show. . . enjoyable and a nice start to New Line’s 20th season.” – Harry Hamm, KMOX

“Those who lived through the 1970s will nod familiarly at most of the lines and lyrics in I Love My Wife. Those too young to remember will understand why certain styles, certain moments, certain memories will bring goofy looks to their parents’ faces. . . but it's an accurate view – and spoof – of an era that generated a movie called Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, that still was enjoying the drug culture and sexual freedom that started in the 1960s. . . The tale of a husband’s desire to join the sexual revolution he fears has begun without him, using his friend’s wife to help him get up to date, is bright and tuneful, well-paced under Scott Miller’s on-point direction. . . It’s powerful, and it’s fun.” – Joe Pollack, St. Louis Eats and Drinks

“Top-notch performances highlight this New Line production . . . I Love My Wife is a nifty little musical that is given a first-rate production by the folks at New Line Theatre. Because of the subject matter, I would consider it Adults Only but you’ll have a lot of fun and a lot of laughs at this one.” – Steve Allen, Java Journal

“Interesting and hilarious. Now, it's not as though there's a detailed plot for this show, but under Scott Miller and Alison Helmer’s direction, watching it all unfold and seeing how these individuals respond to the opportunity is an entertaining ride, well worth the price of admission. This show may be set in the 70's, but the themes are still relevant.” – Andrea Torrence, St. Louis Theatre Snob

Not bad, huh?

Long Live the Musical!